Sketches on Atheism

A Christian Nation

Cross_Flag_nationWe often hear talk of the US being a Christian Nation. This, of course, is an absurd statement. In no way was the US crafted as having a government whose institutions were based on any religious belief, let alone Christianity. The majority of the founders had, in fact, long dismissed Christianity, some like Franklin even despising its dogma, and were non-descript Deists who drew their inspiration of nation-building from the goals of the Enlightenment. One, however, can only speculate how their opinions of even that fabulously loose deistic god hypothesis would have been altered should they have lived long enough to have had enjoyed an afternoon tea with Charles Darwin, or peruse Dmitri Mendeleev’s first published periodic table, or discuss plate tectonics with Alfred Wegener, ponder the nature of stars with the utterly brilliant Cecilia Payne, or had the opportunity to sit beside Edwin Hubble as he described those receding smudges of light he spied through his telescope.

Christians, especially those of the fundamentalist, extreme right-wing variety, choose, however, to ignore reality and insist the US was and should be once again a Christian nation… and this raises the question: What would a Christian Nation actually look like? I posed this question to a number of people recently and none answered. It seems they’d never actually thought about it, and when pressed on the matter, collapsed into utter confusion.

I can sympathise with their failure.

What are unique Christian principles, and do any of these trump the goals of the Enlightenment? What would a Christian nation’s economic and education policy look like? What would a Christian nation’s science policy look like? What would a Christian nation’s welfare and social policies look like? Would this nation have a standing army, and if so, would it be expeditionary in nature? What would the powers of the religious police be? Would these officers of the Law police perceived moral behaviour? Would capital punishment be enforced, and if so, by what means? Stoning?

Would there be freedom of speech and a free media in a Christian nation?

One thing we could say with some confidence is a government whose institutions were based on a single religion would demand all employees and political appointments reflect that religion; so a religious test would be brutally enforced. Clerics would, therefore, sit on the Supreme Court, which raises the question: what would the nations Law look like in this Christian nation? Would Moses Law of the Pentateuch stand? Many, if not most evangelicals believe it does, like Gary North, who insists his Dominionist Christian nation would be a paradise where children were stoned to death in public squares. Jesus certainly said Moses Law stood, and would remain in place until heaven and earth passed away. Other Christians, however, reject Jesus’s command and follow Paul (the Paulanites) and use his words to say Moses Law was rendered obsolete.

Who would decide?

The confusion would have to be sorted out, and after the decision was made (or more likely, after the war between competing Christian factions was over), would the other camp accept it and live peacefully, or forever ferment in their fury? Provided the followers of Paul (the Paulanites) were victorious, what would a post-Moses Law look like? Jesus’ words recorded in the gospels are little more than substanceless poetic kites. He said nothing even remotely new, or marginally useful, so upon what would the laws be drawn?

Would the Christian nation follow the example of the first Christians detailed in Acts who were Communists?

Talk is fine, but let’s put some meat to this fundamentalists dream. If Christians are so adamant that they want a Christian nation, and believe such a thing is even real, then stand up and let’s hear what the mechanics of that nation would be.

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186 thoughts on “A Christian Nation

    • It sounds so logical to the rest of us, but this seems to be an abhorrent thought to the fundamentalist.

      Still, I do hope we get some brave Christian soul front up and give us his or her concept of what this nation would look like…. I’m genuinely interested.

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    • Sorry~! Can’t be done. Wouldn’t be done—it’s a blatant contradiction in terms (which means that one of the premises is false. Sadly despite ‘rights’ it’s a dog-eat-dog world where religion is concerned and ‘no option is off the table’ (if you think you can get away with it).

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      • You are right where it concerns the fundamentalists. However most religious people aren’t fundamentalist, or aren’t aware of the deeper principles of their faith. Indeed to many religious their faith is just about going to church every week or praying before dinner. Such folk religion could be tolerated in a secular state.

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      • In an enlightened secular state any religion could be tolerated, so long as leaves the innocent to their own pursuit of happiness. But we both know “that ain’t gonna happen” …

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      • Needless to say, in a Christian USA atheists and Islamists would be in refugee camps in Canada. And if the moderate Christians ever try to show compassion on the remaining heathens (Jews, Mormons, Buddhist and Hindi) the ‘ChrisTaliban’ would evolve independent of the government and impose Old Testament fire and brimstone in their local areas. Ultimately, a new group calling themselves ‘CRISUS’ (Christian Religious International State of the United States) would form claiming a new Holy Roman Empire and whacking heads off.

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  1. John, you forgot about government collected tithes to support all of the Christian Churches, say 10% of income. If you think people complain about taxes being collected by the government, what about tithes and taxes together? And then what constitutes a Christian Church? Will people be happy that the Mormons will be receiving the tithe, collected by the IRS? How about the Universal Life Church? (For those not old enough, to recall the ULC was created as a religious institution during the Viet Nam War. Young men of draft age were made ministers to give them draft exempt status.) I think the evangelicals will not be happy that Catholics will be receiving about half of all of the tithes collected. Oh Joy, oh joy!

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    • This subject could fill a bulky thesis, but you know i adore brevity.

      Good points, though: who decides what is “Christian”? 42,000-plus opinions on that… which would make for a somewhat confusing war when the theists inevitably start throwing hot metal at each other to sort it all out. And that’s before we even start considering the fate of others faiths.

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      • John, I visited a little village in Northern Germany in April. My friends who live there tell me Municipalities still collect taxes which are distributed to the local Churches. It is not compulsory however. He says people tend to pay the tax when they have a significant event in their lives like infants ready to be baptized . 🙂

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      • Here in Finland we all pay taxes to the Finnish Lutheran church. One pays personal church tax, if one is a member of the church (I have never been) and basicly everybody gets to pay the communal church tax because it is collected from enterprizes for the benefit of the church regardless, if the owner is a Christian or not. The tax has been a major reason for thousands of people resigning from the church every year. Especially since some atheists set up an internet page to resign when it is private and conviniet to do. It used to be, that one had to go to explain to the local parish why one wanted to resign membership, but that was considered inhumane decades ago.

        Almost nobody, but a few conservative fanatics and some old grannies attend church services, exept for to pabtice their kids, confirmation, marriages and funerals. That means the average Lutheran Christian here is paying taxes every year for services they are going to use less than a dozen times in a lifetime. Exept if one has several divorces in a row.

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      • I wish the Catholics had a de-register option! The Vatican loves rolling out this number 2 billion members, but they never actually let anyone who was baptised without consent cancel the contract.

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  2. Nice. I love a post inspired by Insanity. Anything a nation was founded on should remain unchanged forever, makes perfect sense. Long live the Queen and all her descendants for eternity. God forbid that our understanding of life, democracy, society or superstition should ever progress!

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  3. Beautifully written, and I couldn’t agree more. I’ll be following the comments to see if any Christians step up to answer not only what a Christian nation would be like, but also why is it they think the US was, in fact, originally founded as one.

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    • but also why is it they think the US was, in fact, originally founded as one

      Oh dear lord, no! You can show these people a thousand quotes, a million secular examples, a billion attestations that disprove their claims, and they don’t register it. Their confusion, clearly, comes from conflating a country where most people were/are Christians, with a government structured for Christians…. whatever that would look like.

      But yes, I want to see some jump in and give some real meat to the matter and articulate what it would all look like, and how it would function.

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      • I’d love to see a Christian country! A monopoly, one happy to accept genuine Christians without reservation; run by Christians for Christians. Hopefully one that all the Christians can go to, and do.

        And a secular state, where only genuine human rights form the base of all social and political interactions.

        Christian state would endure, free state would go under very quickly … no? One reason, of course—the old ‘contradictions’ thing …

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  4. Perhaps the schools would look like ACE schools? My school was nominally Church of England, so religious assembly followed those lines. But, if your parents didn’t agree, you could get withdrawn from it. I just used to skive off it when I got to sixth form. School hymn was a pain too – ‘Each for all and all for god’ but it was written by a bishop…

    Maybe the US should have a referendum. They could set up a big circus like the presidential campaign. Or each state could choose its particular brand of christianity. Deport all atheists (assuming they hadn’t already escaped). Give other religions the chance to recant? Sort of auto de fe style. North would like that.

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    • True, the ACE curriculum would rule supreme, which would mean American children (and adults) would all believe men rode dinosaurs. That would make for some interesting exchanges on the foreign stage. It would also really interfere with NASA. I guess the Christian US would have to sell it, and every science department… Perhaps to Brazil, or Spain!

      I like the idea of Christian States. Shows you’re thinking. So Utah would have a war and the Mormon’s could win and establish their own theocracy there. They’d probably march into Idaho, then engage whoever won Wyoming. Pity the poor Amish… They’re done for.

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  5. They could adopt the reliable islamic socioeconomic business model, Let’s play, “one of these things is just like the other” – christians/muslims…Fascism/Fascism…totalitarianism/totalitarianism…potato/potatoe.

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  6. Superb post John. I haven’t read the comments yet, so not sure this was mentioned, but if people want to get an idea of what it would be like to live in a Christian nation — just look at the bible-belt, where most of the most religious states are.

    ➡ Highest infant mortality rate
    ➡ Worst place for women to live
    ➡ Highest obesity rate
    ➡ Highest diabetes rate
    ➡ Highest STD/HIV rate
    ➡ Highest poverty rate
    ➡ Highest divorce rate
    ➡ Highest depression rate
    ➡ Highest high school dropout rate
    ➡ Highest incarceration rate
    ➡ Highest death penalty rate
    ➡ Highest gun ownership
    ➡ Highest racial discrimination
    ➡ Corporal punish legal in schools

    They predominately have the highest violence rate. South Carolina, which is a very religious state, has the highest homicide rate in the nation against women.

    “South Carolina once again has been ranked the worst in the nation when it comes to men killing women.

    The state’s rate of females murdered by males was more than double the national average, according to a report released Tuesday by the Violence Policy Center in Washington.

    http://www.thestate.com/2013/09/25/3001145/south-carolina-worst-in-country.html#storylink=cpy

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    • Oh, I’ve heard of this guy. He’s the Revisionists Revisionist, right?

      A couple of weeks ago i even skimmed an article highlighting all the times he lied in some “paper” he wrote.

      It’s always fascinating when these people have to lie to make their case. I wonder if it actually ever dawns on them what they’re doing?

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  7. This entire “Christian nation” is such a weird claim, that the first actual secular nation in western world, was supposedly founded on Christianity. What strange sort of Christianity, that must have been, but then again, Christianity has changed a lot as a religion, from generation to generation and especially from them days, when all those religious wars were going on in Europe each and all of them between Christians.

    The post reminds me of the same sort of revisionistic history, like the claims about Christianity being somehow less belligerent than other religions, wich is obviously just silly, because the modern sort of Christianity without actual religious wars is a direct result of Christianity no longer having as much political influence (much as a result of the efforts of the “founding fathers” of the US of A) as it once used to.

    Or this rather peculiar idea of some “Judeo-Christian” values and history. When was the “Judeo-Christian” as a term even invented? To my knowledge conservative Christians both sorts of Catholics as well as basicly all protestants hated the Jews, or at least were very suspicious of them not so long ago. Only after Zionism infected Christians – some 70 years ago, the Jews have become best buddies of the “conservative” Christians. This as well as the topic post effectively demonstrate how short memories the conservatives have. And how ignorant they really are. I guess, that is where conservatism comes from. Ignorance, that causes terrible amounts of fear of the unknown and those two combined as a political motive to invent an alternative history in place of the actual one.

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    • Luther wanted Jews hunted down and murdered on the streets! He wanted them rounded up and executed. So yeah, the “Judeo-Christian” is a strikingly odd term to be coming from Protestants mouths. Equally head spinning is, as you pointed out, people calling the first intrinsically “secular” nation, Christian. I mean, WTF???

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  8. Anyone recall ‘Christendom’? The term has lately evaporated from history, but adequately described a collection of nations that shared the central Christian tenets (and not the thousands of quibbling renditions of the tangents). Whatever happened to Christendom?

    Well, secularization happened because, as the American revolution demonstrated, one really could have a functioning government based not on top-down power derived from some god and bestowed on the privileged few doing the temporal governing but from the bottom-up lending of consent from the governed (you know, articulated rather well, I think, by Abe… government OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people).

    I have since noticed there is some weight given to the ‘people’ portion of this modern day ‘Abrahamic’ model of government, strangely enough. I’m not quite sure how so many historical revisionists favouring an interpretation of the founders’ secretive intentions to establish an American version of Christendom seem to miss the importance of that emphasis on people, but hey. What I do notice is that nowhere in this understanding is there any hint of some God requirement or derived power from above. In fact, and what should be obvious to those not suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect is that the American governing model is the antithesis of a ‘Christian’ nation model for just this reason. How very strange, I guess, that so many of the founders seemed to have gotten it wrong!

    Oh well.

    Mind you, there’s a pretty good clue that resides in the fact that there really is an absence of any mention of any god-derived authority anywhere in the Constitution… you know, the document outlining the powers to govern… and (hard to believe, I know) actually signed by these foolish founders. Seems a stretch to think none of them noticed this absence in their supposed motivation to create another Christendom state.

    Funny, that.

    Buy, hey, recognizing the obvious (and respecting reality’s arbitration of beliefs held about it) has never been a strength of the faithful… or maybe they just hide this strength almost as well as the founders hid their true intentions to join the United States to the rest of Christendom.

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    • the American governing model is the antithesis of a ‘Christian’ nation model for just this reason.

      Nicely said.

      The Curmudgeon dealt with this issue recently, interestingly citing how a Constitution based on Christianity would actually read. To quote:

      “For contrast, take a look at some of the Colonial Charters. Let’s use Connecticut as an example. Here’s the preamble to their charter of 1639 (almost 150 years before the Constitutional Convention), with bold font added by us:

      For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God by the wise disposition of his divine providence so to order and dispose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield are now cohabiting and dwelling in and upon the River of Connectecotte and the lands thereunto adjoining; and well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requiresthat to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Government established according to God, to order and dispose of the affairs of the people at all seasons as occasion shall require; do therefore associate and conjoin ourselves to be as one Public State or Commonwealth; and do for ourselves and our successors and such as shall be adjoined to us at any time hereafter, enter into Combination and Confederation together, to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess, as also, the discipline of the Churches, which according to the truth of the said Gospel is now practiced amongst us; as also in our civil affairs to be guided and governed according to such Laws, Rules, Orders and Decrees as shall be made, ordered, and decreed as followeth:

      That‘s the way to declare the establishment of a “Christian Nation.””

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      • Seems rather an obvious difference, doesn’t it? Yet this kind of compare-and-contrast technique (available to anyone with an internet connection or a local library) seems beyond the abilities and academic scope of these Christian historical revisionists. Maybe that’s what happens when you homeschool relying only on religious materials; I can’t explain just how colossally stupid is this belief in the Christian nation.

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    • One has only to look to the Salem Witch trials to see what results from fear and ignorance, and the clergy having their way in the government.

      “In May 1692, the newly appointed governor of Massachusetts, William Phips, ordered the establishment of a special Court of Oyer (to hear) and Terminer (to decide) on witchcraft cases for Suffolk, Essex and Middlesex counties. Presided over by judges including Hathorne, Samuel Sewall and William Stoughton, the court handed down its first conviction, against Bridget Bishop, on June 2; she was hanged eight days later on what would become known as Gallows Hill in Salem Town. Five more people were hanged that July; five in August and eight more in September. In addition, seven other accused witches died in jail, while the elderly Giles Corey (Martha’s husband) was pressed to death by stones after he refused to enter a plea at his arraignment.” [quote history.com/topics/salem-witch-trials]

      The reason you won’t have christians speak the truth here about their visions for a “christian nation” is they KNOW when you say that shit out loud it sounds horrible.

      “More than once it has been said, too, that the Salem witchcraft was the rock on which the theocracy shattered.” ~quote George L. Burr

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      • The reason you won’t have christians speak the truth here about their visions for a “christian nation” is they KNOW when you say that shit out loud it sounds horrible.

        I think you might be right, my friend.

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  9. Ah yes, the want for a Christian nation. I always found it fantastically ironic how those that want such an absurdity seem to miss that a Christian nation would most probably be akin to an Islamic state (though I suppose there are recent statistics showing they fear Atheists more than extreme Islamists :p).

    It confounds me as a student of history how such claims even became relevant to a portion of the population. I mean, is there some public school out there falsely discussing the religious beliefs of the founding fathers? Though I suppose the most I ever learned about that was an individual book assignment I completed for an AP US History course in which I found that the majority of documented early colonial America was secular or, at the most, Deist. And they say history isn’t important, bah!

    Bravo and well-written as always~

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    • it confounds me as a student of history how such claims even became relevant to a portion of the population.

      Tildeb summed it up above in one word: Homeschool.

      I’d like to hear a Christian really dive into the subject though, and give us the nuts and bolts of it all. It’d be interesting, if not a tad odd.

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      • Right?! You wonder what psychology goes on when someone thinks they can school their children better than educators who spend every year attending seminars and workshops to better their profession and skills. I wouldn’t take it so personally except I was on the education track of becoming a secondary teacher in history until I became fed-up with administration and lack of jobs…hmmm, wonder if I can blame homeschooling >.<

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  10. As someone said before me, a christian who followed the teachings of his religion would be useless to himself and the state. Following the same logic, a state founded on such principles would self destruct

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      • They would be no families, they would forsake kith and kin for the kingdom. I tell you John, the moment you apply yourself too much to religious thought, one can’t help but see it as absurd

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      • How’s this for unworkable:

        Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

        Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

        Luke 14:33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

        Matthew 6:26 “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”

        Luke 18:22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

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  11. Pingback: A Christian Nation | Christians Anonymous

  12. Here’s what we’re up against, from an email I got today.

    “In Texas, the State Board of Education is currently considering proposed social studies textbook standards that would teach students that “states’ rights” caused the Civil War, that affirmative action is unnecessary, and that Moses had a direct influence on the U.S. Constitution. And our allies at the Texas Freedom Network report that proposed textbooks deny the seriousness of climate change and even claim that “scientists disagree about what is causing climate change” — a blatant falsehood.
    Tell the Texas State Board of Education that social studies textbooks should teach facts — not religion and political ideology.
    These textbook standards are part of a not-so-subtle attempt by the Right to indoctrinate young people with false and misleading information. And the scary truth is, this is about far more than Texas. Because of the massive size of the state’s textbook market, Texas textbook requirements have national implications, because the textbook publishers often sell the same textbooks nationwide.
    We need to act now to keep deeply biased, inaccurate textbooks from making their way into the hands of public school students in Texas and across the country. “

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  13. A Christian nation?

    Hmmmmm Northern Ireland at the height of the troubles springs to mind, and many others — so the first prerequisite would have to be ‘one ring to rule them all’, meaning a single franchise. Just one, so all the many others would have to be extirpated to the last nth degree; as in completely. Can’t have any risk of a heresy or whatever the word is, can we?

    Would it have to follow Amish lines, do we think? Or step back in time to biblical periods?

    An army? Obviously~! Merciful heavens, what a question! I too used to stand up in infant school and bellow “Onward Marmite soldiers etc etc” and get indignantly strapped when pinpointed “Pour encourager les autres” (something else Christians have been notoriously good at—who else would invoke the strappado and the cleaning purity of the flame, hmmm?

    I think there’d be no money wasted (?) in space explorations, for two reasons: 1. it would be sacrilegious, and 2. it wouldn’t work anyway ‘cos the Earth is flat and everything goes around us; NASA and others have it all wrong (the devil has hoodwinked them).

    BUT on the positive side, the price of Bibles et ilk would fall because they’d be the only legal books, so after the initial price rise (sudden enforced demand) there’d be a diversion of book production tending to a (compulsory) over supply.

    A thought: if ‘Green’ is going to be used by the Christians—would they change their policy on stakes? No longer burn folks at the stake … but sharpen the stake and perch folks on them a la Shaka Zulu and ol’ Vlad The Impaler? Think of the benefits to the planet, and the savings in recyclable woodwares …

    Dammit. I’ll have to think more about this, there’d have to be financial advantages to the astute and prepared …

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    • You’ve hot upon the central problem there, Dog: which franchise get’s to make the decisions? We have 45,000 flavours of Christianity… and they all disagree and just about everything.

      It would seem from that analysis alone that weapons sales would go through the roof in the States… Which is so very Christian, after all 😦

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  14. Didn’t the US army’s rifles have a biblical text inscribed recently? I remember some kerfuffle that I passed over in pursuit of wisdom … and some grunts got growled at for doing what comes naturally to deceased Islamic warriors. Kill ’em, yes—piss on ’em, no, that’s not nice … the mind boggles.

    I’ve often used that “sell up, give everything to the poor (via your friendly local church, of course) get out there in sackcloth and ashes; God will provide” point in discussion with Catholics and they go blank. The Pope is inviolate, it seems; and so is papal wealth. (Did they ever upgrade his armoured car or does the current guy ‘trust in God’?)

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  15. “In no way was the US crafted as having a government whose institutions were based on any religious belief, let alone Christianity.”

    LOL! Oh come now, it’s as plain as the hand in front of your face. We have the ten commandments in our courthouses, we put our hands on bibles to swear in an oath of office, “in God we trust” is written on our money, we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, Congress has a prayer breakfast. We have museums and letters and writings from our founding fathers that prove and verify their belief system and their intent when they wrote the US Constitution.

    We are not however, a theocracy, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we are a Christian nation, founded on Christian values, and that is also how 95% of the world perceives us.

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    • Hi Insanity. Thanks for popping over.

      In God We Trust was placed on your money in 1952. Your national motto was From Many, One.

      Regardless, I’ll let other people more patient than me correct you on your revisionist history. What i want to know is what would a Christian nation actually look like?

      Could you start with what a Christian nation’s Education system/curriculum would look like?

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      • A Christian nation would look exactly like what we often see in the Western world today, a rather imperfect and flawed system that has however, managed to deliver more scientific and economic progress than any other in all of human history.

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      • I’m afraid that doesn’t answer anything.

        Do you like Gary North’s Christian nation: where children, and adulterers, and blasphemers, and gays are stoned to death in public square?

        Also, would there be free speech in the Christian nation?

        Would there be freedom of religion?

        Would you expect Creationism to be taught in schools as fact?

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      • You have benefited a great deal from the blessings of the western world, a world built on Christian values, a world that does not stone adulterers, a world that grants your freedom or religion or non-religion.

        You will not find that anywhere else in the world, in all of human history.

        It’s ironic to me, in the US, the farther we move away from our Christian values and towards a more secular nation, the more we seem to losing our rights, the same rights that have granted atheists the freedom to speak their non belief.

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      • You are aware, aren’t you, that the moment the Christians first got a handle on power they went on a murderous rampage against pagans. That lasted hundreds of years… The only reason Christians aren’t starting wars today is because rational men and women wrestled control from the church in the Enlightenment. Your country is the first attestation of that! Your country is the first secular state!

        That aside, you still haven’t given any specifics.

        Would there be freedom of speech? (If so, where does that concept come from in Christianity?)

        Would Creationism be taught in schools as fact?

        And you still haven’t said whether you like Gary North’s Christian nation, where people are stoned to death in public squares for any transgression against Christianity.

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      • Ooooooh … I like that answer~! It shows a certain jenny say kwa, a pizzazz, a sparkle of impish self-confidence that an old curmudgeon can but admire.

        As for Christianity aiding and abetting scientific progress rather than impeding (nay, desperately suppressing) it — methinks Miss Insanity is taking a few liberties with the facts. Perspective, all is perspective …

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    • “there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we are a Christian nation”
      I have to agree with Insanity here. Currently, the population of the USA wouldn’t elect an atheist president. As far as I’m aware they don’t even have any openly non-religious congress members or senators. They expect the Christian God to be cited at some point by all their politicians, and she’s right that the Christian God is mentioned in every public office. Since the 1950s brainwashing against communism they clearly went overboard entwining religion with nationalism, and it’s going to take several more generations for that kind of silly to wash out.

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      • No. If it took just a decade or so to get themselves into this confused mess (the 1950’s in particular) then I’m sure they can get out of it somewhat faster. The problem arises when people like Insanity don’t even understand their own history, and then to compound the problem, are constantly being fed bad and faulty information. People like Insanity make the mistake (deliberately, or perhaps unconsciously) of conflating a country filled with mostly Christians, for a country whose government (its institutions and policies) is structured for that group.

        What I want Insanity (and whomever else pops in) to demonstrate is what, precisely, are these Christian principles they keep talking about, and how do they apply to a nation. How are these things uniquely “Christian”?

        What does a “Christian” foreign policy look like?

        What does a “Christian” healthcare system look like?

        Does Insanity, and others, support universal, cradle to grave healthcare? If not, justify the stance by citing where in Christian teachings it says (or implies) a for-profit healthcare care system is best, everyone on their own.

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      • It involves elected upstanding Christians to political office and praying to their god to help them make the ‘right’ decisions. But the devil Devil keeps interfering …

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      • Rick Perry hosted a Pray-for-Rain event. I guess that’s a start, right?

        They could divide the weeks Congressional calendar to read as such:

        Monday: Pray-for-Surplus.
        Tuesday: Pray-for-New Bridges
        Wednesday: Pray-for-

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    • Have you taken a poll on how the rest of the world views you? Asking how seven billion people view you is an interesting one. Because if you asked me, so-called Christian Nation didn’t come to mind. Must have missed my voting form huh?

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    • Wait, wait. Who has benefited from the blessings of the western world? That isn’t Christianity. The western world is what it is. And much as I hate to say it, the western world per se, came about by colonisation from Christian Europeans in all parts of the globe. Mostly we didn’t stone adulterers, we just shot the natives.

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  16. InsanityBytes said~
    “It’s ironic to me, in the US, the farther we move away from our Christian values and towards a more secular nation, the more we seem to losing our rights, the same rights that have granted atheists the freedom to speak their non belief.”

    This is pure indulgence in the christian persecution fantasy. If it were true there would be laws abridging rights as they were established under the Constitution. Where does religion have privilege?

    It is exempt from tax. It is exempt from federal safety regulation. It enjoys protection against discrimination in the workplace. They are exempt from mandatory participation in the public school system. Louisiana has suspended the prohibition of public money being used for private religious education. The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), bars zoning authorities from discriminating against houses of worship and religious schools. It has laws protecting the religious rights of institutionalized persons; and criminal statutes such as the Church Arson Prevention Act making it a federal crime to attack persons or institutions based on their religion, or otherwise interfere with religious exercise. Recent SCOTUS decision Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc exempt US business from having to provide funding for medical care they find objectionable.

    I could go on. The list is nearly endless. I can’t think for the life of me one law passed that infringes on any aspect of the christian lifestyle. Please be specific on what “rights” you have lost and provide evidence that the US is becoming more secular when clearly it isn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. John,

    Another great post – keep ’em coming.

    ” . . . what would a Christian nation actually look like?”

    Both history and current events provide examples of what a ” Christian nation” might look like, but first we need to know what flavor of Christianity we are talking about.

    A strict theocracy could bring us all the way back to the “dark ages” when church and state were the same thing, complete with fun and games such as the inquisition – – something like present day Saudi Arabia where Islam replaces Christianity as the basis for government.

    On the other end of the spectrum, we might end up with pretty much what we currently have here in the U. S. of A. where many (most?) people call themselves Christian.

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    • but first we need to know what flavor of Christianity we are talking about.

      Precisely! Mentioned it somewhere above, but there exists over 40,000 flavours of Christianity, and none of them agree with the other. Who, then, gets to decide which flavour rules? Will the 39,999 other flavours accept the edicts of this clerical group? I somehow doubt it. For example, would evangelicals accept the public preaching of more liberal interpretations of the trinity? Positively not. Freedom of speech, and freedom of religion, therefore, would surely be the first causality of this theocracy… which is somewhat ironic.

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      • “Who, then, gets to decide which flavour rules?”

        The ones with the most guns, of course.

        Oh, wait – – that hasn’t worked out very will in the Middle East, has it. I guess a Christian Nation will simply have to deal with perpetual civil war.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hurray!!! Civil War!!!! Hurray!!! I’m bettin’ the Catholics have never really forgiven the Lutherans for starting all this fragmentation of Jeebus belief stuff. So let ’em fight!!! Hurray!!! Go Pope! Go Lutherans! Let’s hear it for the Methodists! Beware Amish. You’re gonna have to fight or die fast!!

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  18. And stop trolling the mentals lol. The dude with the Harrisburg Capitol comment? Couldn’t have picked a worse building to illustrate his non-point unless he chose a pyramid. Idiot.

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  19. What would a x-ian country look like? History tends to repeat itself. The glory days of yore, the inquisitions, the witch hunts, the sacrifices of virgin youth, the murder of thy neighbor for shunning the dog, the conquest of lands with swordtip conversions being the only option for survival.

    …Much like the ISIS or ISIL, or whatever the hell they are. Or the Taliban, or the Al Quaida, you want to know what a theocracy looks like, merely look around the world today, or if you dare take a peek into the bloody history of religion.

    …but you knew that didn’t you? 🙂

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  20. So, my curiosity got the better of me and I had look at the IB post and its comments. I have to ask, why? Why do you argue with these people? I mean I understand calling them on the whole “Christian Nation” thing. That’s just an unsophisticated way to tell people who you wish would sit down and shut up to sit down and shut up. And to feel good about it in the bargain.
    But the rest, metaphysics and so on? You will never make any headway on the rest because – and there is no other way to say this – most of your audience is stupid. They can link to WLC articles, but they don’t demonstrate any working understanding of the material they reference.
    In my little climbing world, we hear from these people all the time. They aren’t the people who have to lower off a route which they thought they could climb, but couldn’t. They aren’t the people who screw up and have to be rescued. All of us have been there, or near enough. They are the people who climb the Durrance route and think there’s nothing more to be gained from climbing at Devils Tower. They are the people who get guided up Everest and think they have won Alpinism.
    We just smile and nod. They go away. We get on with our business. As long as they aren’t gumming up your route, why bother? It’s all smack-talk anyway. They aren’t going to climb a scary finger crack; they don’t even understand why a climber would do that. Same with your Christians They aren’t going to cut anybody’s head off; they are going to shop at Walmart and complain about their taxes.
    So, why John? Just one good reason… 🙂

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    • I know, Keith, it doesn’t (and won’t) go anywhere. Typically I don’t dive into the madness, but mischief got the better of me. What can I say, I have a severe allergy to BS 😉

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  21. Claiming that the U.S. “wasn’t a Christian nation” is as absurd as claiming that the U.S. “was a Christian nation.” The U.S. was and is a tax farm; a slavers’ empire; a social construct for the betterment of some plutocrats; a way to distract Great Britain from a re-arming France. Whatever the U.S. has or doesn’t have to do with Christianity is by coincidence and individual choice. The same wealthy bankers and person-owners who edited their own personal Bibles and didn’t turn their other cheek to the British would have been willing to identify as Christians, deists, Quakers, Puritans, frontiersmen, farmers, gentlemen, Americans, Portuguese, or any other damn thing they could come up with to justify directing tax revenues to Philadelphia instead of to London.

    …and you yahoos cheering about this are like a bunch of white people in a sushi bar in Portland, still complaining about Fox News like the issue is actually Fox News. You’re completely missing the point while you’re trapped there inside your false dichotomy.

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    • Well said, but are you not missing the theme of this post: asking Christians to actually identify what a Christian nation would look like.

      I’m genuinely interested to hear of the mechanics and policies…. Rather than the sideways whining.

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  22. Well, you may be John Z, but I’m Johnny-come-lately.
    My email is chokka and I didn’t notice you had posted something new. I couldn’t even find the damn notification!
    I need to streamline my email. Perhaps I’ll delete Violet’s and Roughseas and all those wimmin that nag the crap out of me for being sexyist. 😉

    A fine post Mister Z. As per spec.

    I would love if you could get these nutters to describe what a Christian Nation would look like.
    They’d certainly give InsanityB a run for her money!

    Have a squizz if you have five minutes … http://siftingreality.com/

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  23. Hi, The only thing that comes to mind is??????? You must love China , Russia and what ever nation that hates Christians. You should move there. Then write me after you lived there for ten years and let me know what you think. By the way you think to much and it is for sure you pray for no one.
    Charles

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  24. I just popped back for a re read – your posts are always worth more than a single gander.
    Violet’s comment make me think – and I believe she may have a valid point – as does InsanityB
    Although the USA is not openly a Christian nation/ built on Christian principles it seems that a great many believe it is.

    Based on what Violet says about politicians, what happened after the 50’s etc and the general feeling toward atheists – and who could forget what George said about god speaking to him and unpatriotic atheists?
    Add to this, the constant heckling to get such nonsense as Creationism heard on a equal/similar basis as evolution and myriad other subtle little things one hears and reads then
    maybe the lie has already had its boots on for some time and has been legging around the States while truth is still struggling to get out of bed?

    If the population at large already think they are more or less in a Christian nation and it is the secularists/liberals and anti-Fox set who are out to destroy this then somewhere along the way the wheels fell off.
    Just a thought?

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    • It’s certainly true the US has a population that is mostly Christian, no doubting that, but the error comes in believing the countries government (its institutions) are designed to service “the Christian.” The majority of the US population wear clothing, and in the same light, the government wasn’t enacted to only serve pant-wearers.

      What I’d also like to hear is what, precisely, are Christian values. What are these noble trinkets that are allegedly known only to Christians.

      On that note, had a bloke named Charles comment on my last meme today, asserting, rather boldly I must say, that only Christians have free will. Can’t say I’ve ever heard that one before!

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      • I’ve a sad suspicion Chucky won’t pop back over to extrapolate on his only Christians have free will claim. Too bad, as I’d really like to hear more on that brilliant idea. Christians never seem to tire of unprovable, wild claims. Maybe that’s because they’re the only ones with free will.

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  25. What an interesting post, dear John… I really enjoyed the reading… And found the statement related with the first Christians detailed in Acts and Communism truly eloquent.
    I agree with you, I tend to think that there is not a predominant religion in the States, but I am not keeping in mind statistics but mainly “values”… Do you believe that Free Market and Capitalism have Christianity as religion… Wall Streets is crowded by rich peeps and not by shepherds as far as I know… 😉 Laicism? well that makes more sense!…
    Thanks for sharing and all the very best to you, Aquileana 😀

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    • Hello my fine friend!

      You’re right, Americans are about as far away from practicing Christianity as my left sock is from orbiting Mars next Tuesday 🙂

      The first Christians detailed in Acts are unquestionably Communist, which is a tremendously awkward thing for American conservatives to wrap their heads around. They (the first Christians) believed in common-property and the total distribution of wealth.

      (Acts 4 32-35) “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.”

      So serious was this communism that a married couple, Ananias and his wife Sapphira, were murdered by the Christian commune for withholding some of their possessions. That’s just nasty!

      How on earth 21st Century Christians in the States square this circle I really have no idea. It’s doubly baffling how they oppose things like universal healthcare… something enjoyed by every civilised nation on earth, excluding their own, and something even Jesus was, we’re told, quite fond of. So very odd.

      A few years ago the Onion published a short story on Christian American History, which was hilarious. It started with this:

      “While planting some hemp one day, George Washington discovered an early draft of the Constitution written in ancient Egyptian on a series of golden plates buried deep within the ground at Mount Vernon. James Madison translated and elaborated on the text with the help of Thomas Jefferson and an angel. The excited Founders immediately called for a Constitutional Convention to officially ratify the document and formally make America the best country ever…

      I think that sums it up nicely.

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      • Truly eloquent… It does sum it up nicely, indeed.. By the way that last excerpt makes me wonder… Doesn’t it sounds as sort of mystical delirium i.e; James Madison translated and elaborated on the text with the help of Thomas Jefferson and an angel”)… and, do you think that they might be also roots linked to The Illuminati Group… I still have the image of the dollar in mind

        Best wishes, Aquileana 😛

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  26. After all, the question wether any country should be a “Christian nation”, does not depend on wether the orginal writers of the constitution thought so or not. But it is funny how the conservatives rather lie to themselves, that they were, than recognize the ethics of this simple truth, that could much better demonstrate their position.

    Is it because in their heart of hearts, they know, that the concept of a Christian nation has no rational defence and hence they invent an authority to defend their position instead of coming up with even remotely rational sounding excuses?

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    • I think you might be onto something there, Raut. The word “excuse” is front and centre here. Something must be blamed for whatever ills they think are going on, and imagining these ills are answered by moving away from something that never actually existed seems to make them feel better. It fits their reality, as jaundice and skewed that reality is.

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  27. I really doubt it. There are just too many religious “factions” to consolidate a larger group that would be in agreement. Now whether that’s the result of “freedom of speech” or “democracy”, I’m not saying anything about that. But certainly with the 2nd amendment anyone can shoot anyone’s mouth at any time. They wanted a democracy, well there it is, except now it’s more of a civil war.

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    • It’s certainly hard to see how, precisely, the so-named “Christian nation,” a theocracy, would be established without a great deal of violence first… and after a little religiously-sanctioned genocide, its hard to see how a lasting “peace” could ever be established.

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      • ” without a great deal of violence first”

        Right. I can see it now — 40,000+ sects of Christianity all fighting amongst themselves in order to establish the “true” Christian nation based in their own interpretation of what Christianity is.

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      • Exactly, then think about the armed-to-the-teeth southern Baptists delivering genocidal havoc on the likes of the Amish and more liberal churches. It’d make the powder-keg Middle East today look like a children’s sandpit.

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      • I was saying in another blog (Aifscope) that the origins of “sacrifice” and the “scapegoat mechanism” in society imply that humans have to have a victim or scapegoat. Which means that to have a Christian Nation, they would have to get rid of capital punishment (Thou shall not kill), and the U.S., IMOHO, is already too conservative to do that at this point, although historically, capital punishment has always existed, and humans are “inherently vindictive” in the name of “justice for all”. They have justified it, so how do you explain to a kid: “this woman or man have done wrong and must be killed”, but BY THE STATE, and not by self defense (for example). So the U.S. justifies capital punishment for the sake of “justice” and seeks “redemption” for the inmates who are on death row at the moment of the killing. This justifies everything. So a Christian Nation is far from happening unless there was some form of apocalypse, perhaps.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. I think that is the catch. The U.S. IS a Christian state. It hasn’t changed. It has always aspired to do what is right and respect all men. Have we failed? Miserably, many times? Sure. But that attitude of trying t do what is best for everyone is Christian and the fundi’s do not see it because what the really want is this magic government that will support everything they want. Not only is that not realistic, it isn’t very Christian.
    If I were to put a name to what they want, I would call it Fascism.

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    • Hey there Haydon

      I think you’re spot on calling it fascism, although I’d add “Protestant theocratic fascism.” Of course, Lincoln’s proclamation would have to be altered to read: “A government of the Christians, by the Christians, for the Christians…”

      that attitude of trying to do what is best for everyone is Christian

      It’s also Zoroasterianism, but do be careful, that’s Communist talk! Remember, the people calling for a Christian nation are Paulanites, not Jesus followers, and Paulanites espouse free market capitalism… not that crazy hippy communism practiced by the first Christians.

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      • 🙂 Thank you for the waning. When I said it was Christian I just meant it was in keeping with what the “profess” their beliefs are about. It is also Buddhist, Hindu, Native American interpretation of the Great Spirit, I wish I could make the font get smaller as I typed this. Shang Di, Trying to reach for some you haven’t come across in Brazil, Ooo ooo, Egyptian Atenist! FOR THE WIN BABY!

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  29. You have made a great deal with the concept of a nation. A good nation is a collection of skilled and honest peaceful people out of their religious and classical identity. A religion can not be the identity of a nation. However some people have the idea that the nation only belongs to him or his caste and creed. I want to remind the well known words of Mahatma Gandhi in this case” i am not only dreaming for national integrity but i want people also to believe in international integrity”

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    • Oh we can play quote games all day, and in the end I’ll win, because the majority of the drafters of your Constitution were appalled by Christianity. They were mostly deists, but one can only speculate on how strong their beliefs in “natures god” would be if they’d lived long enough to have tea with Charles Darwin. Your first quote, however, is by Washington. Here’s another:

      “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”
      ~Founding Father George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789

      Your second is from Adams. He’s another:

      “Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.”
      ~Founding Father John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” (1787-88)

      But you see, like most fundamentalist right wing Christians you’ve completely ignored the actual thrust of this post. I asked, What would a Christian nation actually look like?

      The US is not a Christian nation. Never was. Its government and institutions were never established in accordance to, or service of, Christianity. That is just a fact. What I would be tremendously interested to hear from you is, again, What would a Christian nation actually look like?

      Which “Christianity” would be the Christian nations religion?

      Would there be freedom of the press in your Christian nation?

      Would there be freedom of religion?

      Would there be a religious test to assume elected office?

      Who would sit on the High Court, clerics?

      What would your education system look like?

      Would this country have a standing army, and if so, would it be expeditionary in nature?

      What would the healthcare and social security systems look like?

      What would the tax system look like?

      What would this countries science policy look like?

      I could go on, but you get the idea…

      In addressing these questions, could you identify where, precisely, in the bible (Jesus words/commands, the acts of the Apostles, in particular) are the passages that back up your ideas.

      I look forward to it. Thanks.

      Like

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