Friday, April 10, 2009

Obama's Quote

President Obama's recent remarks about the US not being a 'Christian nation' have created quite a lot of discussion (almost always a good thing). Some of my readers think I like Obama (because they didn't 'get' my trickyness in THIS post). Others think I hate the guy (because I was an all out Ron Paul supporter). Really, I just don't care very much about the state of American politics (since I consider both major parties to be, currently, pretty awful). While I'd be interested to hear the President discuss what 'ideals' and 'values' he's referring to, I don't think the quote is all that upsetting:

"One of the great strengths of the United States is, ahhh, although as I mentioned, ahh, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation, ahhh, we consider ourselves, ah, a nation of citizens who are, ah, bound by ideals and a set of values."

The quote could mean a lot of different things for the very reason that the label "Christian nation" could mean a lot of different things. Does it mean we were founded on Christian 'ideals and values'? If so, then, yes, to some degree we are a Christian nation (and an "Enlightenment Nation" and many other things). Does it mean Christianity is the religion of the professing majority? If so, then yes, we are a Christian nation.

So in what sense can President Obama say that we don't think of ourselves as a Christian nation? First, I'd have to say that I DISAGREE with him that "we" do not consider ourselves a Christian nation. I think "we" (the majority of US citizens) DO IN FACT think of ourselves as a Christian nation (I dare Obama to take a poll!). But, frankly, I (as 1 specific US citizen) AGREE that we are not a Christian nation. I think a 'Christian nation' would look a lot different than what we look like. In my opinion, we are not a Christian nation in the sense that the majority of us are not following Christ. I think this is bad. Obama, certainly, thinks our non-Christian status is a good thing.

But, to be honest, I'm more concerned with whether we are a CHRISTIAN CHURCH than with whether or not we are a Christian nation!


Glo said...

I do belive i have to agree with you on this post.

Sarah G said...

Hey Matthew -- can you change my blog address in your list? I changed it a couple weeks ago but didn't think to share :)


Kirk said...

At least finally you Americans are finally admitting that you are not a Christian nation. I've always thought you leaned more towards being Moonies.

shallowfrozenwater said...

moonies ... (shakes his head). that made me chuckle a bit actually. although North American society is probably post Christian by now.
i think the best part of this post is the comment that we should worry the church is Christian and not the nation.