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.
3 thoughts on “Is America a “Christian Nation”?”
It’s true that the majority of Americans are christian. However, I believe our founders purposely designed our government to be secular. I think the cold war prompted things like “in god we trust” and changes to the pledge of allegiance to “unify” our country juxtaposed to the soviet union. This leads the uninformed to think that our government and christianity have always been linked. I’m confident that this will change over time as people become more comfortable with admitting they are not (or no longer) religious. We’re moving in the right direction, but there’s been no real change in our elected officials…yet.
I agree with everything here. Yes, it will take a change as to who people vote for, as I wrote, for any significant change. It really is up to we atheists, and those that claim to be. non-religious, to make that happen.
I am waiting for those who now openly declare themselves to be Socialists and flirt with the idea that they prefer Communism to start declaring themselves to be atheists. How many are among our elected officials now? I have always believed that Barry is an atheist. I am sure there are many more in that Progressive/Socialist/Communist fringe of the Left.