Rick Perry says that he's not ashamed to admit that he's a Christian. But why would he be? If the nation is 75% or more Christian, why would there be any hesitation in admitting such a thing? Can you imagine a candidate  saying that they are against child rape? Against genital mutilation? Coming out as pro-dog? Of course this isn't even discussion because it's the norm.  But why the need to "admit" that you are a Christian? 

Mr. Perry seems to be holding up his religion like he has the Holy Grail. Michelle Bachman does the same. Yet American society doesn't seem to react. The Republican Party doesn't even react. If the country is presumably 75% Christian and we have one running on that principle, shouldn't we see them leading the polls or at least seeing a bump when they stand on the Bible like a soap box? Instead, what we have is a philanderer with a long history of ethics violations and a Mormon leading the way within a party noted as being "Christian". It's as if there is a rejection of Christianity going on. I would argue that this is exactly the case. 

The people that feel the need to note the US as a Christian nation are often deeply religious. You don't hear people that show up to church occasionally feeling the need to make this claim. They have insulated themselves inside of a sect of people whom speak of religion and Jesus as if he's involved in each and every move. For example, you might hear a new mother say, "I'm so tired but I know that where my strength ends, His begins." Does that means that they are infinitely energized or simply able to push through? If it's just pushing through, I wonder if people of other religions just fall over? Back to the point, most Americans, believers or not, do not relate daily life to a religion. People whom consider themselves "Strong Christians" make up less than 50% of the population. So when a person such as Rick Perry comes out and says that he's a strong Christian, he's only appealing to less than half of the country to start with. So are we a "Christian Nation" if that is true? Does being a "generally Christian" person get you into heaven or make us a Christian Nation?

On top of it, he appeals to the sensibilities of those that don't accept gays in daily life. He says that they shouldn't be in the military, Bachman calls it a disease. Currently only 43% of Americans think that Homosexuality is wrong. Poll Rick Perry specifically spoke out against gays openly serving in the military. Considering that 75% of the population is for gays openly serving, it would seem that we don't find that we agree with strict Christianity here either. 

So how are we a Christian nation? We allow all religions under the First Amendment, yet this opposes the First Commandment. We defend gays publicly as a society which does not sit well with Romans and Leviticus. We accept all races publicly which would not sit well with Jesus as he was happy to call the Canaanite woman a dog. We are cool with getting drunk, sexual relations that harm no one else. The largess of us reject violence whereas Jesus over turned tables in the temple and begged of his people to sell their cloaks for a sword then promised to come back and slay most of the world. So how again is that we are Christian? It would seem that in the public square we are anything but Christian. Maybe those that are deeply religious would serve themselves well to recognize that we are largely a nation of Christians (by default, but that's another blog), but we don't think or act in accordance with a Bible. This is why you cannot get elected while standing on your Bible. We publicly reject your religion even if we were to privately join in with you. This is the most Christian thing about us. Matthew 6:1  "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." 

If you still think that we are a Christian Nation and would like to appeal to that nation, please lay out how we are a Christian Nation in the public square. Use national polls to support your point. Soon you'll see that in no way are we living in accordance with the Bible. Any principle such as don't steal or kill is found in nearly every society and did even at the writing of the Bible. So get specific or sit down because we don't want to hear it in the public square. I don't say this as an Atheist with contempt, I say it as an American Voter with contempt. 

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Tags: Christian Nation

Comment by John Kelly on December 19, 2011 at 11:48pm

I should further add that I understand what you are saying about "secularism is the inevitable spirit of the ideals of the constitution". 

However, the way the constitution was set up, when it becomes evident that the constitution needs to address something in order to preserve the integrity of what it stands for, we make an amendment.  What we did instead was apply a law that doesn't directly address the situation which was written for a different purpose without a vote.  How is that remotely fair?

Comment by Gaytor on December 20, 2011 at 12:06am

Christian Values can be seen in many ways. People that have used the Bible historically to oppress people. Today it's gays. It used to be interracial marriage. It was slavery and that was cool because the Bible said so. Even Jesus advocated for slaves to accept their fate, so how could it be wrong?

Christian values include being anti-abortion. While it's a fallacy to note that it's in the Bible, Christians believe that life begins at conception. Is there carry over to general population and even Atheists? Sure. but the basis for being anti-abortion is by-in-large a Christian position. At the same time being anti-euthanasia is a Christian value because you are subverting God's will as well as disrespecting the sanctity of life from the earliest moment to the last.

Christian Values would include being anti-science when it conflicts with the teachings of the Bible. Not allowing the teaching of evolution or pushing for teaching Creation are examples.

Prohibition of Alcohol or other drugs was at the behest of Christians due to the barbaric behaviors of society that were not suitable for Christian society. Think Sodom and Gomorrah.

So now that we have that laid out, It's clear that we have rejected these principles in popularity and legally.

57% of Americans support abortion. Poll

75% of Americans support Euthanasia. Poll

We've rejected creationism in our schools over and over.

We are passing 50% support for repeal of prohibition of Marijuana. Look out, my wife will be turned into a pillar of salt!

We consistently reject Christianity in the public square and in the courts. You can be so disturbed by in God We Trust, but this pales in comparison to teaching Intelligent Design. To banning abortion. To Slavery. To Prohibition. Look at how fast we ran from the idea of Sarah Palin being a heartbeat away from being president. We only have to let Rick Perry speak and society rejects him. So to those of you making the bald claim that this is a theocracy, I ask you to give examples of the US acting in a religious manner. What laws have we passed that scream theocracy? If in God We Trust (not directed at anyone specific) is your example of a theocracy, your bar is more than a tad low.

Comment by Becca on December 20, 2011 at 1:31am

Are we a Christian nation?

We are a nation with a majority of people who identify as Christian but that does not a Christian nation make. We are supposed to be a secular nation and for the most part are a secular nation. Those who would like the US to be a Christian nation are in my opinion scary as all living hell and should not be allowed anywhere near any elected office or children. Hopefully we will continue the trend of shedding religion... I think we will be all the better for it.

Comment by John Kelly on December 20, 2011 at 1:51am

Gaytor, Nobody here has said that the USA is a theocracy.  Why are you arguing this so vehemently as if someone has made the claim?

Comment by Gaytor on December 20, 2011 at 8:40am

Vehemently? I didn't write it as if I were angry. If It comes across that way, I apologize.

The U.S. is slightly more secular than Iran.

from my perspective, we live in a most barbaric time where jingoistic allegiance to orthodoxy absolutely dominates the public square

Others are suggesting that we act as a theocracy. If you cruise through other discussions on this you'll find it all over the place here at TA. You'll find people conflating speeches by Pat Robertson as representative of the public square. I'm saying that it isn't. The indignity with which Atheists react to the Pledge denies the gains that we have made. At some point, we must shrug our shoulders and recognize that we can't win all of the battles. But the war is clearly won. We seem to always end up in these debates about he said in 1758 versus this guy's he said in 1757 and feel credibility. All we have to do is look around at our modern world. Why care about Madison, what are we today is the real claim that we should be putting out there to quash the debate here and in other places. 

Comment by John Kelly on December 20, 2011 at 3:05pm

Oh no, vehemently is less about being angry and more about involving great passion and conviction.  You didn't come across as angry.  I can see what you mean now. I contend some of those are ill-gotten gains and thus we experience the push-back for that very reason.

I agree with you that the perceived need to win all the battles is misguided.  Religious people are reacting against a loss of privilege in society.  What frustrates me is the demand for total secular privilege on the part of the Atheists that ought to be more reasonable. They have reason instead of rigid dogma that one must practice mental gymnastics to get around to be socially compatible. Religious people are good at making themselves compatible with their changing society.  Consider the United Methodists at the time of Wesley preaching about the fires of hell and now with their "open hearts, open minds" doctrine.  But that demand for total secular privilege against the will of the majority is just bad social dynamics.  It creates emnity and hostility, and acts to repress the common beliefs.  It is repression because it is not given with consent.  Many times people can get along, once both sides begin to understand what is fair for the other.

But if one side tries to take too much, you get this kind of hostility.  I think we will win in the end, but the battle is caused by our lack of fairness on the issue.  That is my position.  People are very perceptive of when they have been unfairly screwed over.

Why not let the majority religious tradition for a local area get some slight recognition by government of the importance it is held by the populace?  Remember the establishment clause pertains to congressional lawmaking and nothing more in its actual context.  But there is a problem.  The problem with something like that isn't the recognition, it's that the dominant belief then becomes oppressive. The minority gets oppressed by the majority.  This is of course because everyone has this notion that:

"any system other than the system personally held must be looked upon with disdain and opposed".

Granted, we evolved this for survival, but it is time to let it go. Currently, all belief systems including religion are filtered through that nasty ideology. That ideology, not religion itself is the reason for most of the worlds conflict and problems.  Without it, minor religious celebration, or the celebration of atheism, or gay pride or whatever it is, becomes nothing more than variation.  Then the majority belief doesn't oppress minorities and people don't feel like representing the majority belief publicly is a form of oppression.  It currently is only a form of oppression because people attach that primitive ideology to whatever belief system they hold.  So not only does the minority want to overthrow the majority, but also is oppressed by the majority at the same time.  It is all the same, religious or atheists, the same thought patterns.  That is why so many feel they must win all the battles.  It is because of that primitive ideology and it is primitive thought.  We should be fighting the actual root of the problem this ideology instead of repackaging a new way to embrace the same nasty destructive ideology that has caused most of the conflicts in the world in a blanket of atheism.

  

Comment by Gaytor on December 20, 2011 at 3:09pm
Fully agreed here.

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