Patt Morrison for August 2, 2012

Is the United States a Christian nation?

Faithful Re-Create Way Of The Cross Procession Over Brooklyn Bridge

Daniel Barry/Getty Images

Frank Simmonds carries the cross in the Way of the Cross procession over the Brooklyn Bridge April 22, 2011 in New York City.

At a press event with the president of Turkey in 2006, then Senator Barack Obama made the comment that the United States was no longer simply a Christian nation — that America had become more ecumenical and was comprised of a diverse set of faiths.

Obama was widely criticized for his remark at the time, but this week the National Association of Evangelicals echoed his comments with the results of a survey of selected evangelical leaders. When asked whether or not the U.S. was a Christian nation, 68 percent of them said no.

The association’s president, Leith Anderson, added “Much of the world refers to America as a Christian nation, but most of our Christian leaders don’t think so.” Other members of the organization gave different reasons for their answers that ranged from rejecting the idea that a nation can be solely Christian to a position that America once had been, but is no longer a nation of Christians.

But many of them were in agreement that more domestic missionary work was required to put the country back on the Evangelical path.

WEIGH IN:

The U.S. doesn’t have an official religion, but how has Christianity influenced its people and history?

Guest:



Reza Aslan, editor at the Daily Beast and internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions; his latest book is “Beyond Fundamentalism: confronting religious extremism in the age of globalization”

David L. Holmes, author of “The Faiths of the Founding Fathers ”, and The Faiths of the Postwar Presidents: From Truman to Obama, and former professor of religious studies at the College of William and Mary


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