Tuesday, October 02, 2007

John McCain and A Christian Nation

In a recent interview with Beliefnet, Senator and presidential hopeful John McCain made the following comments - I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someone who has a grounding in my faith. Senator McCain has been widely criticized for his remarks. While he's certainly free to believe what he wants, Senator McCain must remember that if elected president he would be the leader of a nation of many different religious - and nonreligious - beliefs and as such it is important that he appear not to favor any particular group over all others. Having said that, most of us - including myself - would prefer a president who represents our beliefs.

But the comments that bothered me in his interview are the following - I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation. A senator should know better than this. Nowhere in the Constitution, in fact, do the words God or Christian appear. To be declared a Christian nation would require some sort of official action, such as a proclamation by Congress. This has never happened. In fact, I am aware of only one time when the federal government, in an official document, commented on our nation's status as a Christian nation. This came very early in our history when a trade agreement with the nation then known as Tripoli was ratified. This document specifically says that the United States is not a Christian nation.

It is correct to say that the United States is a nation of many Christians. It is also correct to say that the founding documents of the United States were influenced by Christianity. But it is absolutely incorrect to say the United States is a Christian nation. I say this as one who wishes that we would become a Christian nation - not by any government decree but by the free acceptance of the Christian faith by all of our fellow citizens.

No senator/presidential candidate should make this mistake.

1 comment:

CB Scott said...

The United States was never a Christian nation. It was and still is a nation whose Constitution was based upon the Judeo-Christian ethic. Reading history helps.