Miller: Christian Nation or Not?
Christian Nation…yes or no? The question is a hotly debated issue in political and religious arenas today. Are we a Christian Nation? Were we ever a Christian Nation? I fear that there is a lot of heat generated by the debate, but not much light.
The phrase “Christian Nation” has, unfortunately, many connotations which translate into hot-button political rhetoric in a heartbeat. Please allow me to stake out our position right here. Is the United States a Christian nation? Yes!....and No!
If by “Christian Nation” you mean do we have and support a State Church, such as the Anglican Church in England, the answer is NO. History has taught again and again that when the State and the Church are one and the same; when the Monarch heads the State Church, the people suffer.
It was for that very reason the Puritans left Europe and came to America. They wanted to be able to worship in the style and enjoy the freedom to create their own doctrine disallowed under a State Church. The Puritans came to these shores to create what they considered a Christian nation.
However, what they ultimately created was not much different in structure than what they had rebelled against. Ask the Quakers, the Baptists, and any other Christian dissenters who did not share the Puritan Congregationalist doctrine about how Christian their treatment was under the Puritans. You will find a story not much different from Europe. Unfortunately, those who are trying to purge any vestige of Christianity from our culture, use the Puritan example as their mace to bludgeon those who hold that we are indeed a Christian Nation.
Separation of Church and State
“Separation of Church and State” has never had anything to do with the United States being a secular state and destroying the Christian faith and practice. Separation simply meant that no one denomination, style, sect, or version of faith was to become “THE” state religion; that our government was not to be involved in running faith-based organizations.
What has happened, over time, is that government has exalted itself to become “the” church and wields its legislative authority to usurp the responsibilities of faith-based organizations to society. In so doing, the “Church” is hoped to be seen as irrelevant and archaic by those who hold a governmental supremacy position, and government is, in fact, worshipped. Check the People’s Republic of North Korea, the old Soviet Union…monuments to the success of state-bred atheism…right? Those two nations, among others, would never be considered as “Christian nations,” but they are the epitome of where the current administration would take us.
The USA is a Christian Nation
What the majority of us who believe that the United States is a Christian nation believe is that the founders of this nation were men and women of faith. The Christian faith is woven into the basic fabric of our culture and should be recognized, not battered.
While I may be a Baptist, I certainly do not want the Baptist Church to become the official “State” church. I, also, will fight to my dying breath to be certain that Baptists and all other Christian sects are not stricken from the American political and cultural stage.
The United States of America has a Christian heritage and the re-writing of history by those who consider the Bible and faith anathema is where we “conservatives” ignite. Organizations like Americans United, the ACLU, and the Interfaith Alliance disdain Christianity at its core, yet they are seen as “enlightened” and “tolerant” and enjoy their viewpoint being disseminated widely by the current press.
The Proud Americans want every person, whatever his faith, to be able to practice his faith on these shores without governmental interference. It is the Christian respect for human dignity that requires that liberty. But, we do not want the Federal Government, through the Department of Health and Human Services to force Christians to violate their faith by providing contraception. It is respect for our heritage as a Christian nation that is being challenged, and we object.
America IS a Christian nation at its core and in its cultural heritage. Biblical principles are fundamental to our legal system and our society. We were never intended to be a secular state where Christianity is ridiculed and marginalized. The government was never envisioned by any founder as “God.” As Christians, we do not wish to exclude any other faith from worship; we just don’t want to be branded “terrorists” by those who do not share our faith.
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