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Is America a Christian Nation?

Is America a Christian nation?


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Zyphlin

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Okay this is driving me insane in the other thread so I'm going for a slightly different direction and hopefully not asking three seperate questions as if they'll all the same.

Is America a Christian Nation.



NATION as a political term, not nation in regards to the common vernacular of most Americans where its a synonym for both "state" and "country".
 
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Tucker Case

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Okay this is driving me insane in the other thread so I'm going for a slightly different direction and hopefully not asking three seperate questions as if they'll all the same.

Is America a Christian Nation.
I said "no". I think we are a nation that as a ****load of Christians, though.
 

Josie

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Yes and no.

The majority religion is Christian. However, we aren't a theocracy.
 

digsbe

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I voted yes and no as well. We have Christian influence, but we aren't a Christian theocracy or a nation for Christians. We are also a nation with a majority Christian population.
 

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Our system of government is secular, our population is largely Christian. So, yes and no.
 

Zyphlin

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Yes and no.

There's two types of Nations technically speaking, the cultural and the political.

Without a doubt America was a Christian Nation at the founding and continues to be one to this day. At the time of the founding the vast majority of the population shared a common cultural bond, that being the religion they shared which was at its based Christianity. This particular cultural lynchpin is second only to language, as the most constitant common bond amongst the majority of individuals within our generalized borders. From the earliest days till now there have been a large variety of ethnic backgrounds. While sharing a common history, the immigrant nature of our country makes this a slightly less concrete connection as well.

Its reasonable to assume that likely close to 95%+ considered themselves some form of Christian at the time of the countries founding, with it still being more than 3/4ths of the country today considering itself as part of that faith. The overwhelming majority that represents Christians in this country makes it unmistakable to me that as a cultural nation the U.S. is without question a Christian Nation.

I answered Yes and No however, because as a political nation we are joined not by the notion of Christianity but by the notion of governance by the people, for the people, with an understanding of an inherent right to freedom for individuals. The Delcaration of Independence was written on the notion that a political nation can establish its own right to rule. In some ways one could potentially argue its due to this reason that the U.S. is a Nation-State, though I don't quite know if the term would be appropriate for it. This is not to say that in this case it is a "secular" nation, as while freedom of religion in general was a portion of the initial make up of the country that notion did come after the true founding of the American NATION, coming into being truly during the time of the Constitution. Additionally, while not directly relating to a specific religion, the notion of divinity or of some sort of higher power is present throughout the founding documents and the arguments for independence and the formation of said political nation, so arguing that it is a secular nation even on the grounds of a political nation to me would be wrong. It would be however an argument that America is a nation of freedom.

So to me, its two fold in how one could describe the U.S. as a nation.

In regards to culture the United States is a Christian Nation, while with regards to politics the United States is a Nation of Freedom.

Your thoughts?
 

Zyphlin

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Yes and no.

The majority religion is Christian. However, we aren't a theocracy.
I voted yes and no as well. We have Christian influence, but we aren't a Christian theocracy or a nation for Christians. We are also a nation with a majority Christian population.

Theocracy speaks of a form of established government over a defined territory, IE a state, not a nation.
 

Zyphlin

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Oh, editing my first post as I should've known I needed to be more clear -.-
 

Tucker Case

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Yes and no.

There's two types of Nations technically speaking, the cultural and the political.

Without a doubt America was a Christian Nation at the founding and continues to be one to this day. At the time of the founding the vast majority of the population shared a common cultural bond, that being the religion they shared which was at its based Christianity. This particular cultural lynchpin is second only to language, as the most constitant common bond amongst the majority of individuals within our generalized borders. From the earliest days till now there have been a large variety of ethnic backgrounds. While sharing a common history, the immigrant nature of our country makes this a slightly less concrete connection as well.

Its reasonable to assume that likely close to 95%+ considered themselves some form of Christian at the time of the countries founding, with it still being more than 3/4ths of the country today considering itself as part of that faith. The overwhelming majority that represents Christians in this country makes it unmistakable to me that as a cultural nation the U.S. is without question a Christian Nation.

I answered Yes and No however, because as a political nation we are joined not by the notion of Christianity but by the notion of governance by the people, for the people, with an understanding of an inherent right to freedom for individuals. The Delcaration of Independence was written on the notion that a political nation can establish its own right to rule. In some ways one could potentially argue its due to this reason that the U.S. is a Nation-State, though I don't quite know if the term would be appropriate for it. This is not to say that in this case it is a "secular" nation, as while freedom of religion in general was a portion of the initial make up of the country that notion did come after the true founding of the American NATION, coming into being truly during the time of the Constitution. Additionally, while not directly relating to a specific religion, the notion of divinity or of some sort of higher power is present throughout the founding documents and the arguments for independence and the formation of said political nation, so arguing that it is a secular nation even on the grounds of a political nation to me would be wrong. It would be however an argument that America is a nation of freedom.

So to me, its two fold in how one could describe the U.S. as a nation.

In regards to culture the United States is a Christian Nation, while with regards to politics the United States is a Nation of Freedom.

Your thoughts?
I don't think the US has any sort of uniform culture becuse it's too big and too diverse to have one.

So I disagree with the idea that we have, as a whole, a Christian culture. I'm not even sure there is such a thing as a "Christian" cutlture because Chrsitianity is too big and too diverse to have a uniform culture.

I would say that there are pockets of "Christianity-based" culture in the US, but that there are also pockets of "Seculalrity-based" culture.

Just being primarily composed of Christians doesn't automatically lead to a Chrsitianity-based culture.
 

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Theocracy speaks of a form of established government over a defined territory, IE a state, not a nation.
So your basically arguing semantics. The majority of the pop. is Christian, but the state is secular. You could say it is a Christian nation, but too many people would confuse that with a theocracy.
 

jking948

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I mean, I disagree with it, but the vast majority of Americans are Christian(78%). Both links I give though show data showing that America is very heavily Christian. If we are more than 3/4 Christian it is hard not to say we are a Christian nation. Do I believe it should affect our decisions? No. Do I believe it does affect our decisions? Absolutely

Statistics on Religion in America Report -- Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
and
Statistics on Religion in America Report -- Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
 

Zyphlin

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So your basically arguing semantics. The majority of the pop. is Christian, but the state is secular. You could say it is a Christian nation, but too many people would confuse that with a theocracy.
Perhaps. I'm being annoyed with another thread where people are arguing a technical term by making an argument using common vernacular, and attempting in some cases to tell people using the word in its more technically correct manner that they're wrong.

Its kind of like me arguing that a new laptop is not hot but rather runs extremely cool to the touch thanks to a new liquid cooling technology and having someone go "Nah man, that laptop is HOT! Its got all the best features and is absolutely amazing. Its hot as hell man!"

Essentially, countering a more correct use of the word in an argument by arguing against the slang use of it.

A nation is not a government per se, its a grouping of individuals sharing some sort of common bond...in regards to America my argument is the common bond is its generalized territory and religion. A state is a body of government with authority to rule. The one tricky in between would be a political nation, and even then its not the government itself but the grouping of people declaring their ability to govern themselves due to a common bond.
 

Tucker Case

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A nation is not a government per se, its a grouping of individuals sharing some sort of common bond...in regards to America my argument is the common bond is its generalized territory and religion.
If "Christianity" were a single religion, then that could be the case, but Christianity is actually a whole bunch of religions, each with a different culture of it's own. For example, Catholics (the largest specific religious affiliation in the country) have a different culture from Southern Baptist culture or Mormon culture, but all three are considered "Christian cultures".
 

Zyphlin

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All of which share a common base and are close enough in their general belief sturcture to be classified by the vast majority of people as a singular religion with different sects rather than each sect being a different religion.

Catholics and Baptists are two sects or denominations of the same religion, not two seperate and individual religions.

The one argument I would possibly relent on would be in regards to Mormons, as they've diverged to a point where it could be argued that a majority of Christians believe them to be an entirely seperate religion. Something I do not think you could say of Baptists views of Catholics or Catholics views of Protestants.
 
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We are a nation of Christians whose personal religious beliefs influence our political decisions but we aren't a nation based on Christian law.
 

Tucker Case

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All of which share a common base and are close enough in their general belief sturcture to be classified by the vast majority of people as a singular religion with different sects rather than each sect being a different religion.

Catholics and Baptists are two sects or denominations of the same religion, not two seperate and individual religions.

The one argument I would possibly relent on would be in regards to Mormons, as they've diverged to a point where it could be argued that a majority of Christians believe them to be an entirely seperate religion. Something I do not think you could say of Baptists views of Catholics or Catholics views of Protestants.
I absolutely disagree. Just ask some people here who are Baptists/evangelical sorts if they think Catholicism is Christianity.

I've heard many of them say that it isn't.
 
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Gabriel

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Well it has a christian heritage but it's clearly a multicultural society with a predominant christian majority on the religious front.
 

roguenuke

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I said yes and no. Since we are a representative republic, our representatives vote based more their on belief system or that of their supporters, rather than what should and shouldn't be in the government's interests. Since about 3/4 of the population are Christians, then that will influence, to a point, their beliefs on what is right and wrong, and how far the government should go to regulate that. It is more seen in state laws than federal. The good thing is we have the Constitution and BoR to limit how much those beliefs can influence laws federally, and somewhat on the state level. Which I think is what sets us apart from theocracies, whereas in a theocracy, the views of the majority of the people would have to change, here, we just have to show how the laws are unconstitutional, although this can be harder than it sounds.
 

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I absolutely disagree. Just ask some people here who are Baptists/evangelical sorts if they think Catholicism is Christianity.

I've heard many of them say that it isn't.
Catholicism is paganism lite, and mormonism is a deluded cult. Don't even get me started on the Jehovah's Witlesses.
 

Zyphlin

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I absolutely disagree. Just ask some people here who are Baptists/evangelical sorts if they think Catholicism is Christianity.

I've heard many of them say that it isn't.
I grew up for the first 12 years of my life as a Catholic with an extremely devout grandfather and spent the following 4 years going regularly to a southern baptist with my best friend and his extremely devout grandfather...and I never heard either grandparent, nor anyone at either of the churches, make a claim that the other denomination was anything other than Christian.

Indeed, I've only heard that from an EXTREMELY minority of christians I've ever known, having heard it far, far, far more from people who consider themselves agnostic, athiest, or your Christian version of the "Self-hating jews" that likes to condemn most Christians while generally considering themself one.
 
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A nation is not a government per se, its a grouping of individuals sharing some sort of common bond...in regards to America my argument is the common bond is its generalized territory and religion. A state is a body of government with authority to rule.
While this is true, that a nation, and a state are two different things, the layman shouting "This is a Christian Nation" isn't thinking about a group of people, that are Christians in America, but they are thinking that this country should incorporate Christian beliefs into law. With that type of wording I don't think there is enough distinction, that the government is secular, no matter what the common religion is. Though the fact that most people don't understand the difference between the term "nation", and "state" is probably a failure with the education system.

Also this may be a little off-topic, but I don't think enough people realize that with time, and a change in ideology, that the people wanting religion to be incorporated into the government could very well be persecuted by that same precedent. All it takes is for the majority to change.
 

Josie

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I absolutely disagree. Just ask some people here who are Baptists/evangelical sorts if they think Catholicism is Christianity.

I've heard many of them say that it isn't.
I have heard many Protestants say that Catholics aren't Christians and many Catholics would think they are the only true Christians. I do wonder what the majority of each group thinks. I tend to think most think "their way" is THE way and everyone else is wrong.
 

Tucker Case

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I grew up for the first 12 years of my life as a Catholic with an extremely devout grandfather and spent the following 4 years going regularly to a southern baptist with my best friend and his extremely devout grandfather...and I never heard either grandparent, nor anyone at either of the churches, make a claim that the other denomination was anything other than Christian.

Indeed, I've only heard that from an EXTREMELY minority of christians I've ever known, having heard it far, far, far more from people who consider themselves agnostic, athiest, or your Christian version of the "Self-hating jews" that likes to condemn most Christians while generally considering themself one.
I've heard it more from extremist non-Catholic Christians than anyone else. For example, that Alfons guy is always saying that kind of stuff and I remember multiple people saying it at various points in the Religion forum.

But my point is that similar religious beliefs aren't the same as a shared culture.

Fro example: Black Baptists and Southern Baptists have an almost identical religious ideology, but they've got pretty widely varied cultures.
 

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I've heard it more from extremist non-Catholic Christians than anyone else. For example, that Alfons guy is always saying that kind of stuff and I remember multiple people saying it at various points in the Religion forum.

But my point is that similar religious beliefs aren't the same as a shared culture.

Fro example: Black Baptists and Southern Baptists have an almost identical religious ideology, but they've got pretty widely varied cultures.
However the cultural bond of being "Christian", in believing in Jesus Christ is the son of god and their savior, is a coming binding linkage between the two regardless of the rest of the culture surrounding them.

"Cultural" is the genre of nation, with "religion" being the common cultural theme...that religion being the christian baseline. That is not to say all the variations of their culture is the same. Its not, its saying that the base foundation is the same between the two.
 
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