December 2022 Church & State Magazine

Americans Hold Mixed Views On U.S. As ‘Christian Nation’

  Americans Hold Mixed Views On U.S. As ‘Christian Nation’

A poll released Oct. 27 by the Pew Research Center on whether America should be a “Christian nation” contains some good news and some bad news.

Americans continue to believe that the United States was founded to be a “Christian nation,” despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary and the fact that our Constitution says no such thing.

Pew found that 60% of American adults say they believe the founders “originally intended” for the United States to be a Christian nation. Furthermore, 45% of say they believe the country “should be” a Christian nation.

But there’s great disagreement about what exactly being a Christian nation means, and a majority of Americans have not embraced the theocratic views of Christian nationalism.

“While some people who say the U.S. should be a Christian nation define the concept as one where a nation’s laws are based on Christian tenets and the nation’s leaders are Christian, it is much more common for people in this category to see a Christian nation as one where people are more broadly guided by Christian values or a belief in God, even if its laws are not explicitly Christian and its leaders can have a variety of faiths or no faith at all,” wrote Pew. “[T]he survey’s results suggest that most people who say the U.S. should be a Christian nation are thinking of some definition of the term other than a government-imposed theocracy.”

Most Americans are wary of mixing religion and politics. The survey found that 77% of respondents agree that houses of worship should not endorse candidates for political office, and 67% said they believe religious institutions should keep out of political matters generally. These findings are in line with other surveys finding opposition to church intervention in partisan political campaigns.



Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.

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