It is so turned around these days.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Rocky Mountain High.........(if ya know what I mean ;)

My wonderful wife and I are leaving tonight for vacation. We will be spending a week or so in Colorado. I am really looking forward to it. We will be spending a few days with some friends and then we will be secluded in the wilderness for a few days with nothing but ourselves and some good books to keep us company.....Maybe a bear or two. I hope to delve into The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom during this trip. This is one of those books that has sat on our shelves for who knows how long but yet has never been read. More importantly we are in a quandary as to how it got there in the first place. Anybody read it? Anybody ever heard of it? Anybody care? Anyway, I do not want to go leaving my devoted 6 readers, including mom, without another provocative question. I will try to poke my head in from time to time to see how you all are behaving. Be good ya'll and we'll see you soon.

Question #3:

Do you consider The United States of America to be a Christian nation or not? Please explain why or why not.

In short my answer is "yes The USA is a Christian nation." But I will expound on that later. I am open to hear your thoughts. Please forgive me if it take some time for me respond this week. Grace and peace to all my cyberbuds. Talk to you soon!!


At 8:09 AM, Blogger Eyebrows McGee said...

No. If we were living in a truly Christian society that worked in accordance with Christ's demands on us, it would look nothing at all like the U.S.

Nothing at all like any other country in the world either, so that's not an anti-U.S. statement.

Stanley Hauerwas writes on this extensively and his little Texan voice has taken up rent in my brain demanding, "But if you lived in a truly Christian society, would it look like X?" He's all about the thought experiment.

Majority Christian nation, obviously. Nation founded on political ideals derived from Christian thought, yes. (Almost wrote my masters' thesis on that.) But Christian in any meaningful "ethical" sense of the word, no.

(Which, incidentally, is why the Amish refuse to participate in it. They've decided what they think a truly Christian society would look like and they refuse to have anything to do with parts of the world they consider non-Christian - a fine old Anabaptist tradition. Personally I'm more on the "you have to be in it to help change it" bench, but the Amish do provide an important witness.)

At 11:39 AM, Blogger BJ Aberle said...

Greeting from Denver ya'll.
I agree with you whole heartedly. My answer of yes was meant more to raise eyebrows (ha ha no pun intended)more than anything. But here is my reason for answering yes. We are a Christian nation soley in the sense that that is how we are identified. Just like we are identified as an English speaking least for now. As far as our actions as a nation are concerned, it seems as though we couldn't shake off that label any quicker. We are so eager to forge into this brave new world unfettered by morality and judgement. But as G.K. Chesterton one said....

"Before we start tearing down fences, we must pause and reflect as to why they were put there in the first place"

I know this comment may not make the most sense right now because I am just quickly typing my thoughts while at our friends house. talk to you soon.

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Eyebrows McGee said...

"raise eyebrows"

And indeed you did! lol

"We are a Christian nation soley in the sense that that is how we are identified."

An interesting thought, a very different direction from my "line of attack" on the question! I've seen some Jewish commentators who say they hold Israel to a higher standard of ethical behavior because Israel is a nation based on the Torah. Seems like you're after a similar idea?

I guess it's sort-of like how I try not to drive like a jerk with my college and div school stickers on my car window ... then people might think ALL grads of school X are a jerk!

At 2:00 PM, Blogger C. J. Summers said...

Is the U.S. a Christian nation? I don't think so. It appears the nation was founded on religious pluralism -- people didn't like being forced to belong to the Church of England, so they established religious liberty, not envisioning the kind of climate we have today, of course. In the late 1700s, Christian beliefs/morals were socially accepted, giving the impression of a "Christian nation," but over time their influence and sheer numbers have decreased. Meanwhile, many other religions, "non-religions," and philosophies have gained in popularity and number of adherents. America's pluralistic roots haven't changed, just the proportion of the population dedicated to each of the plethora of religious beliefs. Thus, I don't think we were ever a "Christian" nation by design, but perhaps by common consensus for a while.

Have you ever heard of "dominionism"? According to this website:, it's the belief "that 'America is a Christian Nation,' and that Christians need to re-assert control over political and cultural institutions.

I don't consider myself a dominionist, by that definition. However, I might be called one by some because of what I'm about to say.

The Bible talks quite a bit about obeying those in authority over you and being subject to the government. However, in America, it gets tricky to apply those passages sometimes because we are the government. Our government is "of the people, by the people, for the people."

Of course we're called to obey the speed limit and do what the police tell us and all that. But in America, we also have a duty to participate in government -- at least through voting, if nothing else. So, when it comes to that, we're the leaders choosing who will represent our nation. And if Christians are elected, I would expect them to draft and vote for legislation that would be honoring to God.

So, on the one hand, I'm not promoting theocracy, but on the other hand, I think Christians have a responsibility as part of "the people" who make up the U.S. government to do what they can to be godly "leaders," as it were.


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