"A New Religious America"

A review of Diana Eck's much-discussed book on pluralism


09/06/2001 07:34:05 PM

The title of the article ("Still A Christian Nation")implies that the USA has been a Christian nation. But when has it? Let's see... we had slavery until the mid-1800's . . . the U.S. government treated the Native Americans like trash. . . racial discrimination prevailed but white preachers in the South wouldn't condemn it. . . Such displays of Christianity - yeah, right.


08/22/2001 01:31:34 AM



08/21/2001 11:04:56 PM

this is my first time on here,i've read some opinions and just tonite learned how to use this site so i have a response to christI1 about the stem cell articles last week. "all things are possible with God". how can you say God does not permit knowledge or things to happen to people. God permits or allows things to happen so He can be glorified. Anything bad that happens can vecome good if we allow God to work in it. He created scientists and one day soon He will say enough is enough, but it will be to show the scientific and secular world how powerful He really is.


07/21/2001 06:49:44 PM

Rousseau "[American] Indians enjoyed equality and plenty; Europeans were in chains."


07/21/2001 06:39:19 PM

"Conquest was one of the primary goals of Columbus and of Europe in its exploration of the world, and conquest - of indigenous peoples and their lands - is what occured. But there is an ironic twist to this domination: the conquerors were themselves conquered. FOr along with the exportation of gold and slaves from the New World, something else was exported, a product which had been created through numerous interactions between American Indians and the colonists: DEMOCRACY. This export item, perhaps Native America's greatest contribution to the world, toppled European monarchies and ultimately resulted in the formation of the United States of America. Yet, this contribution by America's original people is seldom recognized." (end of excerpt)


07/21/2001 06:38:26 PM

"To the contrary. Long before Columbus made contact with the Native Americans of the "New World" (so off course that he thought he was discovering land on the opposite side of the globe) some Native American civilizations had developed vast irrigation networks that rivaled those of Rome; they had domesticated crops that would eventually save Europe from starvation; they had developed medical and psychotherapeutic knowledge that made medieval Europe's medical model of "humors" and its uses of leeches as a form of treatment look primitive; they had advanced astronomical calenders; they had a body of literature, both oral and in some cases written, that is only today finally being recognized as the equal of any found in the world; and they had developed highly sophisticated forms of representative government in which freedom was not only prized, but was the foremost principle. (cont...)


07/21/2001 06:37:36 PM

Excerpt: "There remains a perception inpopular consciousness and even in the minds and writings of scholars who should know better that the so-called Indians whom Columbus "discovered" in 1492 were "savages": childlike, unsophisticated, godless, lacking in social organization, technology, government, higher thought, and other hallmarks of civilization. Columbus is seen, on the other hand, as the representative of a civilization whose rapid advances in science, technology, and philosophy made it inevitable, and somehow proper and desirable, power over the indigenous and "inferior" peoples of the Americas. (cont...)


07/21/2001 05:11:45 PM

I was given this book as a gift. You may be interested in it as well. It about pagan Native American values that developed America and the US Constitution. "Exile in the Land of the Free - Democracy, Indian Nations, and the US Constitution" by Oren Lyons, John Mohawk, Vine Deloria Jr., Laurence Hauptman, Howard Berman, Donald Grinde Jr., Curtis Berkey, Robert Venables (Each wrote a chapter in the book); Foreword by Peter Matthiessen and Preface by Senator Daniel K. Inouye. The only living democratic societies in practice our founding fathers could observe in the 1700s were Native American societies, not Europe. The "noble savage" inspired a lot of the Enlightenment's writings.


07/20/2001 02:18:14 AM

Sinkerus: It was not my statement, I was objecting to that statement.


07/19/2001 03:09:12 AM

"ubercraker 7/19/01 1:14:22 AM "Pagans don't pass out pamphlets trying to convert people. Evangelizing Christians " This statement is not true. Because a variety of clans do just that, and even very aggressively. Luring them into a works program without escape possibility. What is then the fruit that one recognizes that the source addressing you is from God the Creator of whole universum? The Love and Freedom. All of us will have our own choice how to spend eternity. But surely in his Love towards you He will send messengers to warn you how eternity outside Heaven will be. How this information reaches you, it depends on the messenger. If he is filled with Love, that will surely show out. And you are given a polite possibility to decline this Love.


07/19/2001 01:14:22 AM

"Pagans don't pass out pamphlets trying to convert people. Evangelizing Christians " That is not true, what you think all of a sudden 1 billion Indian decided they want to be Hindus, or Saxon thought they would follow paganism, of course not, ever ideology has it’s way to proselytize, the difference between Islam and Christianity and other religion is that Islam enforces education and then conversion (reversion), for many evangelical Christian buck stops as the professing the faith in Jesus as god and you are Christian, yes I know there are other rituals but like Christian say, ‘faith comes from hearing the word of God’, to me that is not true.


07/14/2001 06:36:26 AM

Creation of a true democracy is the purest way for a nation to state it believes and stands by the realization that there are no absolutes. If America was founded as a Christian nation as some would like us to believe, then who's form of Christianity? When it comes to granting equal freedoms and rights to all,and to guarantee it survives through time, no absolute truths can exist - democracy depends on it. I am always grateful our founding fathers were thoughtful and intelligent enough understand and guarantee it in writing.


07/09/2001 10:35:40 AM

Bravo, booley


07/09/2001 03:45:42 AM

The difference between a religous license plate or bumber sticker and a pamphlet stuck under a wiper is simply a matter of personal space. If I want to have a sign on my own lawn telling everybody how I love to worship ralph the super cabbage, thats my right and business. And it harms no one. And it invades no ones rights. But if I go to your house and start putting my signs on YOUR lawn sayin g YOU need to worship Ralph, it becomes a different issue. Pagans don't pass out pamphlets trying to convert people. Evangelizing Christians do. A bumper sticker on my car does not invade your space. A pamphlet telling me to change my beliefs on my car does invade mine. The first ammendment was written with the belief that everyone had a right to decide for themselves what to believe. And to respect the decision made by others.


07/03/2001 10:13:09 AM

GPG-MBW writes: ...it is unfair that the 90% of schoolchildren who belong to a religion have to be educated as if the world view of the 10% were correct. First, your numbers are exaggerated. Less than 50% of Americans attend church once a month or more. Take out all the children who attend religious schools and the number of public school children who belong to a religion is even lower. Second, who in public school is teaching that religion is wrong? School-sponsored prayer is forbidden, but students pray as they please. There are formal and informal religious groups in public schools, including bible clubs and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I attended public school most of my life, and it was always known that religious belief and prayer are a personal matter. No one's religion was put down in the classroom. I also attended Catholic school briefly (Catholicism is big here in New Orleans) and we were often told that Catholicism was the one true way and that everyone else was damned.


07/03/2001 10:05:43 AM

greenvox - lighten up. you can't be serious. Martians ? Please. You need to get out more and make some new friends if most of the Americans you know think of non-christians as Martians. Most of the Americans I know think of non-christians as non-christians.


07/03/2001 09:43:01 AM

The First Amendment was written with the presumption that it wasn't necessary for the Church and the State to back each other up because the nation was religious enough for the Church to stand on its own. I think that the increase on non-Christian religions is a non-issue. The real issue is that believers in general now have to be on the defensive because the Church has been pushed out of public discourse by concerns of political correctness, and it has left a major void that few people seem concerned about. Yesterday I suggested at work that perhaps it is unfair that the 90% of schoolchildren who belong to a religion have to be educated as if the world view of the 10% were correct. The response I got was "You know, Hitler and the Taliban liked religion in school too". Whatever.


07/02/2001 11:26:20 PM

Mtmoonflower, If you consider a pamphlet under your windshield as intolerance then you might be over sensative. Your Wiccan license is just as offensive as a Christian pamphlet. Most states don't allow religious expression on license plates for that very reason.


07/02/2001 10:54:05 AM

I will believe Christians are tolerant of other religions when they stop putting their damn literature on my vehicle just because I have a Wiccan oriented license plate. Where do you people get off?


07/02/2001 10:33:25 AM

I think a nation which has no place for any religion in its agenda and a nation whose people are forced to follow a particular religion are equally problematic. Can't we have a nation which is religious IN THE SENSE OF encouraging its people to ponder on and discuss seriously and undogmatically the deeper issues of what human existence is all about? Being religious surely need not imply being fixated in a particular religion in one's thinking; it can also mean being genuinely concerned with those deeper questions.


07/02/2001 09:22:03 AM

Avoid the question and attack the questioner--a transparent tactic, harpcat. Would you care to respond to my allegations? Do you deny that Jehovah is a blood-thirsty capricious god? If so, how do you explain Numbers 31 and other stories of sanctioned murder in the bible? If America is a "Christian Nation" and the "holy" book of Christianity teaches murder, then does this not explain a lot of our darkest history?


07/01/2001 10:20:04 AM

Slimtim336 has an agenda... The hate that he fells towards a religioun, and theism is clear. Now, he obviously equates hate an d sufering with all religion, but at least in western culture, there is a VAST expression that comesf rom religious thought, that believes in the value of Human life, and works to protect it. Not just the hotly debated area of abortion, but leading the way in reaching out to meet the need of the hungry all over the world. From the heartland of America, to Africa. No, faith is not the destruction of civilization, but the building of it. Time to review about what faith has added (including the vast majority of our greatest educational instutions) before chiming off about ridding oursleves of it's "Scourge"


06/30/2001 10:12:21 AM

Concerning the killing of women and children and non-combatants in general, you should see Numbers 31 of the Christian Bible. In this passage, Jehovah is alleged to have told Moses to kill a lot of captured women and children for no good reason, except that his blood-thirsty god commanded it. So, perhaps the atrocities listed below indeed confirm that American is a Christian nation. Let's hope we can cure ourselves of the disease of Christianity ASAP.


06/30/2001 09:33:19 AM

Well put, Carolus. We should print our money with the motto: "In Capitalism We Trust."


06/29/2001 04:43:28 PM

In what alternative universe could America ever have been considered a Christian Country?! Was it christian to bring the slave ships here, brimming with suffering people literally packed like sardines? Was America christian when genocide, lets to blunt--it wasn't anything but--was practiced against the American Indians. Was america christian when people gathered with the families with picnic baskets to view the latest hanging? Was America christian when innocent civilians were vaporized at Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Dresden. Was America christian when people made souvenir postcards of lynchings. In name, Americans have claimed to be Christian, but in deed, often anything but. And in addition, may I point out the ploddingly obvious? God isn't American, and anyway, the true object of worship today sin't a deity, but the needs and the wants of the market. Truly spoke, we are worshippers of avarice. And no one can worship God and greed at the same time.


06/29/2001 02:50:28 AM

I think the point everyone is missing here is that there never can be a "Christian nation." Even theocracies will fail, because nations are human constructions. Thus, because of the fallen nature of humans, those nations are inherently sinful; they seek self-preservation, as do all institutions. Only the one great and apostolic church, started by Jesus, what's been called the "invisible church," can be called "Christian" -- even individual denominations and congregations are subject to sin, as we have seen throughout history. We can seek God's will for the country, but we had better be darn sure of ourselves before we act on it. Tolerance is a great civic ideal, but for Christians, the ideal is love, and love, particularly tough love, sometimes is intolerant, especially of sin.


06/29/2001 01:46:43 AM

Not to mention that Jesus was basically pure socialism (the community is your family, when we share our loaves and fishes freely it results in overabundance, don't pray publicly - such as in schools or posting the 10 commandments - rather do it in private, etc., etc.), but America often seems to be based on the opposite - to compete and defeat rather than share and cooperate*. The loudest conservative "Christians" seem to me to be selfish; it's all about me, me, me. MY country, MY religion, MY property, MY rights, MY money, MY borders. I think Jesus is horrified. "You can't serve God and capitalism." --Jesus, in Mt. 6:24, Lu 16:13. *It should be noted that America is actually a (healthy, IMHO) mix of communism, socialism and capitalism; a melting pot of isms as well as people. And thank God for that! God bless America? God bless the poor in spirit, the meek and merciful, those who thirst for righteousness, the pure in heart and the peacemakers.


06/29/2001 01:38:04 AM

Funny, isn't it, how in the NT of the Bible the Jews/Pharisees rejected the Samaritans and refused to even acknowledge or talk to them, yet Jesus befriended Samaritans (along with lepers, whores, tax collectors and all the rejected, despised members of society) and even used a Samaritan in his example of one who treated his neighbor as himself. So if Jesus visited America today, how would he treat the Muslims, Wiccans, Homosexuals, Atheists, etc. (not implying similarity by association :) that are rejected by so-called Christians? A: He has equal, infinite love and respect for every single human being ever created. Love your neighbor or go to hell! :)


06/29/2001 01:07:55 AM

Some Christians seem to think that if America was "Christian" everything would be wonderful, but they seem to forget that the early "Christian" settlers of America belonged to different denominations such as Quakers, Puritans, Protestants and Catholics. These groups would settle in certain areas and refuse to allow those of different practices to even LIVE in the same town. (If I'm not mistaken this led Catholics to settle in Virginia and Protestants had to start their own state, I think it was Rhode Island?) Then each group started to try to collect taxes from the general populace to support their one "true" faith. But the founding fathers said NO WAY. They knew the road to hell when they saw it. Christians, be careful what you pray for, you may get it. "Must we choose between left eye and right eye?" -quote by Stephen Mitchell


06/29/2001 12:32:00 AM



06/28/2001 05:21:26 PM

When were we a Christian society? Was it in the days of the Salem Witch Trials? Was it when we exterminated Native peoples and relocated the survivors? Was it in the days of Jim Crow laws?


06/28/2001 01:04:50 PM

I'm tired of hearing people say that they want the US to have Christian values when, in fact, many religions share most of the fundamental principles that Chrisianity is based on. Jesus in Matthew said that (paraphrase)"Treat others as you would have them treat you. This is the sum of the Prophets and the Law. All else is commentary." Jesus demonstrates this well known Golden Rule as THE core principle of Christianity. However, the same principle is repeated in nearly every major religion. Even many Pagans and Wiccans, whom many Christians accuse of being immoral, follow the principle, 'Do as you will, lest you harm another.' Clearly, similiar to the Golden Rule. Those who say this is, or should be, a Christian country are ignorantly threatening the religious freedom that allows us to discuss this topic at all. Religious freedom must come first or, not matter what religion is dominant, we all lose.


06/28/2001 12:23:55 PM

purplegamba, It does not matter what religion, if any, the Founding Fathers had. The important fact is that they fled countries which, either by law or social pressure, forced religious beliefs and customs upon non-believers. So they made damn sure that the U.S. would NOT be such a repressive place. Thomas Jefferson himself said that government had no concern whether its citizens believed in one god or twenty. Read the Constitution and find any mention or reference to any supernatural power, the bible, revelation, anything like that. It's not in there. Although we citizens can believe in whatever magical aliens we choose, we co-exist thanks to our god-less government. There are a lot of people who would credit the prosperity and successes of America to the good graces of their god. I say that that sort of thinking denies the effort and genius of the humans who actually did make this country so great, and, it imposes the nonsensical concept of the Jehovah-god upon our god-less national order.


06/28/2001 12:11:22 PM

I would like to believe that Americca is a Christian nation, that is the principals it was based on. However, I realize over the years many other religions have become more widespread. I hope and pray that we as Christians can show with our actions and attitudes that Jesus Christ is the way and Christianity demonstrates real love. I would hope that we also reach out to other religions and respect what they believe and maybe by this they will see Jesus through us. Also, if not do not judge them, as the beble says "Judge not lest ye be judged." Too sum up, as Christians, we need to love eveyone as Christ would do.


06/28/2001 12:08:06 PM

purplegamba, I am tolerant and respectful of the opinions of others. I do not stand in front of one of the many local Baptist churches and confront the folks as they come out with threats of eternal punishment. However, I have been accosted by people as I exitted a barroom. Of course, there is the time and place for frank, honest discussion. I consider these message boards the appropriate place to do that. Was I intolerant of theinterpreter's point of view? Yes, I guess I was. I am totally intolerant of lies and ignorance and make no apology for it. What does this mean to "respect the opinion" of others. Does this mean I cannot say "Hogwash!" to anyone's nutty proclamations? No, I think respect for one's right to opinion is the real goal, and I do respect all the religionists' right to believe in fairies, demons and gods who rise from the dead. But it is still bunk.


06/28/2001 10:23:40 AM

Does religious pluralism mean merely mutual tolerance and non-intervention in each other's religious affairs? Or does it mean a genuine interest in and desire for understanding, communication with each other, learning from each other, and appreciating each other, on the part of the different religious denominations?


06/28/2001 03:17:18 AM

I find it difficult to accept America as a "christian" nation. This term implies a state-run church, which we obviously don't have. While Christians have the majority, they get all the representation... Unless of course the Repub's take control *shudder*...


06/27/2001 11:39:07 PM

oh, and one more thing. not all christians are out to ruin freedeom of religion, even though you seem to think so. i for one certainly am not. i don't believe you can force someone to believe something, and i'm sure you would agree, and thus i'd rather have a country where people feel free to believe want they want, so we can talk about it, than where everyone is forced to at least pretend to believe the same as I.


06/27/2001 11:37:07 PM

runar: i don't know if you were responding to me or someone else, but i was not talking about the pledge of aliegance or our currency, i was talking about the personal allegancies of the individual founding fathers. just clearing that up.


06/27/2001 11:27:44 PM

Remember that the words "under god" were not added to the pledge of allegiance until the 1950s...nor was "In God We Trust" an original component of U.S. currency. Many Americans are good at claiming to be devoutly religious while pursuing courses of action contrary to many religious principles. If Amarican Christians ever stopped hating each other's sects long enough to gang up on the non-Christians, freedom of religion would become even less than the thinly veiled fiction that it already is.


06/27/2001 10:48:12 PM

Second, most of our founding fathers were christians! Yes, they were revolutionaries, yes, they dared to think for themselves, they rejected the beliefs of the Church of England and of Catholicism in favor of what they believed to be the real truth, what the bible really said. THey did not reject God! Third, christianity has nothing to do, at least not any more, with the suppression of science. Many of the early discoveries in science were made by Christians, who were interested because they believed God had created a complex and organized world and wanted to know more about it. For example, Kepler, Galileo, Compernicus, and Newton, not to mention many others, were, if not all biblical christians, at least deists. I certaintly don't know any christians who have any interest in suppressing science, and i have no idea where you are getting that impression from. Maybe you need to rethink some of your "facts."


06/27/2001 10:47:54 PM

slimtim336: considering we live in a free country, where people are supposed to be tolerant and respectful of eachothers opinions, (or did you neglect that part of your studies?) you are extremely intolerant of theinterpreter's point of view. You said, "Wake up, man, god is just pretend." Says who??? That may be your opinion, but it is definitly not a proven fact. I'll admit there are a lot of christians who are very very bad at defending their position, and sometimes are rather fuzzy as to what they believe, never mind why, and many do use the circular logic that several people on here have mentioned, but that does not mean its the only logic there is! If you want this nation, christian or otherwise, to respect your position as an ?athiest, you need to learn to respect the opinion of the christians who are just as much a part of it.


06/27/2001 10:43:41 PM

In this country we are free to believe what we believe. I don't understand how there could even be a question as to whether this country is Christian or not. Most of our major Christian organizations aren't even Christians by each other's standards.


06/27/2001 10:42:20 PM

I see it as healthy competition, as well as a way to test the strengh of of the Christian religion. Which, as a capitalist, I wholly agree with.


06/27/2001 10:35:50 PM

I don't know why this should even matter, actually.......what many Christians may fail to realize, (those that are bothered by the changes), is that we all need to be grateful for this religious diversity. If others didn't have religious freedom, niether would we, God-given free-will also can't be violated by man........and most Christians believe that there will be a "New Heavens and a New Earth",.....anyway......With Christ on the Throne! Although satanism is a little hard to swallow! Any bellief, any practice of religion or free-will that violates the well-being of others is an exception.


06/27/2001 09:47:36 PM

But, his sweeping definition of what is Christian is fallacious. There is no single majority Christian denomination. Even the larger ones are are split into factions. The claim that we are a Christian nation has been used as a propaganda tool by the likes of Bennet, Reed, Robertson and other rightists to intimidate and manipulate others into giving support to "Christian" (neofascist theocratists similar to Franco and Pinochet, IMHO) candidates and policy measures which have served very evil anti-democractic earthly powers , not anything Divine. IMHO, of course.


06/27/2001 08:54:36 PM

I understand Mr. Easterbrooks point of view about his reasons for why he sees America as being a Christian nation. My take on what he offers however is that Christians are but a religious majority in an other wise multi cultural, multi religious America. For me, that is deffinitely not the same as America being a Christian nation. Nor was it the same for U.S. President Adams in 1797 either when in a treaty with Tripoli his administration clearly and unequivocally indicated that, "America is not a Christian Nation" All religions that I am familiar with are,for me, about power and possession and money. Isn't it all of these that drive so many Christians in their zeal to own America? After all, you don't have to own to do good. emanuel


06/27/2001 08:30:57 PM

The idea that this has been a "Christian" nation until recently is fallacious. Islamic people came into this country in the 1600s as seamen and slaves as did practioners of African religions. Hassidic Jews from Spain were among the early settlers of NYC. Islamic nomads roamed the area that is now Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The claims of Christian revionists are simply absurd when we consider that the first people of this country who still live here and practice their religious rituals are the "Indians", who brought with them their Shamanic practices and whose forms of governemnets were models for our own. Claims that this is a "Christian" nation are patently absurd in face of historical facts. It has been "Christian" racism and bigotry that has hidden this country's unique and longstanding ethnic, philosophical and religious diversity.


06/27/2001 08:18:49 PM

"Too much damn immigrants. America doesn't want or need all these foreigners with their strange weird foreign religions. go away, and leave us an american Christian nation. Go back to your own country." Nah...I think i'll stay a while


06/27/2001 07:56:06 PM

I agree with Protestant Irish about America being a Christian nation in name only. The majority of America is about as Anti-Christ as any country in some ways. I think the problem is everyone who says they are a Christian are not necessarily saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost. I have never known so many racist Christians also as I have in America. Integrated churches are just recently becoming something that I am seeing...probably because people are looking for the Truth and there are so many opinions out there. I believe in the Father, God, the Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, our companion in all truth and righteousness. I do not accept anyone coming before Him or after Him period! He is the Risen One,I prefer to call myself a follower of Christ because the term Christian has been blamed for every atrocity around just because someone used Christ's name in their evil doings. Don't blame my Jesus,blame the workers of iniquity in whom, He will say "Depart from me, I knew you not!


06/27/2001 07:44:57 PM

Although many nations declare Christian ideals, there is no truly Christian nation. Although many nations declare themselves Islamic, none are known to truly follow the beliefs of Islam. Nations are largely false and untrue in their declarations. A Communist nation declaring itself a democratic republic is the ultimate in falsehood. A land of the free that originated from the enslaving and slaughter of native peoples and the enslaving of Africans is also a very gross and offensive falsehood.


06/27/2001 07:13:18 PM

Tyrafair I was just discussing the sphere of irrationality that seems to be a part of the Christian way of thinking: God Exists - Bible Says So - God Says Bible is His Word - God Exists - etc etc etc, but in reality, none of that makes any sense whatsoever. Traeth


06/27/2001 07:10:18 PM

How can you say Christianity was never a dominant force, of course it was. The Religion of Christ infiltrates almost every aspect of our lives, from secular to spiritual. In Europe, the pope wasn't far from King of the World, and that's not dominant? The very morality of the US and most other countries in world is Christian based as well. It is very dominant, frighteningly dominant. Traeth


06/27/2001 07:10:01 PM

I am responding to "Theinterpreter", who seems to think that pagans and athiests are ruining America. As a Wiccan, I can state that more misery has been caused throughout history by in the name of "Christ" than for any other purpose. It seems everyone is an authority on this individual who may or may not have existed. They live by tautology (Our God is the one true God. How do we know? Because he says so. How do we know he says so? Because the Bible is his word. How do we know? Because he says so and he's the one true God). And they call people like me deluded. Listen, interpreter, I pay my taxes just like you do. It makes sense for me to make this country work. To ruin it would mean ruining my life. Live your life and let me live mine. I promise not to commit treason if you don't.


06/27/2001 10:06:17 AM

theinterpreter Have you read the book 'Wizard of Oz'. Your comments resemble stories from a Childs Story Book. Christianity was never the dominant force, it was however the most Imperialistic force since it condoned the colonizing of lands where the inhabitants were not christian, just as it allowed the taking of slaves, provided the slaves were not christian. So, to avoid being enslaved, it was better embrace Christianity. Was it not?


06/27/2001 09:36:25 AM

Alkanx said "This passage [Rev 19] does not say that Christ is coming to rule for 1000 years?" No, it doesn't. Jesus returned in 312AD and placed "the sign of the Son of Man" in the clouds above Rome as forteold in Mat. 24:30 & Rev. 1:7. It was a cross bearing the words "En Touto Nika." As the world history books say, it changed the course of history forever; for Constantine saw the sign and in the twinkling of an eye (within 24 hours) conquered all the known world for Jesus, and Christianity has been the Earth's dominant force ever since. The 2nd coming of Jesus ushered in the first Christian horseman (Constantine & his sucessors) who reigned 1000 years. That is the historicist view of the Revelation (as 1st advocated by the Geneva Bible that was toted by most of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower). The first four horseman are clearly humans who conquered (or reconquered) the Earth for Jesus, so there is no reason to think the 5th horseman is not also human, although he is definitely Christlike.


06/27/2001 08:32:23 AM

The Interpreter, People can call themselves anything they like,(Christians) however that doesn't mean that they are according to God. Please don't just look at the outter labels that one exhaultingly places upon themselves in making assumptions that because a person calls themselves a Christian, goes to church, etc. etc., for the worlds eyes to see, since God's word doesn't even say that is the most important essence of man, therefore, the republicans supporting of Bush calling themselves Christian tells us no more about the state of their Souls than if they called themselves Muslims!~ Now that you brought up the subject though, I find most of them hypocrites from what they say and what they end up doing!~ Peace Chelseanna...


06/27/2001 08:13:09 AM

Sorry all, damn thing brought up the wrong board and I posted before realizing it. :P


06/27/2001 08:04:13 AM

Nearly everything I felt needed to be said and responded to has been. kaliflwr9, thankyou for your well reasoned responces. dred, thank you for supporting my beliefes on fundy's abilitys to develop well thought out and supported arguments. Tealford wrote: (in 43) "3) How does one define "Christian?" If it means people who appreciate the life and teachings of Jesus, then I might agree that America has been a Christian nation (and still is)" Hee hee, that makes me more christian than most christians I know. :P It could be argued that we live in a christian culture looking at values that most people 'clame'. Oddly enough most religons from Wicca to Hinduesim to Judaism (I'm sure I screwed thoes last to up, sorry!) have almost the same moral values.


06/27/2001 12:24:13 AM

jesus_is_my_lord_amen writes: "Children in school aren't allowed to pray to the Almighty, but Allah, not Christ, but Buddha. How Christian is that?" Sorry to burst your bubble, but the Almighty = Allah (SWT). In Islam, we believe that God is one and that He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Self-subsistent. He depends on no one and nothing. To say that He needs a son to carry out His plan is blasphemous to us, as it implies innate weakness. To dissect God, the infinite, into different parts, also negates his limitless and boundless nature. Thus, we call the Almighty, the Lord of the Universe, Self-subsistent and Independent, Allah. Allah is an Arabic word meaning "the God." It is a contraction of "al" (the) and "ilah" (God). Christian Arabs use the word in speech as well as scripture.


06/26/2001 11:58:42 PM

denholt writes: "You reveal that you are not a Christian. I am a Christian. I don't find Serrano's art offensive. You do. Why?" Although I can't speak for NadjaofNewark, I, as a fellow Muslim, find the idea of even representing Jesus (PBUH) in a picture as blasphemous. As Muslims, we believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) was the penultimate prophet of God, i.e. right before Muhammad (PBUH), the final messenger to humanity. We recognize the miraculous nature of his virgin birth by his blessed mother, and we believe that Jesus (PBUH) will play a significant role in defeating the anti-Christ at the end of the world, as do Christians. To us, worshipping Jesus (PBUH) is blasphemous to his omnipotent Creator, God or, as we like to call the Supreme Deity, Allah (SWT).


06/26/2001 08:42:07 PM

Well I believe that america has gone far from christainary. Think about waht Saint Paul said in a latter to tim. He said greed is the root to all eivl. This is so true and waht do most american care about ? Money all we want it money and look how we have death sentence and other hprrobl;e deeds. People do not even believe in amrriage anoymore. People are living together and having children. We do not aloud pryaers in school, but we can tlak about being gay or what so ever. American main be christain nation in name but that about it.


06/26/2001 07:49:36 PM

I think it is natural for people, in order to justify the adoption of a new religion, to criticize their traditional religion. The USA is traditionally a christian nation but more and more people are turning toward other religions to meet their needs because the christian religion is no longer effective for them. Yet it continues to have benifit for many as Mr. Easterbrook's story documents. We should respect all religions because each has it's own potential to help in it's own way. And just as the entire world has many different cultures so it has many different religions which makes life much more interesting. The story shows that the USA is still a "melting pot", a combination of many cultures and of many different needs. Here in the USA we have the right to adopt another religion if we choose to thanks to the wisdom of those "enlightened" founding fathers.


06/26/2001 05:09:35 PM

So, theinterpreter's god made the United States great? Wow. And to think I wasted all that time studying history, economics and law. Wake up, man, god is just pretend. When good things happen, you give him/her/it/them credit. When bad things happen, you cower in fear and wonder what you did wrong to deserve punishment. You're no better than a cave man. America is great because it was founded by and built by people who dared to think for themselves. The Founding Fathers didn't establish a new England, they were revolutionaries. They defied conventional thinking. Most Christians would return us to the dark ages when science was suppressed and social order was forced upon the people from the lord of the manor.


06/26/2001 02:55:10 PM

6/26/01 10:52:57 AM theinterpreter wrote: "The US may indeed fall but Jesus will soon raise up a much greater nation (the 5th horseman) and like its 2 predecessors, it will last 1000 years (Rev. 19)" This passage does not say that Christ is coming to rule for 1000 years?


06/26/2001 02:08:31 PM

Just going down the list of emails posted in regards to Islam -- Many with negative opinion about Islam don't remember their OWN history, their own ROOTS, it is sad that people do not educate themselves even with the Internet available now.


06/26/2001 02:03:28 PM

There is much hard time establishing even a small mosque anywhere is US, a nightmare with city people who are majority Christian faith, but there is hope, more of them have come to a better understanding & learning.


06/26/2001 11:09:43 AM

Lets look at how US became such a powerfull Christian State, just two facts 1) Importing slave labour from Africa. America is built on blood. 2) Almost Annihilating the entire Native American Population. If you kept this up, you could dominate the world for over 1000 Years.


06/26/2001 11:02:20 AM

theinterpreter I can site at least one Non Christian in George W's Administration, viz, Alan Greenspan. You say, "for the gates of hell cannot prevail against us". Has God promised you this?


06/26/2001 10:52:57 AM

"Religiously strong countries have fallen before & there is no guarantee we won't follow... Diversity is strength" The first reign of God's chosen people (Israel) lasted 1000 years. Why did it last that long? Was it not because there was no religious diversity? The 2nd reign of God's chosen people (the Byzantines) also lasted 1000 yrs upon Christianity becoming the only legal religion. So twice God's elect ruled 1000 yrs after diverse religions were banned. Yes, after 1000 yrs, moral decay set in & the kingdoms fell. As for the US, it looks like diversity will be our downfall, & well before we reach the 1000 yr mark. Yes, we have lasted 225 yrs, but that's a blip on God's time scale. Since the return of Jesus in 312AD the Church has ruled (dominated) the Earth, & it will until the end; for the gates of hell cannot prevail against us. The US may indeed fall but Jesus will soon raise up a much greater nation (the 5th horseman) and like its 2 predecessors, it will last 1000 years (Rev. 19)


06/26/2001 08:38:28 AM

gyc No one has said that the democrats are Christians. Everyone knows they are dominated by pagans and atheists. On the other hand can you name even one person in George W's administation who is not a Christian?


06/26/2001 04:07:26 AM

Part 1 ------ The following 63 people where members of the Clinton Administration. They are not christian (belonging to one religious group) but represented the American people. Having such a large portion of the American Administration, being non christian, we can again ask the question, Is America a Christian Nation? (Refer Part 2 below)


06/26/2001 03:59:23 AM

Part 2 ------ Madeleine Albright Robert William Cohen Dan Glickman George Tenet Samuel Berger Evelyn Lieberman Stuart Eizenstat Charlene Barshefsky Susan Thomases Joel Klein Gene Sperling Ira Magaziner Peter Tarnoff Alice Rivlin Janet Yellen Rahm Emanuel Doug Sosnik Jim Steinberg Jay Footlik Robert Nash Jane Sherburne Mark Penn Sandy Kristoff Robert Boorstin Keith Boykin Jeff Eller Tom Epstein Judith Feder Richard Feinberg Hershel Gober Steve Kessler Ron Klein Madeleine Kunin David Kusnet Margaret Hamburg Many Grunwald Karen Adler Samuel Lewis Stanley Ross Dan Schifter Eli Segal Alan Greenspan Robert Weiner Jack Lew James P. Rubin David Lipton Lanny P. Breuer Richard Holbrooke Kenneth Apfel Joel Klein Sidney Blumenthal David Kessler Seth Waxman Mark Penn Dennis Ross Howard Shapiro Lanny Davis Sally Katzen Kathleen Koch John Podesta Alan Blinder Janet Yellen Ron Klain


06/25/2001 04:04:23 PM

I don't know what the interpreter is translating, but what's this about religion and power? Religiously strong countries and cultures have fallen before - - Egypt, the Celts - - and there is no guarantee that the US won't follow eventually. Diversity is strength; understanding is strength. And if you don't want to "let in" any more Pagans and Atheists, stop reproducing. I'm a Pagan from an Episcopalian mother (from Southern Baptists) and an Agnostic father (from Roman Catholics). Souls will choose for themselves which practice they follow, and with that universal choice, you can't be narrow-minded and still be powerful. Did YOU choose to be your religion, or did you just follow the people around you?


06/25/2001 03:49:25 PM

Yes, the U.S. is a Christian nation, but this is merely a demographic observation, not a constitutional fact. This is apparently a difficult concept for many religious folk to comprehend. We could also say that the U.S. is a white nation. That doesn't mean that it's illegal, immoral or improper to be non-white, and it certainly doesn't mean that being white is preferable or superior. It's just a demographic reality of the moment. The U.S. was founded with, operates and flourishes thanks to the entirely godless Constitution. Those of you who would wish to impose your religion on others by government edict are living in the wrong country.


06/25/2001 11:09:29 AM

Although I am not a Christian, I am thankful for the fact that America is still a Christian nation, for it seems to serve as an excellent example of the role that religion can still play in our increasingly complex and cosmopolitan world. Cultures like my own Asian-Indian heritage have long given into the notion that religion in general and Hinduism in particular, stood as an obstacle to the pursuit of education, material success and balanced family life. Many of the educated elite have set this trend by giving up their faith as the last remnant of an outdated culture that should be forgotten if India is to ever shed its third-world image.


06/25/2001 11:09:15 AM

America's unique experiment with a tolerant but sincere approach to Christianity has provided we immigrants with a totally different view, teaching us by example how religion can form a solid foundation for one’s life, while still allowing one to succeed on material levels and interact socially with people from all backgrounds. This has paved the way for Asian Indians to seek out spirituality in their own lives, and indeed, has re-ignited the spark of interest in a healthy spiritual outlook among Hindus both here in the US and in India.


06/25/2001 11:03:34 AM

Eaterbrook misses the main point. Ever since Jesus returned and placed the"Sign of the Son of Man" in the clouds above Rome, the Church has ruled the world (i.e, we've been the dominant body-politic) and we will until the end. The US would not be sitting with Jesus in His throne (having a part in ruling the Earth) if it were not for the fact that we are a Christian nation. And we have the most power of any Christian nation because more of our populace regularly goes to Chruch than in any other nation on Earth. On the other hand, the current trend (towards not being a Christian nation) is indeed disturbing. If the US wants to remain powerful, then it must slam the door shut and not let in any more pagans or atheists.


06/25/2001 09:10:59 AM

Con-oo, feels that 'there are too many damn immigrants'. She further requests that all these foreigners with strange weird religions should leave America and it's Christian nation. Well Con-oo, unless you are a native American, then you are also a foreigner in America. Christianity only became the dominant religion in America with the immigration of White settlers from Europe. So, here is a shocker for ya. Firstly, You are not Native to America and therefore a foreigner. Secondly, a large portion of slaves brought by Christian slavemansters where Muslim or followed a religion other than Christianity. Thirdly, The presence of Islam in America existed centuries before the first Christian settlers (look this up). Conclusion. You are as much a foreigner as the people you accuse to be foreigners.


06/25/2001 01:01:30 AM

One other thing. Look in your directories under churches. You'll find Baptist, Catholic (Roman, Old, Byzantine AND Charismatic!), Lutheran (Missouri Synod and not), Presbyterian, MCC, Orthodox (Russian and Greek) and a plethora of other Christian churches. Hundreds of churches if you're in a large town. But how many see Zoroastrian? How many see Buddhist? Muslim? Santeria? Hindu? Perhaps you'll see a decent number of synagogues, but other religions are vastly underrepresented. It's almost all Christian churches. Numbers do matter, Carrey. These numbers are people who contribute to and benefit from our American culture.


06/25/2001 12:54:06 AM

And throughout history, Americans have embraced a vendetta justice that upheld Christianity's dominance (as well as racism, sexism etc). Burnings of Mormon churches, arrests of teachers teaching evolution, anti-Semitic hiring practices all maintained Christian hegemony. Today it's the social impropriety of mistresses (viz. Giuliani), our opposition to homosexual marriage (still a majority view), and our disdain for blasphemous art (although the majority feels such is offensive, we still can't help but gawk and stare). Our culture reinforces Christian values. Christian predominance and white culture may be losing its grip on America; but it's still there. We see more variety, but those people exist in the background. An image of America as multi-colored and varied is overly optimistic and utterly false. It's more propgandist than anything else. A more exact picture would be a white family in the foreground of a house with a couple colored people in the back, and a horde knocking on the door for admittance.


06/25/2001 12:50:18 AM

Carrey, speaking as a colored American, I can definitely say America is a white nation. Look at media images, look at cultural ideals, look at notions of beauty. We are constantly being presented with white images of Americanness. And these images cater to the white majority, which, however slim, defines American culture. And even when we emigrate to the US, we immigrants adopt this culture as defined by white Americans. Your "liberally enlightened" demonization of Easterbrook's arguments as racist lacks the real logic. This culture is also defined by Christian values. Liberalism itself has deep roots in Christian social justice. The liberal roots of the US came from the confederated states, many of which had official religions: sects of Christianity. Although John Adams might have claimed the US was not Christian, states with Christianity as the official religion would prove otherwise.


06/24/2001 09:29:07 PM

Easterbrook tells us that numbers and culture make America a "Christian nation". That spurious logic therefore means that America is a "white nation". In fact, white supremacists use the very same arguments ("numbers", "history", "culture" whatever that means) that Easterbrook does -- and they are equally offensive. The guy sounds desperate. While 60% of his fellow Christians don't even attend services on a weekly basis, Easterbrook declares them "highly observant" (if that's "highly observant", what defines casual or occasional observance?) He claims that America was "concieved as a Christian society", yet history shows us the exact opposite: the Founders considered any religious requirement odious. He again insists that American is a Christian nation by "authenticity of belief". Huh? Where is his proof that Christianity is any more authentic than any other religion or non-religion? Easterbrook is nothing more than a Christian spin-doctor, weaving from a thin fabric of myths and wishes.


06/24/2001 04:29:06 PM

Why did I get the impression that the author of this piece, while striving not to offend anyone, was nevertheless a bit perturbed at the thought that he may be in a declining "majority?" Having to shout so loud that we are a "christian" nation sounds a bit like someone who feels they are under siege. Just because there are new voices in the house, doesn't mean that the house is falling in.


06/23/2001 11:57:20 PM

sidenote~ recently in an LA hotel i noticed that besides the traditional Bible in the nightstand drawer (thank you Gideons), was a book entitled "The Teachings of Buddha". found that interesting.


06/23/2001 11:46:51 PM

I, personally, do not think America is a "Christian nation." This country was built by Christian men, and claims to give "freedom of religion." Yet the only religion whose freedom is hindered is the one on which this country was founded. I have a television show that I watch, in which the theme song used the word "Heaven," and it had to be changed to "Par'dise" because Heaven implies Christianity. Children in school aren't allowed to pray to the Almighty, but Allah, not Christ, but Buddha. How Christian is that?


06/23/2001 08:08:54 AM

NadjaofNewark writes: I also wish to point out for the edification of several readers that Christianity has allowed itself to be denigrated and marginalized. The defense of Serrano posted below in no way minimizes the insulting nature of his art. You reveal that you are not a Christian. I am a Christian. I don't find Serrano's art offensive. You do. Why? I suspect that [had] Serrano decided to drop a mezzuzah in urine, and made that same statement he would have been in jail for a "hate crime" in thirty seconds. But Serrano didn't. Your speculation is useless and based merely in emotion. You claim that others have responded in "knee jerk" fashion to your posts when in actuality, this is how you react.


06/23/2001 03:04:31 AM

American Blasphamy should be the defamation of someone's religion.


06/23/2001 02:47:00 AM

Eventhough the US is religiously very diverse, its still backward in respecting its minorites. Most of Americans still view non-American non-Christians as 'Martians'. They adore their culture but lack the sense that they are also human. Right now there is no such religion in the entire world that subjugates women, no such religion that demands discrimination. Even the Indian caste-system is more cultural than religious. I have seen that even in Pakistan, the entire day of Christmas and Easter is celebrated on TV and publicly, even though Christians are 1%. Americans are so afraid of losing their Christian identity, that they are treating non-Christians like guests rather than fellow Americans.


06/23/2001 01:45:48 AM

well...maybe it's just me but as hard as mr. easterbrook is trying to not offend other religions, quite frankly i think that does a poor job of it using subtle but sarcastic remarks judging what our Framers "would have thought" about this and that. Even if the numbers that he proposed are true, i still don't understand what the point of his article is. Is it supposed to be some sort of a rebuttle to Ms. Eck's article? Or some sort of egotistical way of saying that Christians kick ass?


06/22/2001 10:35:58 PM

Gore and Lieberman???? Actually, in the end most of the various Muslim political groups supported Bush favored the repeal of the "Secret Evidence Acts" which were used to deport people without them having a chance to see the evidence used against them or to defend against frequently false claims. Gore and Lieberman were not interested in repealing these acts which were used almost entirely against Middle Eastern immigrants.


06/22/2001 10:29:45 PM

Interestingly enough, the elevated status of women and our concept of representative government that protects the rights of minority views (Bill of Rights) is a heritage from the League of the Iroquiois, AKA Iroquois Confederacy. I wish to point out, as a desecendant of the American Indian people, that everyone born here is a "native American." I also wish to point out for the edification of several readers that Christianity has allowed itself to be denigrated and marginalized. The defense of Serrano posted below in no way minimizes the insulting nature of his art. I suspect that Serrano decided to drop a mezzuzah in urine, and made that same statement he would have been in jail for a "hate crime" in thirty seconds. I also wish to note that I am NOT a Christian, but a Muslim, before anyone else chooses to knee jerk in response to my post.


06/22/2001 10:20:46 PM

Too many foreigners?????? In my converts class there is one woman who is definite DAR material, some of her ancestors having featured prominently in the Revolution. Then there is me - some of Mom's family came over on the Mayflower, while others watched the boat arrived and bewailed the deterioration of the neighborhood with the arrival of these foreigners..... Islam is growing not from immigration only, but from the number of American converts. Here in Silicon Valley at the masjid I attend, conversions are regular events as highly educated Americans realize after studying Islam that this is a religion that fits the nature of human beings.


06/22/2001 06:24:08 PM

Too much damn immigrants. America doesn't want or need all these foreigners with their strange weird foreign religions. go away, and leave us an american Christian nation. Go back to your own country.


06/21/2001 08:19:43 PM

According to one of the most important "Founding Fathers," one quite prominently involved in the writings and formation of America - John Adams, it is a mythology that this was EVER set up as a "Christian nation" in the first place! This is a self-serving twisting of the facts (what my grandmother would have called a lie). John Adams felt so strongly about this, he wrote it into a treaty and then signed it: "The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation." -- Treaty of Tripoli (1797) signed by John Adams


06/21/2001 06:32:10 PM

Another thing that makes me laugh is that a lot of Christians will preach about "the Christian majority", and then turn around and denounce those Christian denominations that don't share their doctrine.


06/21/2001 06:28:49 PM

Mr. Easterbrook writes, "But if you had to choose one salient thing about United States spiritual culture, it would not be the growth of plural forms. It would be the strong, solid, and serious Christian majority." Whoa, there, Mr. Easterbrook! I don't know what country you're living in but the Christianity preached in the churches I've visited recently was either dead on arrival or reminiscent of a rabid chihuahua, vicious in its ferocity and laughable in its pitiful ludicrousness.


06/21/2001 06:15:44 PM

The real change in America is not racial diversity or religious diversity because we were always diverse from the get go. The real change is how we treat people who are different from us today compared to yesturday. How minorities are treated and respected by the majority. Today it is better and more harmonious compared to the past.


06/21/2001 06:09:31 PM

I took a class about immigration in America, and remember one book that was interesting about non-European immigration. I think it is called "Strangers from a Different Shore" by Takaki. The author is a 3rd or 4th generation Japanese American and his book was about Asian immigration - long before the 1965 immigration act.


06/21/2001 04:56:07 PM

What a wonderful example for us all to follow. I hope we will see more of the same.


06/21/2001 04:32:16 PM

Actually there are Christian denominations that are pro-choice. That is because there is nothing in the bible against abortion. So you can be Christian and pro-choice.


06/21/2001 03:45:17 PM

I have to question Mr. Easterbrook's facts. I remember learning in a college sociology class (not too terribly long ago) that while ~60% of Americans REPORT attending a religious service at least once a month, if you actually go to the churches, synagogues, temples, etc., you only find enough people to account for ~20% attending once a month. In other words, it seems that if Americans are more religious than other western nations, it is only in that we feel more guilty about our laxity. In any case, it is an intellectual contradiction to claim to be both in favor of legal abortion and a Christian. As such, if %52 of Americans favor abortion laws more or less like those we have (see Alan Guttmacher institute web page for statistics www.agi-usa.org) and 82% claim to be Christian, then one of those numbers must be wrong, and I would suspect that it is the latter.


06/21/2001 03:25:04 PM

Nadja, Who defines blasphemy? According to some Christians the refusal of Muslims to accept Christ as the Son of God is blasphemy.


06/21/2001 02:49:24 PM

NadjaOfNewark believes that "Piss Christ" by the artist Andres Serrano was an "attack" on Christian beliefs and religion. Well, let's hear from Andres Serrano himself what his intent was in creating the work: "My intent was to aestheticize Christ. Beautiful light, I think, aestheticizes the picture. Visually, it doesn’t denigrate Christ in any way." "I think it’s charged with electricity visually. It’s a very spiritually, I would say, comforting image, not unlike the icons we see in church, you know? There is, I think, a very reverential treatment of the image. At the same time, the fact that you know there’s a bodily fluid involved here… it’s meant to question the whole notion of what is acceptable and unacceptable. There’s duality here, of good and evil, life and death." Andres Serrano Nadja, please do your research before making a claim of discrimination.


06/21/2001 02:16:22 PM

In my observation people who are sincere in their religious beliefs know that the real problem is not people with other beliefs, but people who are not sincere.


06/21/2001 01:58:54 PM

Christians have allowed themselves to be marginalized by tolerating attacks on their beliefs and religion. Some years ago during a controversy over a government funded project which consisted of placing a crucifix in a jar of urine, one found many of the Christian churches far more concerned about the image of alleged "intolerance" created by those protesting the project than by the fact that their parishioners tax money was used to pay for an attack on their beliefs. Had such a sacrilege been commited on a mezuzah, no such concerns about "tolerance" would have arisen in the Jewish community. American Christianity has lost its way; the emphasis of most Christian churches is to: "tolerate" blasphemy, and violations of the Christian moral code; to make the members feel better; and to regulate the lives of non-members through such secular activities as gun control and gay rights.


06/21/2001 01:49:14 PM

Today we live in a time when America is moving away from its Christian roots. Yet the early Americans were Protestant Christians such as Puritans, Quakers, AnaBaptists, etc. Congress still follows the tradition of Benjamin Franklin of opening with a prayer. Moses holding the 10 commandments is diplayed at the Supreme Court. God We Trust is on our Coins, and One Nation Under God is in our pledge. And who can forget those glorious songs of the past, "God Bless America" and the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" which starts with: "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the LORD," and ends with "Glory, Glory, HalleluYAH, His truth is marching on."


06/21/2001 01:45:57 PM

Easterbrook writes: “Thomas Jefferson, when he wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom--which he called a more important achievement than the Declaration of Independence--did not have Jainism in mind.” But, Thomas Jefferson wrote about the passage of that law: "Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word 'Jesus Christ,' ... The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of it's protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination." (spelling as in the original). The founders of this country were well aware of the diversity of faith in the world, and intended to embrace that diversity.


06/21/2001 01:27:44 PM

Biblically, God only one nation and that is the nation of Israel and from it came the Messiah who was the Savior of the Jews and Gentiles. Frankly, freedom of religion is the crown jewel of our Constitution and is found only in our United States. There is no state church, but there has always been religious influence. However, I do have a problem with the U.S. having an ambassador to the Vatican (news correspondent Cokie Roberts' mother). The Pope has jurisdicion over U.S. Catholics, but should not have personal influence in our affairs. We as citizens can petition our Congress and Pres. based on our religious beliefs. Remember the Pope believes in a Church-State rule.


06/21/2001 01:17:34 PM

Im supposing im a bit off on my history but i always thought that the founders of america based their writings on basic christian principles and values. i dont think that this makes it a "christian nation", but rather a nation based on christian values of love, equality, and justice. THese values are not exclusively christian by any means, but i did think thats what they were to these men. Thus we were founded as a Christian based nation with religious freedom for all religions , as long as it was in accordance with the laws and values represented in the constitution.


06/21/2001 01:15:39 PM

The United States was never a Christian Nation. It wasn't until McCartheism that that idea really took off. That's when they modified our pledge of allegience and our money. Our founding fathers were mostly Deists or Unitarians, not Christians. Thomas Jefferson was perhaps the most popular, with many writings criticizing Christianity and religion in general. Other famous non-Christian founding fathers included Thomas Paine, George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin.


06/21/2001 01:01:55 PM

Easterbrook seems to be implying that non-Christians are "guests" in the United States and live in relative peace and security because of the magnanimity of the "host" religion. I like to believe we live in a Pluralist Democracy. As for "we're the majority", isn't that somewhat the way white supremacists think?


06/21/2001 12:27:03 PM

I take offense at Eck's off hand remark: "guided in their response to people of other faiths by a couple of verses torn out of the New Testament as if they were Chinese fortune cookies." The New Testament has two themes, that of Jesus's redemption of humanity and how to live as a Christian. We are asked to be Christ's disciples and share his message just as he shared it first with us. Why is the reaction automatically that a Christian witness is doing so out of hate, intolerance, ignorance? Why not respect the Christian faith and what we are called to, just as other religions are respected? Why do you fear us so much? Why do you feel so challenged? Why do you want us to stop remaining faithful to Jesus and just embrace all religions? Study other religions, respect other humans and this Earth, and share the love of Jesus with everyone. That's what this Christian will do as long as she lives.


06/21/2001 11:38:23 AM

As a democracy we will need to accept plurism. It is the bench mark of democracy. Our individual doctrines have to be put aside and as a nation we have to be open to new thoughts and doctrines. Compassion and tolerance should show us the way to understanding and acceptance. We are more than a "Christian Nation" we are a people who need to be united in diversity


06/21/2001 11:31:22 AM

The foundation of religious freedom inherent in the political laws of this nation have little to nothing at all to do with either Judaism or Christianity. All these basic freedoms were hashed out in antiquity by the Native American peoples from which they were originally adopted. The notion of various nations or peoples coexisting in one land under a government which respects the autonomy of various peoples is inherent in neither heritage. For that, we can only thank the original inhabitants of this land alone. The notion that our religious freedom has any foundation in a "Judeo-Christian" heritage is demonstrably untrue. Likewise, Islamic heritage is also totally lacking in religious freedom and political autonomy. If we want to see where our religious and political freedom came from, we need only to look in our own backyard and not across the ocean.


06/21/2001 11:27:31 AM

Perhaps I'm quibbling over semantics, but I don't believe that just because 82% of Americans say they are Christians makes America a "Christian Nation". By using the same logic, it follows that because the majority (I think) of Americans are white, that makes us a "White Nation". Most people would NOT agree with that statement, even politicians.


06/21/2001 10:00:14 AM

We have ALWAYS been these two things: Racially diverse Religiously diverse From the Native Americans who first discovered the Americas thousands of years ago, to the most recent immigrant who just arrived today.


06/21/2001 09:07:28 AM

Caliana - I agree with you in spirit. We are a more-than-Chistian nation. I think you raise a couple of valid points about the law. But your points are really only tangential to your arguement becuase the fact is that our laws are in fact based on the "spirit of Judeo-Christian and Mosaic law." Our ideas about justice and equality come right of our relgious heritage. As a scholar of American History, I assure you this is true. BUT, I must add that our laws are based on the Spirit of the Law and not the dogmatic letter of Judeo Christian law. That said, it doesn't matter so much where we came from as it does where we are headed. And indeed, we are much more than a Christian nation and I for one am happy that we are as diverse as were are!


06/21/2001 09:02:09 AM

I have to laugh whenever the phrase "Christian Nation" comes up. This is because religious pluralism is nothing new. Although it is true that most of the original settlers were Christians, in those days being a member of a different denomination was virtually the same as being a member of a totally different religion. The Anglicans of Virginia disagreed in most matters with the Puritans of Massachusetts who diagreed with the Quakers, etc. Many of these people didn't even consider other denominations to be real Christians! Religious diversity is the history of America. We should be proud of it. Because our diverse Founding Fathers saw fit to ensure that no denomination or religion was favored over another we have a strong religious fabric in this country.


06/21/2001 08:27:47 AM

The US is NOT a Christian nation, the entire concept of the United States as a Christian Nation is revisionist history. Assuming most of the founding fathers were Christian (many of them weren't), and that they founded this country of Christian principles (which they didn't, I haven't seen any laws about worshiping idols recently) that would still not make this a Christian Nation, because this nation was founded primarily on freedom of all types, and by founding the country on freedom they did not allow majority rule, thus this nation is not christian even if most of it's citizens are. Simple enough, freedom does not allow for majority dominance of the minorities. Thus all religions can and should be welcomed here. Love and Light


06/21/2001 07:28:22 AM

Aedgist, Quite right! America never was a "Christian nation," unless we determine a nation to be "Christian" by its extermination of the native inhabitants. The "founders" were "deists" of every conceiveable variety. The name "Jesus" is conspicuous by its absence in all the US "founding" documents, most of which are all based upon the original Iroquois Confederation of Nations, also not Christian.


06/21/2001 06:29:42 AM

Heh, I am just a simple European (sarcasm here), but the title says "Is America still a Christian nation". Going through my history books, I can come up with only one question; exactly when in history was America a Christian nation?


06/21/2001 02:25:11 AM

One of the beauties of America is that we are able to choose the religion or ways of our beliefs. I grew up Methodist. As I'm in my late twenties, I'm finding that I don't believe in very little thing that I was taught about my dinomination or any of the others. As I study other religons & learn from them as well, I find that the main thing is to love yourself, spread the love, keep the peace & believe. If you found "your" way to connect to your higher power & this is what feels right to you, then go for it. For me as well as many others, it's wonderfull when we find our personal connection, or soul journey. I'm sorry I don't know what to say to Aetheist, becasue I always new there was "something" to believe in. Maybe now that I'm older I'm on a different route with my beliefs. I never knew what it was like not to believe. I thought about it, trust me. I've been through plenty of rough times. I must say though I do respect your choice as well.


06/21/2001 01:54:10 AM

I agree with Lotuslady, we need to love each other more and forget about the past. Quite focasing on past injustices and deal with the present. Maybe we can get ride of racisim and intolorance if we simply accept everyone and quite implanting these thoughts into our children's minds. I know that when I was little I thought that things like that were part of the past and now I am learning different. Maybe our kids can grow up with that as a reality.


06/20/2001 10:11:26 PM

I think we need to love one another..


06/20/2001 09:17:59 PM

Would you want the country to be too tolerant of vigilante violence or vandalism against homosexuals, and yet more concerned with promoting intolerance towards beliefs against homosexual behavior? Would you rather have the country more intolerant of vigilante violence and vandalism against anyone, but more tolerant of beliefs against homosexual behavior or prohibitions against gay adoption?


06/20/2001 09:17:31 PM

The idea of a Christian nation, etc. really should be more about Judeo-Christian values and principles -- not mere attendance in a church, etc. We do wind up using values to guide policy, whatever religion or non-religion guides us. In a pluralistic society, you still can have a basic moral or values paradigm. There are many types of tolerance depending upon values. If you think most or all religious beliefs are basically evil, for instance, that value against them will promote a tolerance based more on watering down beliefs. If you think making the best of a real world and civil society is best, regardless of belief, then those values will promote a tolerance based on civil behavior.


06/20/2001 08:54:39 PM

What utter bollocks. Just because the majority is Christian does not make this a CHRISTIAN nation. It makes it a Christian-dominated nation. Learn the difference.