Why is the ‘Gunfighter Nation’ not the ‘Christian Nation’?

Neither “Jesus” nor “Christianity” appears in the index to Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth Century America. On the contrary, the word “vigilantism” has 30 mentions in the book. “Lynchings” has 10 references and “violence” a whopping 67. The subject of the book is the influence of the frontier myth on popular culture: dime novels, stage melodramas, Wild West shows, movies, paperbacks and TV miniseries (p. 25 1998 U. of Oklahoma Press ed). My question  is why does violence figure so strongly in America’s pop culture of “The Western Frontier” and Christianity, apparently, not at all? Slotkin’s “Gunfighter Nation” is the definitive history of the impact of the frontier on American pop culture. To be fair, there is absolutely no reference to “suicide” in his book.


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