Is America a "Christian Nation"?


#1

Here’s a link to a blog post I did on the question, in response to a awful NYT piece. Thought it might be of interest here, and could spark discussion.

https://jjcandersonblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/why-historians-shouldnt-dabble-in-political-theory/


#2

In short, the correct answer to the question, “is America a ‘Christian nation’?” is: “yes.” But not for the reasons typically argued for by conservatives, but because American political values and culture rest entirely on a foundation of radical Protestantism from which they can’t possibly be divorced.


#3

I would argue that every country to a degree is technically Christian to a degree. When the laws of a country alined with the values of its dominate religion it can be argued that that country is a (insert religion here) nation. One can argue that a nation has a secular government but as long as its[governemnt] values and culture align with a religion the argument can be made. Every county is religious to a degree. Religion influences people, people serve in the government and make decisions. Those decisions are molded by their beliefs which are formed in part to religion. Even if a person was raised atheist by atheist parents their values are still religious. Man did not just wake up and say killing is wrong. It was decided. Whether religion is some big scam man made or the real deal does not change the fact that the worlds values stem from religion.


#4

I would agree that our political and cultural values are based on Christianity as defined by the Protestant Biblical Interpretation, I am not aware of any Conservatives who hold a different view though.

I suppose some would interpret the question as “Is America a Nation of Christians” and then answer “Yes” due to Christianity being the overwhelmingly dominant Faith for our entire history. Or maybe some would hear “Was America Founded by Christians” and answer “Yes” because it almost exclusively was.

I would say “No” on a technicality, a “Nation” cannot be a “Christian” since a “Nation” has no soul and cannot be born of the Holy Spirit.

But we were settled by Protestants who fled Britain to practice their Faith freely.
We were inspired to rebel against that same crown by Protestants making Protestant arguments regarding what conditions mans God intended his creation to live under.
It was Protestants who Declared their Independence based on their beliefs regarding what God had endowed to all men.
It was almost exclusively Protestants who chose to die in order to obtain these Liberties
It was Protestants who picked up the pieces and their Bibles afterward to draft our Constitution.

I have not used the term “Radical” when describing these Protestants but it does fit, we have no shortage today of Protestants who believe just as our Founders did but very few who will simply declare “NO!” to the demands of our current tyrannical government.

We lawyer up and ask permission to practice our own God Given Rights today, when that permission is denied we act as if the Right no longer exists; compared to our shameful ways the Protestants who founded this Nation were very much “Radicals”.

But as far as the Bible would conclude I think they were simply “Faithful”, they were flawed sinners grateful for the gift of salvation who trusted their God to back up his words regardless of the odds.


#5

I would have to say, “no”, for it is not a theocracy…it IS however a secular nation founded upon the principles OF the Holy Bible.


#6

It is not a theocracy, but it is a Christian nation, because, as you said, it is founded on the principles of the Holy Bible. Or, I guess I should say "was,"
because everything Christian about it is being deliberately destroyed, without concern with our founding principles, and our Constitution.


#7

JJ, I’d love your take on the following link.

The State of Religion: Declining Belief in God Worldwide

Cliff Notes Version, religion is declining globally, including in the United States. Bad religious behavior (not naming names) is causing more and more people to become skeptical.


#8

A Humanist organization spinning numbers to support the idea that the world is moving in their direction, a modern version of the “god is dead” fantasy.

I am not suggesting that nobody is stupid enough to close the book on religion just because of what individuals do in the name of their “faith”, I just don’t think the percentages of people this stupid are any greater than at former times.

Just a bunch of Atheists whistling through the graveyard.


#9

People are turning their backs on God in droves in this country, but it’s not because of what self-proclaimed Christian do; they just use that as an excuse. The real reason is that they don’t want the accountability that goes with being a Christian. And in China, people are coming to Christ in droves, many of them putting their lives on the line to do so.


#10

There are bad people who use their “freedom from religion” to justify their actions and there are bad people who use their religion to justify their actions. Rationalization is a very strong human instinct.


#11

[quote=“J.Anderson, post:2, topic:47979”]
In short, the correct answer to the question, “is America a ‘Christian nation’?” is: “yes.” But not for the reasons typically argued for by conservatives, but because American political values and culture rest entirely on a foundation of radical Protestantism from which they can’t possibly be divorced.
[/quote]I am Jewish and a proud American. I am however constrained to agree.


#12

This is a simplistic question and answer. America was founded on principles of the Judeo/Christian principles set forth in the Torah and Bible. America was settled in part, by those looking for freedom to practice their particular brand of Christianity, but also in part by slavery ( the early Irish of the 1600]s were in fact slaves or bond servants, in part prisoners both political and plain outlaws, in part speculators and lords, and general riffraff with little else to do. There was a broad range of Christian belief from Roman Catholic to splinter groups of Ana-Baptists, The Church of England, Quaker and Shaker, Puritans and Huguenots. Episcopal and Lutheran, and oh so many others.
Are we a Christian Nation today? No, never were, we were a nation living under Christian Principles, our founding fathers espoused Christian beliefs in their comportment and leadership and we were a nation our leaders dedicated to God but we were never a Christian nation.


#13

People want to create a god that is comfortable with their sins


#14

[QUOTE=RET]god is dead fantasy[/QUOTE]

Nietzsche is a deadly foe to Christianity, and in particular Protestant Christianity, because he understands it so thoroughly (his family were Lutheran pastors going back almost as far as the Reformation). But “God is dead” actually predates Nietzsche. Hegel, a Lutheran himself, also quoted the phrase. I say “quoted” because—and here’s a little known factoid—the phrase itself actually dates back to Luther. For Luther, Christians overemphasize the life of Christ while mostly ignoring or under-emphasizing one of the more striking aspects of Christian theology: that God dies.

For Hegel, God is dead because it’s impossible for moderns to understand and theorize ourselves through religion. Unlike past peoples, moderns conceptualize ourselves not through art or religion, but through politics, ideology, and philosophy.

For Nietzsche, God is dead means something much more than this. But that’s for another post perhaps.

I suspect that people are leaving religion because, as Hegel pointed out, it just isn’t very related to the other things that are important to their lives. For most people, it’s more trouble than it’s worth: church, commitment, religious examination: these are troublesome and time-consuming, with very little obvious utility. To someone even three hundred years ago, the utility of religious belief was obvious: one could barely navigate one’s social world without being involved with religion, because religion was such a critical part of nearly every aspect of one’s day to day life.


#15

I think people still believe, but have grown disenchanted with corrupt church leaders who put profit above Scripture


#16

Unfortunately, there are a lot of feel-good preachers who are easily able to lead people astray.

(2 Timothy 4:3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

But to address the original question, in 1892 (or was it 1894?) the Supreme Court declared that we are a Christian nation, when dealing with a situation where - if I remember correctly - a Methodist church hired a pastor who was not an American citizen, and there were those who took exception to that. They didn’t just pull that declaration out of the air, or base it on what other countries think, as our current court often does; they made an inexhaustive search for precedents. The reason it was inexhaustive was that by the time they had found 87 precedents, they figured that was enough, and they didn’t have to search further.


#17

I told Mom about this last week. I saw what was reported as (and sounds consistant with my understanding of the man) a Joel Osteen quote in which he said:

“If you can’t be positive, then just be silent.”

Congratulations, Osteen; you just told Jesus to shut up:

[QUOTE=Jesus (per Matthew 23:33)]Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?[/QUOTE]


#18

[quote=“Marc2010, post:15, topic:47979”]
I think people still believe, but have grown disenchanted with corrupt church leaders who put profit above Scripture
[/quote]Marc, it goes way, way deeper than that.
The Bible, the infallible Word of God, has predicted all of what is happening, including the “Falling Away”.

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first”
(2 Thessalonians 2:3).

The Gospel has been diluted and down right misrepresented for centuries. People are confused as to what the Gospel truly refers. People believe what they are told, and do not try to prove the things they believe. They like to equate the Gospel to the things Christ DID, and not the things he preached. They THINK they know what God wants, but refuse to actually examine the Scriptures to see what is really the TRUTH.

Now, those here who know me, are likely aware that I refuse to engage in Doctrinal disputes. I am never gonna tell anyone what to believe or what to think. I have my groceries. You must get your own. I only speak to the truth of Scripture.
The truth, the way I see it, is that Satan is the God of this World. People seem to think that God and Satan are in a Soul Collection Competition, and if that were true, then God would be losing. So, an astute student of Christ should realize that the Gospel is not about saving souls.
I could go on and on, and cheese a lot of good people off, so I refuse to do that. But, God is not losing to Satan. Satan is here to demonstrate that we are incapable of battling evil, without God. We are incapable of governing ourselves, without God.
Deception is the way of the Devil. And, his best bet, is to cause people to believe that he(Satan) does not exist. That God, does not exist. And, this tactic works.
So, people are following prophecy. Isn’t it weird that it works that way?


#19

Joel Olsteen is one of those who preach if you follow Jesus, then you will have earthly riches and everyone will love you. However, Jesus said just the opposite. He said people will hate and persecute you


#20

I don’t know if it’s accurate or not, but my understanding is that Joel Osteen goes out of his way to avoid talking about Jesus.