As we celebrate America’s independence today, many may ask this question. Contrary to the arguments, a Christian nation is not one in which all citizens are Christians, nor do the laws require everyone to adhere to Christian theology. Rather, America is a Christian nation because Christianity shaped and made her what she is today.
According to historian David Barton, Biblical Christian principles are responsible for the following:
- A republican rather than a theocratic form of government;
- The institutional separation of church and state (as opposed to today’s enforced institutional secularization of church and state);
- Protection for religious toleration and the rights of conscience;
- A distinction between theology and behavior, thus allowing the incorporation into public policy of religious principles that promote good behavior but which do not enforce theological tenets (examples of this would include religious teachings such as the good Samaritan, the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, etc., all of which promote positive civil behavior but do not impose ecclesiastical rites); and
- A free-market approach to religion, thus ensuring religious diversity and security for the rights of religious conscience.
America was founded upon Christian principles. Our values, society and institutions have largely been shaped by biblical teachings. Consider what some of the great leaders of our nation have said throughout history:
“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were…the general principles of Christianity.” –John Adams
“The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally…impossible for us to figure ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed.” –Teddy Roosevelt
“America was born a Christian nation.” –Woodrow Wilson
“This is a Christian nation.” –Harry Truman
“Let us remember that as a Christian nation…we have a charge and a destiny.” –Richard Nixon
Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (KJV). May we always remember that America is a Christian nation, and fight to preserve and defend the biblical principles on which this nation was founded!