Friday, November 30, 2012
Christianity and America part 2: Should America still be a Christian nation?
Welcome back to my series of posts on Christianity and America. In part 1, I talked about why America was founded as, and still is, a Christian nation. In part 2 today, I answer the question: Should we still be a Christian nation?
This is a question often pondered, usually by progressives, but not always. Many Christians themselves consider this as well. With a growing demographic that has expanded beyond the bounds of Christian denominations, is the founding fathers original vision outdated? It's an easy argument to make. Islam didn't really have a presence in America. Atheism and secular humanism didn't quite catch on in Europe until well after America was established and settled. Most of the religious wars in Europe were fought over which way was the best to worship God. If you want to put it one way, Europe was for many centuries "monoreligious". Sure, there were different denominations, but they all followed the basic tenets of Christianity and the Bible. Ironically, it's this history which has served as both an influence for our founding fathers as well as for some modern atheists' (shallow) claims that "religion only causes wars and death"...or something similar to that. From this perspective, it's easy to get this progressive feel that our country is "trending away" from Christianity to be more "diverse" and "all inclusive". Sort of makes sense, right?
However, I'm going to call upon an old adage here: "Just because we can, doesn't mean we should." To adapt that to this perceived trend would be "Just because we seem to be heading that way, doesn't mean we should." Many people, it seems, have been quite focused on the "can" part, but don't necessarily take the "should" part into the equation. I consider this a result of the growing activist mentality where people are encouraged to always fully exercise their rights whenever possible. And why? Because they can. The problem with this mentality is that it doesn't seem to take anything other than the desire to exercise one's rights into account. For example, as a pedestrian, you have the right of way in virtually every scenario. If you walk out onto a busy street, you have the right of way over the cars speeding by. Yet, conventional wisdom would say that you probably shouldn't exercise that right whenever you feel like else you're bound to get run over by a driver (probably on their cell phone) not paying attention. Another example: You have every right to speak your mind about your boss, even if it's unflattering. But again, common sense would indicate that you shouldn't because chances are if you're insulting enough, you'll get fired. As you can see, there's a common sense element in both examples. Common sense tends to be the gap between the "can" and the "should".
So how does common sense factor into whether we should stick with our secularizing trend or swerve back to Christianity? As I've pointed out previous, it wasn't until the latter half of the 20th century where atheism and secular humanism started to take hold in this country. Coincidently, that's around the time that our country's prosperity and quality began to flag. Our education has been on the decline since the 50's, where our SAT scores nationally were at an all time high. With the exception of Ronald Reagan's historic economic turnaround (who is a Christian and conservative, mind you), our economy continues to slide as well as our global competitiveness. Up until the mid 20th century, America was continually blessed from its inception to the point where it was able to successfully fight a world war on two fronts to fight back evil around the world. While America itself doesn't have a perfect past, the fact that it has correct many of its mistakes and had continued to be blessed is a coincidence you cannot ignore. When we were solidly a Christian nation, God blessed the country. Ever since the country began to turn to secular humanism, we've been on the decline. Common sense might tell you that being a Christian nation actually is the best.
And if you want to call it coincidence, I'd like to point out another country that follows God: Israel. No, they're not a Christian nation, but Chrstianity sprang forth from Judaism and they share many common traits. Israel, despite being a small nation surrounded by enemies in the middle of the desert, has been famously prosperous while many of its neighbors have not. They've been successful in fighting off destruction for over 60 years despite being surrounded by bigger enemies. If you want another example of a country that God has blessed and protected, look to Israel.
People like to dismiss this correlation as coincidence. That somehow to two most blessed and successful countries in recent history were both God worshipping nations was just coincidence. Yet, at the same time, they'll dismiss the record that atheists (via socialism) and secular humanism have racked up over the decades and centuries as "they just haven't gotten it right, yet". Socialism (aka Leftism) is responsible for more deaths than any other movement in history. Soviet Russia and Communist China has murdered more than 100 million of its own citizens (most during peace time). America's decline in the past 50 years can be attributed to secular humanism's moral relativity and the lack of accountability to a higher power.
So let me ask this: How exactly is our country slipping into decline "progress"? So yes, while we can shed ourselves of this supposedly outdated, ancient and cumbersome religion as a nation, the results seem to be indicating that we shouldn't and instead should embrace what our founding fathers had embraced and what had been working for nigh 175 years: Christianity.
So should America still be a Christian nation? Absolutely. It's part of what has made the nation great. Turning our backs on a proven formula just because some "smart" people can't come to grips with its irrationalities doesn't seem all that smart at all.
That wraps it up for part 2. This answered the question and gave an over arcing view why we should steer back to Christianity. In part 3, I'll tackle some of the issues/points that the opposition uses in their crusade to separate America from its Christian foundation.