16 April 2009

A Christian Nation

The Christian fundamentalists are all in a knot because our president recently said that the United States is not a Christian nation. I knew what he meant. He meant that our government is not dominated by or designed around Christian beliefs and that there is, in the U.S., a plurality of religions with equal protection and whose members have voice in our affairs. And, that there is no official state religion and that secular law rather than religious belief dictate our policies.

It is true that roughly 77% of today's Americans identify themselves as Christian. However, only 53% are protestant, while Catholics, Mormons and other denominations---as well as non-practicing persons calling themselves Christian, comprise 47% of those other Christians.

Over the past ten years the number of Christians have increased by a mere 5.3%. In that same time span adherents of Non Religious/Secular, Islam, Hinduism, Wiccan/Pagan, Native American Religion, Bahia, New Age, Sikhism, Humanist and Deist religions each have doubled or tripled.

And, for what it is worth, many of the founders; Jefferson and Adams, to quickly name two, were Deists or Unitarians. I heartily urge anyone really interested in researching this topic to first read the Jefferson Bible, wherein he highlighted only those words actually said to have been spoken by Jesus rather than words attributed to him by others. One gets a different perspective on the man Jesus and his teachings.

But, no! We're not a Christian Nation. Never were, and hopefully never will be. We're a nation of religious freedom for many religions and have no "state" religion. Unfortunately, some religions would, and during this period of world history, it seems to be some Christians and some Islamists, impose their beliefs on others. And that is precisely what many of the early colonists were fleeing.

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