Monday, September 17, 2012

Is The US is a Christian Nation?

Borrowed from WTF is it Now?


  1. "Is the U.S. a Christian nation?"

    I cannot answer the question without a detailed definition of what a "Christian nation" is.

    I believe our nation has a strong history of Judeo-Christian values. To what degree those values have shaped laws and public policy no one knows.

    While some people may not like or disagree with certain Judeo-Christian values, I would hope that they at least appreciate the purpose of Judeo-Christian values -- to preserve family and society.

    As I see it there are two major areas of concern. You can boil them all down to people questioning whether a certain value:
    (a) actually preserves family and society, or
    (b) curtails freedom unnecessarily.

    For example some people disagree with the limits that traditional Judeo-Christian values place on sexual activity ... or want to argue that a limit should go away if a majority of people want it to go away. Well a destructive activity is destructive whether or not a majority of people support the activity. A specific example is a small movement of people who want to legalize adult-child sexual relationships. ("Adult-child" means mature adults in relationships with pre-teen or early teen children -- not 18 year olds seeking relationships with 16 year olds.) I will argue that it will always be bad for families and societies to endorse sexual relationships between mature adults and pre-teens -- regardless of whether a majority of our population likes it. And hopefully such relationships will always be illegal.

    And consider sexually transmitted diseases. Without Judeo-Christian restraints on "free sex", sexually transmitted diseases would have been rampant in our population before the era of antibiotics. And we all know about the the AIDS epidemic for which there is no cure. I seriously hope no one would question the destructive effects on our families and society if sexually transmitted diseases were present in most members of society.

    1. Didn't the values come from John Locke and other philosophers? Where do you get that Judeo-Christian nonsense?

    2. In my opinion Judeo-Christian values are totally consistent with Natural Law, Natural Rights, and the Social Contract as John Locke and similar philosophers defined them. I would describe the Judeo-Christian values as obviously having a religious basis. John Locke and others obviously have a naturalistic basis. Both are converging on the same concept from different "angles" if you will.

      Neither one is mutually exclusive of the other. For example a quote from the Bible that I really like comes from Paul in the book of Romans, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." That statement just about sums up the entire notion of a Liberty based society and should go a long way to reassuring people who are worried about Christian values.

    3. In case anyone is wondering, Christian values predate John Locke by roughly 1700 years.

      You can sum up Christian values -- as they relate to civic matters -- with some key verses from the Bible. Please note that none of these conflict with John Locke's description of Natural Rights, Natural Law, and the Social Contract.

      "... live at peace with everyone as much as it depends on you." (As I stated in earlier.)

      "Love your neighbor as yourself."

      "Speak the truth in love."

      "Do not steal."

      "Do not bear false witness against your neighbor."

      "Do not murder."

      "Do not seek vengeance."

      "Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."

      "look after orphans and widows in their distress"

      "in humility value others [looking] to the interests of ... others."

      And you will like this one MikeB ... it directs Christians that they should not be vigilantes but leave that up to government law enforcement (rulers):
      "For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

      Of course there are morality directives as well. The only major one that I can think of off the top of my head that many people might not like is about keeping sexual relationships between husbands and wives. While many people may not like that moral directive, no one can argue that it disrupts families or society -- quite the opposite. Of course such a directive is a loss of "freedom" to have any type of relationship one wants with anyone at any time. That said, the fruits of such relationships are often jealousy, disease, and unwanted pregnancies ... something that most of us want to avoid. And there is only one way to guarantee those events don't happen.

    4. Yup, that proves it, the US government is not Christian. Dropping atomic bombs on civilian population centers in Japan, bombing, invading, and occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, countries that have done us no harm, drone strikes against people in countries we are not at war with, and a list of atrocities that goes on and on and on and on. Definitely not Christian, more like pure unadulterated evil.
      orlin sellers

    5. Of course, Anonymous, many of the values that you named are not specific to Christianity, but are held by any functioning society.

    6. Absolutely Greg, I agree. And that is why people have nothing to fear about a nation which has Christian values.

    7. So long as the law is secular and the people respect the rights of those who disagree, I have no problem with that.

  2. We're a secular nation by our law, but a Christian nation by population. This curious condition is no accident. Look at Europe--nations that are Christian officially, but are filled with atheists. Look at Iran--a theocracy with limited freedoms. Here in America, we made the decision to accept religious choice, and we have many committed believers and many who are free not to believe.

  3. Are we a Christian nation? To about the same degree that Olive Garden is an actual Italian Restaurant.
    orlin sellers

  4. The main problem with any country are three competing "moral" frameworks:
    (1) Caste systems with elitists and general class/peons where elitists make the rules and the general class/peons have limited rights and/or almost no rights.
    (2) Liberty based systems where all citizens are on equal footing, the individual can do whatever they want so long as they don't harm other citizens or institutions, and institutions (such as government) consist of citizens who serve other citizens.
    (3) Freebies, freedom, and mob rule where people expect free stuff and want to be able to do anything they want ... and mob rule is legitimate.

    Like it or not, traditional Christian values create a framework for Liberty based societies (2) above. Of course lots of people despise Liberty based societies because it is a barrier to their selfish desires. If you're an elitist and want to subjugate the masses in a Liberty based society, life is frustrating. If you're a deadbeat and want a Liberty based society to provide your food and housing, life sucks. If you want to do something that feels good but harms someone else, you hate a liberty based society.

    I have no interest in subjugating anyone or harming any person or institution. And I love the fact that I can do anything I want as long as I don't harm anyone or any institution. Those are traditional Christian values. What's the problem?

    And before anyone jumps in with the whole, "But Christians will try to force us to go to their churches and make us pray to their God!" Those notions are not traditional Christian values. While God tells us in the Bible that he wants meaningful, intimate relationships with everyone, he never forces anyone into such a relationship. The same goes for prayer. And thus a fundamental Christian value is never to "force" someone to pray or attend church.

    As for people who object to "public" prayers, such as at a high school graduation ceremony or presidential inauguration, no one is forcing you to be on board with the prayer. You are welcome to not participate or ignore it. Freedom of speech applies to everyone -- even people of faith.

    Where I will draw the line is when government compels people to attend certain churches or threatens taxes, fines, or imprisonment for failure to support a certain church. That isn't government's role.

    1. Item number two in your list actually comes out of Germanic tribal culture and Athenian democracy.

    2. That's fine ... regardless of who or what group had the idea first, traditional Christian values are consistent with a Liberty based society.

  5. We are a Wal-Mart nation. Even the practiced religions are cheap and on sale..... or manufactured abroad.

  6. I thought the US was a melting pot.

  7. It is! And those that wish to live in freedom, free to believe, free to prosper and escape authoritarian rule "melted" here to embrace the American way. The American way has become the values and traditions of all. They didn't come here to change America but to become a part of it. And being a part of it means they can believe what ever religion they wish. Or be free not to believe in any religion at all.

    A Christian nation can also mean something else. It means to do the right thing, be good to others and themselves. Not to do harm to others. Being charitable and understanding. Not to impose their beliefs on others and live free without the beliefs of others being imposed on them.

    No one, no matter where your from doesn't need a religion or laws to live the right way by knowing right from wrong. Anyone will recognize when they are being suppressed by a government, group or person.

    With a lack of knowing what else to call it, the freedoms of this nation is dubbed a Christian nation. Not called a Christian nation because of any religion. I believe any religion espouses the same action of good from all of its believers. Even an atheist knows right from wrong and practices good living in the same manner.