I saw something interesting on social media. American Atheists is in the middle of their annual conference and there was a tweet that mentioned a chant by attendees claiming that “America is NOT a Christian Nation!”. Is that true? I think it’s easy to pretend we’re not, and maybe people attending that conference think that the rise of the religiously unaffiliated indicate that America isn’t a Christian nation. that poll however, has less to do with belief in general than it does as to the state of the Christian religion in America.
It may be that people no longer wish to identify specifically as Catholic or Baptist, or any other denomination, but it actually doesn’t further the idea that this is not a Christian nation. When most people, whether they still go to the church they were raised in or not still generally identify as Christian, then yes, we can all pretend it isn’t true, but the fact remains that we are indelibly attached to that singular belief.
We elect politicians at all levels that proclaim their belief. How many atheists serve in Congress, or in state legislatures, or even city councils? Well, there may in fact be many, but they’d never admit to being atheist because they’d never be reelected if they did. No matter where anyone lives in this country, there is to some extent, an influence on daily lives predicated on Christianity.
Maybe there are some that believe if they keep saying that something is true, that it will somehow, magically, become true. I think that most of us realize that this will never be the case. If we’re ever going to become a predominantly secular (meaning in this instance, “non-Christian”) nation, then we need to begin by voting for those that will not base policy on belief. I don’t perceive that happening anytime soon, but if we don’t start now, we’ll never get to a point where the voices of Christianity become less influential than they are today.
We have an obligation as citizens and especially voters to question the motivation of all of our elected officials. If we don’t, we deserve exactly what we get, and have. All of the unaffiliated people in the country will not change that.