Is the United States a Christian nation?
I’d wager most folks in this country do, in fact, believe the United States is a Christian nation.
Does that make everyone in the United States a Christian?
Is everyone living in the United States required to be a Christian?
Is Christianity considered a ‘national religion’?
Serious questions folks because there are some in this country who advocate for all three in the United States right now.
In the next breath, those very same folks self-righteously point to other nations like Iran as examples of how wrong it is for that country to force their national religion down the throats of everyone.
Theocracy – not good in Iran, but everyone MUST have God in their lives in the United States. That might just be a double standard, don’t you think?
Christianity is, in fact, the majority religion in the United States according to the Pew Research Center….by far.
Because there are sub-sects of Christianity in the United States, are they to be included as faithful Christians? Sects like Westboro Baptist Church as one example? Heck, even some in the KKK, a group also labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as being a hate group, have taken some pot shots at Westboro Baptist Church.
I’ve been told emphatically by self-proclaimed Christians that Westboro Baptist Church is NOT Christian; that they do NOT represent Christian ‘values’.
Does anyone besides me see a dilemma here?
To be fair, the Southern Poverty Law Center lists 954 ‘Hate Groups’ in the United States. Those groups are categorized, and can be accessed by going to the Southern Poverty Law Center website and clicking on a specific category. I counted 19 hate groups included in the ‘Christian Identity’ category most of which I’d never heard of before. Many groups listed in the Anti-LGBT category include some kind of reference to a ‘ministry’ of some sort, many of which identify as ‘Baptist’. That’s the category that includes Westboro Baptist Church. Might it then be safe to say those groups are of a more ‘Khristian’ orientation?
But I digress….
In the United States the 35 largest Christian denominations don’t even mention outlier denominations like Westboro Baptist Church, although the Baptist denomination has almost 34 million members. Does the Baptist denomination recognize Baptist ministries identified as Anti-LGBT hate groups as their own?
All religions follow some kind of guidelines for their faith. In Christianity it’s the Bible, right? So, let’s take a look at the Bible:
“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means”
Truth is – at least it’s the truth from where I sit – far too many folks try to fit what the Bible says into their own little box of interpretations they say everyone must adhere to; an open door to religious discrimination if ever there was one.
Which translation of the Bible is right? Are all translations right or is only one of them right? Literal or liberal translations – conflicts, arguments, and disagreements be damned!
Plus, the Old Testament is rife with what some refer to as Clobber Passages. Those passages are loudly advocated by Anti-LGBT Baptist ministries and many Evangelical Christians; especially the abominations to God – you know, the ones the Bible says require the death penalty for violators. We all know, of course, that Christianity has evolved beyond those archaic rules and penalties. Wait! What?
The U.S. touts itself as being a Christian nation with Christian ‘values’. But what are Christian ‘values’ exactly? Do those ‘values’ also require conformity? If so, who sets the rules?
Jeez…I’m so confused!
In the very small town in which I grew up there were multiple denominations of Christian faith – four to be exact. A town of around 300 hardy souls had four denominations with four churches in which they practiced their own version of Christianity.
Those denominations were, for the most part, tolerant of each other. They went their merry ways without trying to interfere in the faiths of the other denominations. Members of those denominations might say something under their collective breaths about how weird the rites and rituals of another denomination were, but overall they left each other alone on a religious level.
My older brother was a gay man, may he RIP. When he passed away in 1996 he was cremated. My family held a memorial service for him in my home town. It was a beautiful service honoring a beautiful man.
Those who attended the memorial service were from all four denominations mentioned earlier. Not one person said anything about my brother being a gay man. Some folks did, however, whisper in condemnation to others in attendance that scattering my brother’s ashes on my Dad’s farm property at my brother’s personal request was akin to treating him like a dog that had died and been dumped on a trash heap somewhere, that my brother should have been given a ‘proper’ burial instead. Kinda makes me wonder how many of them knew he was gay.
For me those kinds of sentiments go to the heart of how some folks see the world through their own filters, and aren’t willing to consider anything beyond those filters – sort of like how dogmatically inclined Christians among us all too often do.
Put that dogmatic perspective into the thirty to forty thousand denominations classified as part of the Christian religion worldwide, add in all the other religions of the world with similar dogmatic perceptions, and is it any wonder we have the animosity between religions that we do?
My two cents.
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