Is America a “Christian Nation”?


Awhile back, the President made headlines—and made a lot of people irate, it would seem—when he said words to the effect that America is not a “Christian nation”.  This really cheesed a lot of people, not all of whom are evenly particularly devout.

I ask, “what’s all the fuss about?”


  • Can anyone even define what it means for a nation to be a “Christian nation”?
  • What practical difference does it make whether or not we consider ourselves such?
  • Are people more likely to become committed followers of Jesus if we can somehow prove this to be true, that we are, in fact, a “Christian nation”?
  • Will we somehow be more moral, or what-have-you, if we can prove this?
  • If not, what other tangible benefits would derive from such a designation?
  • If we can demonstrate none, why should we care what some politician thinks?

Talk amongst yourselves…


  1. jen on August 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    I’m far more concerned about becoming a “Muslim nation”. Shariah law is no walk in the park.

  2. Laurie on August 2, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Well, I have to admit it kind of bugged me for him to say that. First of all, Christianity has been the dominant religion since this country started; there are more Christian churches across the nation than synagogues, kingdom halls, mosques, Buddhist/Hindu temples, etc.; our forefathers (the religious ones) were primarily Christian or at least believed in the God of the Bible – in some cases it was required that one who held a governnment position be a Christian. There are scriptures all over some of our government buildings – from the Bible, not the Koran, or any other religious holy books.

    So why does Obama find it necessary to make a statement like that? I don’t remember any other President making such a remark; of course, Obama is not a church-going Christian anymore – if he still considers himself one at all – maybe that’s why he sees nothing offensive in such a comment, or perhaps he’s playing to the liberals, who would like to see Christianity swallowed up in the melting pot of religion.

    True, proving America should be considered a Christian nation won’t make us more moral, or cause anyone to follow Jesus, etc.

    I still don’t like what he said.

  3. Jack Brooks on August 4, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Tghere’s a big difference between being a constitutionally Christian nation (which we’re not), vs. being a culturally Christian nation (which we were, shot through with depravity and Manifest Destiny racist imperialism, until we started entering the 1960s, though deterioration had already been happening for 40 years before that on the theological level). Obama is so conceited, and such an uneducated fanatic on most things, that i can’t stand most of anything he says anyway.

  4. Laurie on August 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I wonder how the Chinese, or any of the Asian countries where Buddhism is the main religion would feel if their leader said they’re not a Buddhist nation, or the Middle-Easterners if they were told they’re not Muslim nations?

    I don’t think people would be offended because they believe they are/should be ruled by a religious party, but because it’s a denial of the obvious fact that one religion in particular is the one primarily being practiced; and it’s been a tradition of that country.

    I’ve heard people many times, in conversations about world religions, refer to countries as a “muslim, Christian, Buddhist, atheist, etc.” nation; meaning, typically, that it is the dominant belief system.

    We all know America isn’t run by a church, so why the need to make a statement declaring it so? Is he kissing up to liberals or other world religions? Is he seriously unaware, or just uncaring, that a comment like that might offend some Christians?

    • Byron on August 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm

      Yeah, you’re right about a lot of what you’re saying, but it doesn’t offend me when he says that. It seems that there are people who just get all in a dither over this, when it seems to me that it’s much ado about nothing.

  5. Graham on August 4, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    There is a huge difference between being constitutionally a Christian nation, and being a theocracy.

    For example, the Church of England and Church of Scotland being Established churches (but slightly different forms of establishment) and hand-in-hand with that 26 of the Church of England bishops sit in the House of Lords.

    But it doesn’t mean that the bishops have any control over the House of Lords- they have the same right to sit, vote, speak and propose laws as any other member. No more and no less.

    One interesting consequence is that those who want to introduce “liberal” laws on sexuality and moral issues see the bishops as a block on the path to “progress”. It is amazing how often secularists talk about how there was a vote in the House of Lords where most members favoured legalising euthanasia, but the bishops vetoed it. However, they can never say exactly when this vote happened, and the idea that the bishops can veto something that an overwhelming majority of Lords voted for is just ridiculous.

    So, what are they there for if they cannot veto secularism, but can only vote and debate? Well, I feel it sends out this message of what our basic values are. It is interesting that when Labour was in power (and how long ago that feels like- even though they were kicked out only 3 months ago), Government ministers would say “this is a secular country”. No, it isn’t! But it seems that saying “secular country” is the first step to introducing secular humanist values.

    On the other hand, there is a difference between a constitutionally Christian country deciding to remain so, and a constitutionally secular nation deciding to become a constitutionally Christian one.

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