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What is the necessary criteria for the US to be a Christian Nation?

Criteria

  • The country is special as ordained by God

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The majority of government officials are of a particular religion

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    24

tacomancer

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Looking through this thread(http://www.debatepolitics.com/polls/76013-america-christian-nation.html), I notice people using different criteria, so I wanted to ask this question.

Options (and explanation):
# Majority of population professes a particular religion (self explanatory)
# Founding Father's religious beliefs (such as the FFs for the US or abraham for Israel)
# The country is special as ordained by God (Israel is an example)
# The government backs a particular religion (but no church backed government)
# A government established religion or denomination (anglican church)
# All laws are primarily derived from a religious tradition (middle eastern countries who derive laws from sharia)
# The government is a theocracy (iran, tibet of olden days)
# The majority of government officials are of a particular religion (self explanatory)
# Members of a particular religion enjoy a special status (in certain muslim countries, you are treated like crap if you aren't muslim)
# Other (something I didn't think of)
 
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The Mark

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Looking through this thread(http://www.debatepolitics.com/polls/76013-america-christian-nation.html), I notice people using different criteria, so I wanted to ask this question.
Options (and explanation):
I voted:
# Majority of population professes a particular religion (self explanatory)
No - Because this does not make the country a particular religion, it simply means that the majority of the population professes a particular religion.
# Founding Father's religious beliefs (such as the FFs for the US or Abraham for Israel)
No – Because although our founders may have been majority Christian, judging from a few things in the constitution, they didn’t want Christianity controlling the country.
# The country is special as ordained by God (Israel is an example)
No – Because that is so only if you believe in the religion that claims such.
# The government backs a particular religion (but no church backed government)
No – Because without the religion backing the gov in turn, I would just consider it an attempt at controlling the population/pandering to voters.
Then again, perhaps I was wrong, and this could be one way the US became a “Christian nation”.
# A government established religion or denomination (Anglican church)
Yes – Because (in combination with my other “yes” votes), I figured that would be 99% equal to a Theocracy.
# All laws are primarily derived from a religious tradition (middle eastern countries who derive laws from sharia)
Yes – In combination with my other yes votes.
# The government is a theocracy (Iran, Tibet of olden days)
Obviously, yes. Depending on your definition of “Christian”, in this case, but…
# The majority of government officials are of a particular religion (self explanatory)
No – That would only create a situation where the possibility existed that a large portion of laws and regulations would be based on values and tenets from the religion in question.
# Members of a particular religion enjoy a special status (in certain Muslim countries, you are treated like crap if you aren't Muslim)
Yes – In combination with my other “yes” votes.
# Other (something I didn't think of)
No - Because I didn't think of another possiblity either.
 
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Korimyr the Rat

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I would not consider a nation to belong to a specific religion unless it had an official State religion and that State religion were actively involved in governing the citizens.
 

Ikari

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I went with

1) The government backs a particular religion (but no church backed government)

2) A government established religion or denomination

3) All laws are primarily derived from a religious tradition

4) The government is a theocracy

5) Members of a particular religion enjoy a special status

Though I did take 1 to be functionally equivalent to 5
 

digsbe

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How do you define "Christian nation"?
 

winston53660

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Under the law religions being treated unequally other than Christianity would define a Christian nation to me.
 

The Mark

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How do you define "Christian nation"?
The answers I chose, and the comments I made about them, should give you an idea.

IMO, quite a few changes would be necessary for the US to become a "Christian nation", in one sense.

In another sense (that of majority population being Christian), we are already.

--------------

Personally, I only define a nation as “Christian” (or any other religion) if it is a Theocracy. As in, the religion’s teachings and rules trump all others, and the religious leaders are the political leaders as well. Among other things…

Now, I consider the USA to be strongly influenced by Christian (and to a lesser extent, other religions) values and teachings. It could hardly be otherwise, what with the majority of the population, and thus the majority of the voters, being Christian (or other religions).

The smaller portion who are non-religious, agnostic (don’t know or don’t care), or anti-religious, also have influence. Equally obvious is that this influence is less than that of religious influence.

Some would argue that this makes us nearly equal to a theocracy. I personally think that’s BS.

A theocracy would have banned or restricted other religions (or non-religion, etc.) long since.

Further, the constitution of our nation explicitly prevents such laws, and that in my mind completely prevents us from becoming a theocracy – at least without violating the constitution.
 

MyOwnDrum

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I believe our legal tradition descends from our Judeo-Christian tradition. It's allowed our nation to evolve into a more compassionate one, self-examinatory one. I'm thankful to not live in a theocracy.
 

peepnklown

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If you want a Christian nation then you need a theocracy.
 

tacomancer

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How do you define "Christian nation"?
I planned to leave that up to the voters as it has a lot to do with their votes
 

Zyphlin

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Majority of population professes a particular religion:

Yes for me, though I believe this requires a significant majority. In my mind it would need to make up more than 3/4ths of the population for it to apply. This would mean that America was definitely a Christian Nation early on, but is currently close to no longer being able to be claimed as such.

Founding Father's religious beliefs:

No, this is not relevant. A nation is more than the founders.

The country is special as ordained by God:

A country is land, not a nation which is people, therefore irrelevant.

The government backs a particular religion (but no church backed government):

“Government” relates to a State, not a Nation. So again, no.

A government established religion or denomination:

As above. Government = State, People = Nation. This could create a religious nation by defacto rule however.

All laws are primarily derived from a religious tradition:

One could say the STATE was then founded on [religion] principles, but that has nothing to do with a Nation.

The government is a theocracy:

As above, State not Nation.

The majority of government officials are of a particular religion

Government officials are just individuals within a greater population, they’re religion matters not for a Nation any more than anyone elses.

Members of a particular religion enjoy a special status

This would have no baring.

Country = Specific geographical section of land
Nation = Population within particular portion of land
State = Government controlling said land and ruling over said Nation

My own views of the Nation of America has changed a bit, in large part thanks to tucker for being the only person I’ve ever met to actually give a legitimate argument against the notion of a Christian Nation. In my mind the Nation that is America is multi-faceted and to claim it as any specific nation singularly would be erroneous. What I would say however is that there is one particular umbrella Nation that one could state, that all other possible ones would fall under. This I believe is that we simply are a “Nation of Americans”. By that I mean we are a population who, from its inception to today and throughout the life of America as we know it, all adhere and share to a point the common bond of the principles and histories that created the political will for this state to be formed, which in turn formed a nation. This is our shared history, that every citizen of the country has by default through their citizenship, our shared method of government by the people, and shared ideology of freedom and liberty that is the foundations from which this State and Nation was willed into being.

However, there are portions of the Nation that can be pointed out and I believe are still correct in their designation that co-exist within the above umbrella nation. We are an English Speaking Nation, as a significant portion of our population has that as their primary language, even though English is not our National Language. We are an Individualist Nation, as from the very onset of the Declaration of Independence we have cultivated and created a culture of individual freedom and liberty that is held in high regards by a significant majority of Americans. We are a Christian Nation, as a significant majority of this nation adhere’s to that particular religion and over the years has shaped the culture of the Nation. I would even dare say as well that you could state we are a “Nation of Excess” or a “Nation of Wealth” depending how you want to look at it, as I would claim in relation to the world our population significantly consumes and enjoys a more comfortable level of living as more than 75% of our households enjoy $20,000 more a year and more than 90% enjoying an income greater than the world average of $7,000 a year.

So essentially we are a Nation of Americans, which one could argue has sub designations that would be correct as well if applied as a generality but not implied as a definitive singularity.

So in essence I’d say this, and some are honestly my own opinion…

We are a fragmented country, due to the various internal territories within the overarching country.

We are a Nation of Americans of which contains various applicable subnations one could categorize it as.

We are as a State a secular representative republic based on the notion of individual liberty and equality.
 
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tacomancer

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Interesting twist Zyphlin, making a distinction between nation and state. I tend to blend them together in my own mind as a unified legal entity. I will have to think on that.
 

Zyphlin

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Interesting twist Zyphlin, making a distinction between nation and state. I tend to blend them together in my own mind as a unified legal entity. I will have to think on that.
Its actually the political science twist. I blame college and specifically a individual professor. He made it a point in that class to highlight the three different designations, and then throughout the rest of the semester got on us if we ever used them in the obviously wrong manner including marking off on papers.

Granted its been a number of years now so I've slipped into using the wrong terms in common conversations as well, and am a bit fuzzy remembering some of the specifics concerning them all, but the generalities remain. So when these kind of discussions start up it always frustrates a little part of me that harkens back to that class when this was one of the things that would kind of get referenced.
 
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jujuman13

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Why would those who populate the USA, want the USA, to be or considered to be a Christian nation?
 

Korimyr the Rat

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Why would those who populate the USA, want the USA, to be or considered to be a Christian nation?
Because they believe religious morality is necessary to the function of a prosperous nation, and because they are themselves Christian. They believe that the only healthy and proper way for the American nation to advance is through the adoption of a Christian State.
 
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