Tuesday, April 28, 2009

America is Not a Christian Nation


The article America is Not a Christian Nation featured on Salon.com is an extremely thought provoking and creates the potential controversial debate and discussion surrounding the role of Christianity in American politics. Although written with a clear liberal bias, the article argues that the United States is not and never has been a nation founded on Christian principles, as many religious citizens and conservatives claim. On a trip to Turkey, President Obama said that the United States is not a Christian nation, thoroughly inflaming religious conservatives. In support of Obama's statement, the author, Michael Lind, cites the writings and speeches of George Washington, the Treaty of Tripoli, John Tyler, and others in making his case that America is not truly a Christian nation. The part of the argument I found most insightful was his analysis of the influence of John Locke on American political tradition and origins of natural rights theory and social contracts. Lind argues that although US politics was very much influenced by Lockean theory, he claims that Locke generated his ideas from non Christian Greek thinkers predating Plato and Aristotle.

I think that this article is extremely important considering the increasing plurality of American society. Labeling the United States as a Christian nation divides the population and makes legitimate citizens who may not practice Christianity feel like outsiders in their homeland. Although the article is obviously biased, it provides accurate information about some aspects of the relationship between Christianity and American politics. It will be interesting to see if there is any further discussion about Obama's comment or the perceived decrease in Christian influences.

1 comment:

Zawir Al-Hamidi said...

I think that we have to realized that the America is an immigrant country, as well as a multi nations country. There should be no group of people claim that they are the majority, or deserves the political rule.