March 6, 2005

Is the United States a Christian Nation?

Philip Gailey wrote an interesting editorial in the St. Petersburg Times about the frequent claim coming from the far right that the United States is a Christian nation. While I disagree with Gailey's statement that the ACLU shouldn't be worried about Ten Commandments displays, he's right to point out that the teachings of Jesus are about as far apart from the economic and social policies of the modern Republican party as possible. It is nice that someone has the courage to point this out in the media.
If Jesus were around today, preaching charity, love, tolerance and peace, the religious right would pummel him as a dangerous liberal who wants to redistribute our wealth, raise taxes and study war no more. You can bet he wouldn't be invited to deliver the keynote address at the Republican National Convention and that Fox News' Sean Hannity would crucify him in prime time.
I remain encouraged that at least some Christians seem to understand that the whole Christian nation thing is a dangerous myth that hurts religion as much as it does government (see Gregory A. Boyd's The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church).

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