"Christian nation"

Here we go again; grist for those who think we’re heading straight for a fundamentalist Christian theocracy. As reported by the Washington Times, we get the wholly unsurprising “news” that a large majority of Americans (67 percent) think the United States is a “Christian nation.”

There is also an interesting polling result on the Bible. From the Times story:

More than three-quarters of Americans believe the Bible is literally the word of God or inspired by the word of God, according to a trio of Gallup surveys, with 19 percent saying the Good Book is a compendium of myth and legend.

The Bible being asked about would be, of course, some version of both the Old and New Testaments. It is hardly a surprise that such a large majority (75 percent) who believe in the truth of the New Testament would consider their faith to be normative, and hence, the conclusion for two-thirds of Americans: the United States is a “Christian nation.”

We are, and are not such a nation. We are certainly a nation whose majority states that they are Christian. And yet, if measured by what passes for popular culture, not to mention our failure to do for the least of our brethren around the world, we fall far short of the goals that Jesus himself set for us.

I prefer to think of America as a nation with great potential and one whose works are mighty, but fall short. A nation that should start acting not as though we were a “Christian nation,” but, rather, a nation that knows its shortcomings and acknowledges that we are under God’s judgment.

In short, a little humility. Make not claims about being a Christian, pilgrim, until you’ve passed before the Throne in judgment…

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