What is Meant by the Statement that “America is a Christian Nation”?

This Washington Post article examines the question of what is meant by the assertion that America is a Christian nation.  They cover the 1790s treaty that asserted we were not a Christian nation, Andrew Jackson’s efforts to resist the starting of a Christian political pary, and Lincoln’s burying of a Christian amendment to the constitution.

The article also describes the statements made Obama that led to him being seen as a non-Christian.  Sarah Palin’s assertions that we are a Christian nation are described as well.

The article finally asks the question what do we mean when we say America is a Christian nation?  What are your thoughts?



Filed under Religion

13 responses to “What is Meant by the Statement that “America is a Christian Nation”?

  1. If the statement is intended to mean that the majority of those who are religious in the U.S. are Christian – that would appear to be correct. If, however, the statement is meant to imply that Christian doctrine is codified in our Constitution – that would be patently false.

  2. Obama’s words which were widely misconstrued:

    “Palin’s reference to “any leader” was a clear reference to President Obama, who in a 2006 speech said, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation — at least not just — we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of non-believers.”

    “Those comments — especially the truncated sound bite “We are no longer a Christian nation” — were deployed across the Web to depict presidential candidate Obama as a non-Christian or an anti-Christian. “

  3. WSClark

    It is interesting that whenever a Con/Republican is caught with his foot in his mouth (leave the other jokes for now) it is always the response of “the comment was taken out of context.”

    But when Barack says “we are not a Christian Nation” they conveniently leave out the rest of the paragraph.

    As I said, interesting.

  4. The so-called Christians in this country that keep trying to push their brand of “Christianity” on the rest of us are doing their cause so much more harm than they could possibly imagine. I know many more young people that call themselves atheists because they have been completely turned off by these tyranical idiots.

    And I am tired of them acting like THEY are the patriots when it is obvious that the founding fathers had NO INTENTION of setting up a government or national structure that included ANY religion whatsoever. Looking at the facts, the history, the published arguments of the time, there can be no mistake that the founding fathers had no intention of weaving religious beliefs into the government or society. Only those hell-bent on forcing the rest of us to believe as they do could possibly interpret the facts any other way.

    • indypendent

      From what I’ve read about our founding fathers, the very reason they did not want religion and politics to mix is because of the very thing we are seeing today.

      One group thinks they are holier than the other group.

      In fact, many of our founding fathers were Christian but alot of them were Deists.

      But trying telling that fact to these Raving Religious Righties and they look at you like you’ve got two heads.

      First of all, they do not know what a Deist is and second of all, they are NEVER wrong!

      God told them they were his chosen ones – so there! (heavy, heavy sarcasm)

  5. http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel05.html

    My thoughts: it is good Madison and Jefferson prevailed (see link for a general discussion).

  6. Isn’t the right to worship as you (individually) choose one of the basic premises of our country? One of the reasons our founders came here to form a new country, because they had lived under religious persecution?

    The religious nutjobs who want the Constitution to more closely resemble the Bible think because Christianity is a superior religion it wouldn’t be like other places with state sponsored religion. They seem unable to understand the word ‘theocracy’ still applies even if the religion is their superior one. They must ignore how many different interpretations of the Bible there are, how many different ways to practice Christianity, and all think theirs will be the chosen one. (How many will be killed in the deciding of which one?)

    Those I’ve met who are most devout understand clearly the separation of church and state and cherish their right to worship as they choose, while respecting that everyone else has that same right.

    • indypendent

      I think that is the difference between spiritual people and church people.

      Seems to me we have way too many church people who disguise themselves as Christians but are really just bullies wanting to use their religion as their weapon to gain power and money.

  7. tosmarttobegop

    We are not a Christian nation but have been influenced by the Christian belief.
    Many of our laws and thoughts came from influences of those who were of a religious nature.

    From the ten commandments to old English common law and the principles of natural rights of human beings. At least some of our better thoughts and principles have came from a religious foundations.
    Like Christianity, our country and its guiding ideas and principles are higher goals.
    Any failings come not from the belief or Constitution it is the failing of the human factor.

  8. Zippy

    6’s post speaks for me, and beyond me.

    Read the link, if you haven’t already. It’s well worth it.

    Beyond that, my experience with those who demand a “Christian nation” are really insisting upon having state power to enforce their doctrines on those who do not believe in such doctrines.

    If they live a community where this used to be common, they see as as “persecution,” for it is indeed a diminution of their power to control the society.

    What they seem unable to grasp is that the power to rule over others cannot be based on one’s personal religious doctrines, whether they come from Yahweh or L. Ron Hubbard.

    Secular arguments are not anti-religious. Murder is prohibited not because of “Thou shall not kill” (and if we really took that one seriously, what’s with all the pro-war Christians?).

    It’s based on the idea that taking the life of another human being is wrong, a concept that most people, in most circumstances, can get behind.

    But when you declare you are speaking not just as human beings in a democracy (and that–especially–includes preachers)–but as the Earthly representatives of God, well, that isn’t just unconstitutional. It isn’t just as wrong as anything can objectively be determined to be wrong.

    It’s a lie.

    And the guy with the Big Funny Hat is not, and has never been, infallible.

  9. Zippy

    PS. 100% related, obviously: Daily Show tonight responded to the radical Muslim fucktards in New York threatening Trey Parker and Matt Stone over. . .satire.

    I add my voice to Jon’s: Go fuck yourselves.

  10. Zippy

    P.S. I fail to see any connection between criticizing America’s relationship to Israel, occupation etc., and showing Muhammed in a bear costume.

    Give me a break.

  11. indypendent

    But doesn’t every religion have their own version of the Ten Commandments?

    And aren’t they basically all the same?

    What strikes me funny is all these Evangelical Christians who demand those Ten Commandments on every public street corner seem to be the very people that broken at least half of them!