Thursday, December 27, 2007

Is America a Christian nation?

The question: Is America a Christian nation? This question usually makes the Left go apoplectic. But a recent Gallup poll, which found that 82% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, makes that a legitimate question.

Legally, America isn't a Christian nation. It's not written in our Constitution or an act of Congress. You don't have to be a Christian to be an American citizen.

Culturally, that's a different and more interesting question. We speak of nations made up predominantly of Muslims as Muslim nations. So in that sense if America is predominantly made up of Christians that would make us a Christian nation.

Yet just because people identify themselves as Christians yet never darken a church door, don't believe the basic tenets of the Christian faith or live in accordance Christian teaching that doesn't make them Christians. I think that is increasingly the case in America. Barna Group has done research suggesting that around eight percent of the American people subscribe to the historical, orthodox beliefs of the faith.

And of course then there's the question of what is the influence of Christianity in shaping the cultural beliefs and mores of the nation. I think Christian ideas and ideals are still dominant though they've been significantly eroded by secularism and postmodernism. I'd say culturally we are still a Christian nation but that notion has been eroding in the past few generations.

No comments: