Friday, August 31, 2012

Quiz: Is the United States a Christian nation?

Is the United States a Christian nation?There are very few topics that will spark debate like this one. Sometimes people mean very different things when they ask the question.

Let’s restate the question, “Is the United States a Christian nation?”, a few different ways. See how you do on the quiz!




Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Leadership: What Difference Will I Make?

Quiz: Is the United States a Christian nation?


By Evan Nehring

There are very few topics that will spark debate like this one. Sometimes people mean very different things when they ask the question.

Let’s restate the question, “Is the United States a Christian nation?”, a few different ways. See how you do on the quiz! If you scroll slowly, you can conceal the answers below each picture until you've chosen your answer.
 

1. Is Christian teaching the primary religious system that influenced the founding of the United States?


George Whitefield
George Whitefield, 1700's Revival Preacher

Yes, it is.
  • The founding documents were profoundly influenced by Christian thought and teaching.

2. Were the majority of the founding fathers of the United States Christians who generally believed in the truth of the Bible?


Painting of General George Washington: "The Prayer at Valley Forge"
Painting of General George Washington: "The Prayer at Valley Forge"

Yes, they were.

3. Is Christianity (of various sorts) the largest religion in the United States?


Washington National Cathedral
Washington National Cathedral

Yes, it is.

4. Did Christian beliefs provide the intellectual background that led to many of the cultural values still held by Americans today? These would include things such as:

  • Respect for the individual
  • Protection of individual rights
  • Respect for personal freedom
  • The value of hard work
  • The need for a strong national defense
  • The need to show care for the poor and weak
  • The value of generosity
  • Respect for the rule of law.

Thirteen Original Colonies
Thirteen Original Colonies

Yes

5. Was there a Supreme Court decision that one time affirmed that the United States is a Christian nation?


US Supreme Court

Yes, there was, but that wasn't the issue that was under dispute in the case.

6. Are a majority of people in the United States devoted Christians?


Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.

Probably not
  • 51% self-identify as Protestants
  • 25% self-identify as Catholics

7. Is belief in Christian values the dominant perspective promoted in the United States government, the media, and universities in the United States today?


Harvard University
Harvard University

No, it is not.

8. Does the United States government promote Christianity as the national religion?


Bible and US Flag

No, it does not.

9. Does a person have to profess Christian faith in order to become a US citizen or to have equal rights under the law of the United States?


United States Constitution

No, certainly not. This has never been true. In fact, the Constitution itself explicitly prohibits any religious test for public office:
  • No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States (Article VI, section 3). (64-65)

So, is the United States a Christian nation?

  • By some significant definitions, yes
  • By other significant definitions, no, …but let me say this:
If the church will rise to serve, she will find that the path to influence is wide open. If believers would show up at local party meetings and caucuses, the result would be overwhelming!

I’m calling the Church today in this great representative Republic to represent! To engage! To show up!


Prior Posts on Christian Civic Involvement


Question

How did you do on the quiz? Feel free to leave a comment below with your score or anything interesting you picked up.


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4 comments:

  1. Very well written post. Which Supreme Court decision did you have in mind? How did the decision affirm the US is a Christian nation?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Ron! I'll quote from Wayne Grudem's Politics According to the Bible.

    "It was in an 1892 decision, Church of the Holy Trinity v. the United States, 143 US 457 (1892). The ruling established that a church had the right to hire a minister from a foreign nation (England), and thus the church was not in violation of an 1885 law that had prohibited hiring 'foreigners and aliens...to perform labor in the United States.' The court's argument was that there was so much evidence showing the dominant 'Christian' character of this nation that Congress could not have intended to prohibit churches from hiring Christian ministers from other countries."

    So the affirmation of the US as a Christian nation was intentional but not legal.

    Grudem's book, by the way, is wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great thought provoking article -- what will we leave to our children? It is time to stand up and live out loud for the Lord!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jan. The path to influence is wide open if we will stand up and show up. It's easier than people think.

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