Beliefnet
(RNS) In the days just after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks,many Americans stuck close to home or turned to their houses of worshipfor solace. In the weeks since then, however, some have ventured tolocal bookstores for books and other products to educate and comfortthem.

Old Glory or God's Glory?

  • "God Bless America"
    Some Christians say they need the flag in church

  • Patriotism at Synagogues
    As Jews begin the new year, flags, the national anthem, and stories of heroism are everywhere

  • Falwell: Our Nation Returns to Its Knees
    Let's hope it's the beginning of a new godly fervor
  • What do you think? Do American flags and patriotic songs belong at worship?

  • Complete 9/11 Coverage

    Retailing and publishing executives say sales of Bibles, books aboutprophecy and writings on Islam have increased. And flags -- stand-aloneand on apparel -- are hot in Christian bookstores, too.
  • "Anything that blends patriotism with the Bible have just flownout," said Les Dietzman, president of Family Christian Stores, a GrandRapids, Mich., company that saw Bible sales jump 27 percent in the weekafter the attacks.

    "We have a freedom T-shirt which has the flag on one side and talksabout freedom in Christ on the other side. People are wanting to weartheir faith and their patriotism right now." The shopping patterns of Americans seem now to be shaped in part bytheir attempts to adjust to life after the attacks. Authors, publishersand manufacturers said their qualms about being viewed as exploiting atragedy were quickly pacified when their phones started ringing withrequests.

    "It's part of our mission to provide resources and help people,"said Rachel Riensche, spokeswoman for Augsburg Fortress Publishers, theMinneapolis-based publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church inAmerica. "That need is even more acute during the tragedies. People havebeen contacting us, saying `What resources do you recommend?'"

    Her company has suggested a few dozen titles dealing with grief,violence, hope and "our neighbors' faith," she said.

    Jill Kurtz, marketing director of Our Sunday Visitor, a Catholicpublishing company, has seen an increased interest in prayer books,Bibles and books on grief, such as "Blessed Are Those Who Mourn" and"Your Grieving Child." "We had an influx of orders by the fax and phone," said Kurtz, whois based in Huntington, Ind.

    Mainstream companies, such as Borders Group, have witnessed a spikein sales of books with similar themes across a range of religions.

    Old Glory or God's Glory?

  • "God Bless America"
    Some Christians say they need the flag in church

  • Patriotism at Synagogues
    As Jews begin the new year, flags, the national anthem, and stories of heroism are everywhere

  • Falwell: Our Nation Returns to Its Knees
    Let's hope it's the beginning of a new godly fervor
  • What do you think? Do American flags and patriotic songs belong at worship?

  • Complete 9/11 Coverage

    "I can tell you we've seen an increase in inspirational books andthese are not books that are just brand-new titles," said Ann Binkley,director of the Ann Arbor, Mich., company that includes Borders Booksand Music, Waldenbooks and Borders.com.
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