Is America a Christian nation?

Some on this site have stated that America is a Christian nation. I, for one, do not believe this. I believe that we are a nation that is a rich tapestry of many religions, faiths and beliefs. How do you feel?

Answer #1

Well it isn’t supposed to be. It was a country whose founders were primarily christians but they went to great pains to create a secular country. What has happened over the years is a drift away from secularism, and towards christianity. This goes back to the fifties during the anti-communism movement lead by joe mccarthy. That is when they added the ridiculous “under god” to the pledge of alligence, as a direct response to the secular communist countries. I think the way religion is being used in politics today is very scary. There is a reason that god is not mentioned once in the constitution. The only reference to religion is in the first ammendment, and in the clause that states there will be no religious test for public office. That part has long since been abandoned. There will be a jew or even a muslim elected as president long before an aethiest. We have probably only had 2 aethiests, or diests at best. And that would be Washington and Jefferson. Some even suggest that Lincoln was one also.

Answer #2

It wasn’t muslems, jews, budists, mormons, jehovahs witnesses or any other group it was Christians that settled America. They began leaving the places that didn’t want to tolerate their beliefs in the Bible as the word of God. Missunderstand not, America was founded a Christian Nation. If you would like to know the truth instead of oppinion do a search on America’s Godly Heritage I believe you will find mountains of info to disprove your idiology.

Answer #3

So you’re saying the fact that my son is not allowed to pray over his lunch at school is okay? He is a christian, and even if his classmates aren’t he should not be censured for praising God quietly in his head at mealtimes, school or no.

As for being a Christian nation. This country was born upon the basis of religious freedom. I would have no problem with an athiest president myself, as long as he shared the same basic sense of right and wrong that I believe every person is born with, and instead of ignoring it, acted upon it. I want someone in office who will fight for OUR freedom. Not someone who sticks his fingers into the political cookie jar so that people will say he is powerful.

As a matter of fact, most of the so-called christian presidents we’ve had recently haved seriously messed up.

I didn’t mean to offend with my earlier remarks. Hope this clears it up.

Answer #4

jimahl, not to start a huge debate or anything, but if this country is making a move in regards to Christianity, it is definitely further away. No more prayer in schools, no more prosletizing anywhere… even the government has begun to change in a direction away from Christianity. They are talking about taking “In God we trust” of our bills. They no longer have you swear on the bible in courts except on T.V. So, while this country was formed by Christians, and most of the early Americans were Christian, it is no longer a Christian Country.

Answer #5

In America, a quiet, non-disruptive student prayer is not only legal - it’s a citizen’s right. It’s the government that has to stay neutral and keep quiet on the subject. I urge you to educate your school system about religious freedom laws.

Answer #6

Thanks for that info. That is in fact what they told him, because he was whispering his prayer and another child complained. He was told he could not say prayers in front of others at his school. That’s when I taught him to pray silently.

I will be further researching this.

Answer #7

“So you’re saying the fact that my son is not allowed to pray over his lunch at school is okay? He is a christian, and even if his classmates aren’t he should not be censured for praising God quietly in his head at mealtimes, school or no”

I don’t know what school your son goes to, but the Supreme Court has NEVER made a decision forbidding prayer in public schools in the manner you’re describing (silent prayer over a meal). That is absolutely ridiculous, and if you’re school has that law, which I doubt, then it is unconstitutional. What the S.C. has ruled in Engel v. Vitale, the first such case, was that it is unconstitutional for a school district to compose a prayer to be read aloud in a public school. In Abington School District v. Schempp, the S.C. said that it is unconstitutional for a child to be forced to participate in Bible reading and prayer in a public school, and that reading a prayer OVER AN INTERCOM in a public school is unconstitutional. In Wallace v. Jaffree, which is one that often gets misinterpreted by people, the S.C. said that setting aside a minute of silence for prayer is unconstitutional when the law setting up that minute specifically said it should be for prayer. Finally, in Lee v. Weisman, the S.C. said the school district cannot hire clergy to perform prayer at an elementary public school graduation.

I urge you to review these S.C. decisions carefully, and read the opinions of the justices. Not a single one of them have ever found silent prayer by students in a public school of their own free will to be unconstitutional. National Prayer Day and praying around the flagpole is a practice observed by students at thousands of public schools across this country. So if you’re school told your son he can’t bow his head and pray over lunch, then that is flagrantly unconstitutional.

Answer #8

According to George Washington, in the Treaty of Tripoli, “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion…”

Clear enough?

Answer #9

America is not a Christian nation in the legal sense and toadaly has given us a brilliant example in the Treaty of Tripoli. Notice that the Constitution doesn’t mention God or Jesus at all and certainly not in the way that Islamic nations dedicate their Constitutions to Allah. Our nation is a nation of secular laws that guarantees religious freedom. The only way citizens can have religious freedom is for the government to keep quiet on the subject and that’s what the First Amendment establishes.

Now that being said, America is a Christian nation in terms of the majority faith but, even then, there are so many brands of Christianity that I think you have to use the term very loosely now.

Answer #10

Torikene, Yes, we do not have prayer in schools anymore, but we never should have had them to begin with. But there is still plenty of people who think we still should. The same people also think it is OK to have the 10 commandments displayed in public buildings and that we should be basing our laws on the them. That is what mike huckabee wanted to do. The bigger point I was making was that our constitution says there should be no religious test for public office. How far in todays world do you think an admitted aethiest could go in a presidential bid? Not very.

Answer #11

Justsearching, you need to keep searching. See my post, I believe it debunks most of what you just wrote. Most of those who left europe for religious freedom did little to practice that same freedom here. The puritans were some of the most intolerant people that ever existed in this country. It took men like Jefferson to make sure that religion was not part of our government. Ever hear of separation of church and state?

Answer #12

Wow. This is perhaps the over-education of children about their rights! (Not your son, torikeene, but the kid who complained.) Here in France the expression of faith in schools is illegal in theory, but in practice people either willingly overlook any personal Christian things my sons do, or perhaps don’t even recognise them for what they are. I fear, however, that the same grace may not be applied to the Muslim population.

Answer #13

No, america is not a christian nation becuase even though the majority of us may be christian, there are many many people who aren’t christians… It is really as simple as that.

Answer #14

I work with a youth group and I am going to ask about the silent prayer issues at tonight’s meeting. I have never heard about schools that do not allow silent prayer just group meetings or the constructed prayers mentioned earlier.

Answer #15

Some people just can’t accept that the religious makeup of this country is very different now than it was during the colonial era. Most Americans are still Protestant Christians, but there is much more religious diversity here than there was even 100 years ago. That means that our culture, government, and institutions have become somewhat more secular to accomodate this diversity. Religion is still very important to the American way of life, but we’re definately not the Christian society that existed a few hundred years ago.

Answer #16

Torikeene, no offense taken. Semi1900 response was perfect regarding the school prayer issue. No reason to elaborate more.

I applaud your willingness to not let religious belief be part of you qualifications for public office. Unfortunately, I think you are a minority. And most aethiests that I know are exremely upstanding moral people. They are usually well educated, thoughtful people who see life as much more than what is taught in the bible. And you are right, that most of the so-called “christian “ politicians are nothing more than self-serving panderers, who care nothing for the true ideals of christianinty, peace, fellowship, and tolerance. But religion throughout history has been used and twisted by zealots in order to control the people, and make them do things they would not otherwise do. This is true for all religions.

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