Yes, the United States of America is a Christian nation. Because it is NOT a Christian nation.
The American experiment, democracy American style, was possible because of the long struggles of the Judeo-Christian tradition to live out its ethic. Yes, our nation is Christian in origin.
But two thousand years of Christian experience convinced the initiators of the American experiment that a nation could not be Christian if it were Christian. To be able to follow the dictates of Jesus--to love others as one’s self, to pray for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will be done--would require a nation that did not have an established religion, a nation where everyone had freedom to worship in his or her own way. Not just a religious freedom tolerated by the preachers and priests and scribes and mullahs in charge, but a religious freedom on an even footing with everybody, including those in the religious majority.
Totally religious and totally not religious at the same time. It was a radical concept, one that was hard to grasp, one that is still hard to grasp for many people.
The various groups of European immigrants all came to America to escape religious persecution, to have freedom of worship. Very quickly, though, they turned from persecuted to persecuting, insisting that they alone were to have religious freedom. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin and others realized that the United States didn’t have a chance if it were just an extension of Europe, with all the old animosities of the Old World simply transferred to different geography in the New World. If there were only one acceptable religion, there would always be conflict and persecution. So, all religions were to be accepted.
Acceptance of everyone is a particularly Christian--ie Jesus--idea. There will always be people who claim to follow Jesus, who call themselves Christians, who claim their religion requires them to exclude people unlike themselves. They are hypocrites and mean-spirited, but in America, because of Jesus, hypocritical and mean-spirited religions are accepted, too.
The USA is a Christian nation because it is NOT a Christian nation.
I tweet once in a while as yooper1721.