Learn to Discern

Are We a Christian Nation or Not?

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The marital rape post started veering off into a political direction and as I read through some of it, I think it is a topic worthy of discussion here.

I’ll use Ed’s last post as a starting off point and add a few of my words (which Ed probably won’t like), but he’ll still be my friend – lol.

 

Marsha,
Sorry but I disagree. However, I will say that when I first learned of the certain sect of Christianity that are pushing their hard line right wing agenda’s, I stopped labeling myself as a conservative Christian, although I am conservative that is a Christian. I believe that there are Christians on both sides of the aisle, progressive, etc. But, how many progressives nationwide believe in God vs. the conservatives?

Who is changing Christmas to winter break? When we used to say, Happy Holidays, it was because there were two holidays, Christmas and New Years Day. It used to be that all faiths (except Jews) celebrated Christmas, even atheists. Now all of a sudden the rest of us have to endure a “winter break” greeting? When I hear that, I ask, “What Holiday?” Things are getting nuttier in America these days.

I agree that it didn’t have the 2/3 vote, but it still had a majority that did not want God in the platform at all. So, the question in my mind is NOT how many voted for or against. My question is for those who voted against it, why did they vote against it? The majority voted against it, but the minority was called the winner. That was not right, based on the call for a vote.

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When I went to public elementary school in San Jose, California. I remember praying in class – we’re talking early 70s (yea, I turned 50 a few months ago – OY).  The school holidays were named after religious holidays:  Easter break, Christmas break.

Now I have kids in public school.  One school is filled with predominantly Mormon students and one day a Mormon student asked the public school teacher if they could pray before an event. I was there and witnessed this.  This was not on school grounds and the teacher said yes.  What if it was a Muslim student asking to pray in front of the whole class? Would I (or you) be okay with that?

I saw Brenda R.’s comment about Sharia law and did not find it offensive at all. Do you have any European friends? They will likely tell you how the religious landscape of their countries has changed in the past decade or so. Muslims have come into their countries in droves, buying land, sometimes attempting to get Sharia law integrated into the laws of their new land. The way I look at this is it is no different than the Christian Reconstructionists trying to infiltrate our US government and impose Old Testament laws into our current legal system.  I have big problems with that, too!

So, my opinion is:  let’s have Winter break and Spring break for schools. I don’t want Christ taught in public schools. I want my kids to be educated in the three Rs in public school and leave the religious education to the parents. I don’t mind a class on a survey of religions, but I don’t want our public schools to focus on Christianity as the foundational religion (even if I believe it to be so). We may have Buddhist teachers, Mormon teachers, etc, in our schools. We may have teachers who believe in Benny Hinn theology, etc.

So there’s my opinion. What’s yours? Please be careful when posting – this topic can get heated!

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photo credit: JeepersMedia via photopin cc

433 thoughts on “Are We a Christian Nation or Not?”

  1. Keith: Oh, I do believe one could make a Biblical argument for it.

    I’m just one that does not see God has having a convent relationship with the U.S., so I personally don’t buy into it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Keith writes:

    “Brenda R., Ed and others: the zeal which you have shown in asserting your positions is admirable. Never give in!”

    Also don’t underestimate the value of listening compassionately and with an open mind to other perspectives that differ from yours and being willing to learn something as you do. Compromise and peace consist of listening with an open mind and being open to others influencing you, just as you hope to influence them. “Never give in” might prevent you from becoming a more knowledgeable, empathetic, compassionate, educated person.

    And quite fitting today: “Compassion and nonviolence help us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear their questions, to know their assessment of ourselves.
    For from their point of view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses
    of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit
    from the wisdom of the brothers and sisters who are called the opposition.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Amos writes:

    “carolsnider

    I’ve enjoyed the conversation…
    And I have this feeling your name has been recorded… 😉
    Because you have respected and honored His name…”

    Thank you, Amos.

    I assume you mean recorded for possible entrance into heaven?

    Interestingly enough, what some people think of as heaven – a place where only Christians and those who love the god Christ reside — sounds like a terrible place to me.

    My idea of heaven is a place where a wide diversity of viewpoints and perspectives are represented, compassionately and with love, like a community meeting of people with widely disparate philosophies and lifestyles, but all with love and peace in their hearts. I would be bored stiff spending eternity with people of a like mind to mine, with the same philosophies, lifestyles, and opinions. YAWN… and get me outta here!

    No, my idea of heaven is encountering peaceful and loving people of all religions and faiths, political ideas, sexual orientations, colors, and nationalities. Let the haters within ALL of those groups go to hell (whatever that is), but if there is a heaven, to me, it is a place where love, open-mindedness, and compassion are the only “entrance requirements.”

    THAT, to me, sounds like a great place to spend some time!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. J Pow –
    Lola –

    I did mention many of the uncomfortable facts of our countries beginnings and continuings early on in this thread (or the thread this one grew from.) Not much of a discussion ensued regarding the white male rule that was predominant at the founding of our country and in some institutions still to this day. Not all the founders were Christian, and not all Christians had similar views, and not all the Christians practiced their Christianity (which begs questions for another time).

    The real truth is our country was founded by rich European men who had power because they had wealth. Some of them did attempt to make the government fair for all, but we still seem to be working on that idea over 200 years later. Wealthy white men were the early rulers of our country and very much liked it that way – Christian or not. They did want ‘their’ freedom though. Everyone else had to fight and claw for their freedom — in this country founded on freedom . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Lola,
    I just read the original version of the Constitution. Where does it say, “The constitution explicitly stated black people were 3/5 a person”. Not that they were not treated that way in many places, but I don’t see it within the document. Slavery is just plain wrong no matter what the color of your skin may be.

    The Japanese being put in camps was wrong. The way that fear promotes violence is wrong.

    Racism is not right, but now we have it in reverse. A white or even hispanic police officers cannot do his/her job without the race card being used. Not all stories make the national news.

    Like

  6. Tim: I often wonder in these discussions if the ugly past is ignored because it’s uncomfortable and unpleasant or whether some people think it was merely the natural order of things therefore not really bad therefore God’s will was done therefore we were a Christian nation.

    I still don’t know what that title or proclamation means. Everybody knows actions speak louder than words. Proclaiming yourself to be something does not make it so. Which is why I ask what is the basis for the title. What was the country doing at the time? What were the laws? Do the actions match up with the words? At the end of the day, “freedom” was an idea that was limited in scope when this country began. If the founders really believed God gave everyone certain rights, they would not have written laws limiting the rights of some.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. said the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. It is fascinating to me that as the arc bends with time, some people think the country was more “godly” before the bending began.

    Like

  7. Brenda: I don’t follow you. You mention slavery, camps, then race card is pulled with cops? I don’t see how those connect. Slavery does not equate with the race card being pulled although I confess I don’t know what you mean by that. However, my initial post addressed history, not current events. As I understand this discussion is a debate on whether we were a Christian and stopped being one or whether we ever were at all. Obviously I agree with you that slavery is bad. It’s a horrific institution both past and present. But slavery wasn’t some random thing in the US. It is woven into the fabric of our being. It is how the country’s wealth was gained. So how do we grapple with that history in light of everything else? I say we just tell all of it, honestly talk about it. Instead of acting like this other “stuff” that doesn’t line up with a witness of Jesus didn’t happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The sad thing is that both slavery and genocide have been recurring events in human history. The desire to steal labour and take life seems to be a part of the human condition.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. carolsnider: I have listened, and indeed had pounded in to me other views for most of my life. I just want to encourage Ed and Brenda R., not discourage anyone of other views.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lola,
    I was going through the course of history in my mind and came up to where we are now. People came to this country to escape religious persecution. The slavery and camps for the Japanese were from your comments. I went a step further to where we are today and what I see in this country and on the news. I’m trying to sort this out. I was taught in US history as a girl about the religious freedom that people were coming here for. How can a country used for rescue from persecution be other than it’s initial purpose? I can’t wrap my brain around that.

    Keith,
    You can’t have it both ways. You can’t encourage Ed and I to never give up and not discourage others from their views. Right at this point my views are being discouraged.

    Like

  11. Brenda: You are correct. Some people came to escape religious persecution. Others came to escape poverty. Others were brought here as prisoners and indentured servants due to various crimes or debt. Others were brought here as slaves. And there were people here already. That’s a whole ‘nother discussion. ALL of it happened. I can understand how that can be hard to reconcile, especially if it’s not something you normally think about. The US was founded on more than just one thing so I cannot agree that the initial purpose of the country was freedom from religious persecution. Maybe a few colonies in particular, but not all of them, and definitely not the country as a whole.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I remember being taught that people came here for religious freedom and thinking what a great thing that was until I realized that they only meant for themselves. The Puritans persecuted others who believed differently, such as the Quakers, who were banished, jailed, beaten, had their belongings confiscated, and executed.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Brenda,

    Some people came to the New World to escape religious persecution, but not *all* people. People came for all kinds of reasons. Many came for economic freedom/gain. Some came to escape a life of prision. Some were indentured servants. Some were adventurers and wanted the thrill. This country was not populated solely by and for religious reasons. We have to remember that this country began and was growing for a good 150-175 years before the issue of freedom from England became a Revolutionary War. The War itself had little to do with religion but with econimics and self government.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Brenda,

    I see Lola and I were responding at the same time with similar thoughts. I wasn’t intending to pile on in any way.

    History can be a very biased subject, depending on the source, unfortunately.

    Like

  15. Brenda writes:

    “Keith,
    You can’t have it both ways. You can’t encourage Ed and I to never give up and not discourage others from their views. Right at this point my views are being discouraged.”

    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

    Elinor Roosevelt

    Like

  16. One thing I keep in mind when reading the Declaration, Constitution and subsequent history of the US is that ideas have serious far reaching consequences. It was radical at the time to declare that white men are equal to the kings, other rulers and even magisterial rulers— and have the same natural rights as said king, rulers, etc. Those were fighting words. Read King George’s response to the CC’s Olive Branch Plea they sent out before the Declaration was signed.

    And the idea of equality did not die. If white men, what about women? Indians? Slaves? Yes, it took a long time for the idea to take root legally, but it did because of free speech, free assembly, freedom of religion and other things we take for granted today.

    Another interesting snippet was to read the population models during the time leading up to the Revolutionary War and during. It was calculated that only about 30% of the population of the Colonies were strong supporters of a Revolution. And about 30% supported the King. It was the undecided that eventually made the difference when it heated up. Ironically this follows along some of our historical voting patterns.

    the power of ideas! They can be for good or evil. They can be intentioned for a specific group and grow way past that. Amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Back in 1776, the “Religious Adherence” rate was no more than 26% of the population of each Colony.

    Many colonies were below 20%, including:
    Vermont, Maine, New York, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Bridget,

    Agreed: “History can be a very biased subject, depending on the source, unfortunately.” You got that right! Who is the source and why–can be a good place to start.

    Most of us have had to go back and fill in the ‘real facts’ that we missed, that is, we were not told in our school years. It often comes as a huge shock when individuals get answers for themselves and see how much they missed in their early understanding of people and events in history! Getting our own answers helps us to piece things together and have a better grasp of the main dynamics that were going on–at whatever time or place that one chooses to study deeper. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Barb, you are so right. I had to do a paradigm shift when I learned about the Holocaust. The way history seemed to be presented in school, mankind was supposed to be getting better, better technology, better medicine, greater industrial and agricultural output. But none of that balances out an industrialized nation murdering millions of their citizens. I read everything I could get my hands on about the Holocaust in middle school. I wanted to know how such a thing could have happened.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Marsha,
    The Holocaust was presented to me in middle school by a very angry History teacher. He passed out photos that I was not prepared to see. I was living through life with a perverted step father and was seeing how much more evil there was in the world and was sickened by it. The stories that he told of how the medical experiments were performed on innocent children in order to find out these modern medical miracles that we take as no big deal today. There are truly evil people out there that will be turned over to their own devices. I didn’t read more on the Holocaust. What I was told in that class hit reality of the world we live in deep in my memory bank.

    I should learn more about how the Japanese were treated in our own country. I know they were held in camps, but little else. I don’t want to think they were treated as the Jews were in the holocaust, but nothing would surprise me.

    Like

  21. Brenda R: I really mean to encourage you. Keep asserting your position! Don’t let the disagreement of some be discouraging. I have agreed with a lot of what you and Ed have said. Others have also made some good points.

    If this discussion could be in a threaded format, it would be easier to follow, but I think you both have done quite well in stating your positions and responding to the views of others.

    I am going to take a little break from the board for a while. I am not leaving, just going to give it a rest. I know most of you through your usernames, but I think in “real life” there would be a bunch of people on here who I could be friends with. I hope y’all have a blessed 2015!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Keith,
    Thank you for clarifying. I feel the same way about “real life”. Even though we don’t always agree, tone and clarity and real knowledge of those we speak to in person is often much different than those we speak to on line. Looking forward to meeting many sitting at the King’s throne some day.

    Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I am very fond of the people who post here and you are often in my prayers. It doesn’t matter to me if we disagree on whether the U.S. is a Christian nation or any other debatable issue; what matters is the heart.

    The Internet and ‘real life’ isn’t much different to me. I am happily married to the love of my life and I met him in a medical support Internet chatroom fifteen years ago. I met my best friend there too; we turned out to live near each other, got together and hit it off. She kept my spirits up during a very bleak time. She and her husband are raising their grandson. If anything happens to them (God forbid), my husband and I have agreed to welcome him to our home. There is no one else who is well and could do it. And we could count on them in a crisis.

    You never know who God will send to answer prayers and how He will send them.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. If the bible is not used in public places then it is not a Christian nation. The old testament law is based on ‘nature’ essentially what is good or bad in natural conditions as reminder to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ truthfulness. There is a good book called ‘in God we don’t trust’ that clearly explains that the founders of USA were quite rebellious.

    Like

  25. No, America is not a “Christian” nation. There is no such entity as a “Christian nation” for it is people that become Christian, not nations. By God’s mercy and grace, there exist literal born again Christians in almost every nation, as a personal response to the Living Gospel (Law and Grace, rightly divided) in desiring to follow and live their lives for Jesus Christ. Perhaps the land called America resembles more of Babylon than we realize if the blinders were to be removed from the eye.

    Liked by 1 person

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