Certain religious leaders, self appointed experts, and media personalities in the United States have declared that “the United States was founded as a Christian Nation.” In order to make such a pronouncement, a substantial portion of the historical record must be denied, radically reinterpreted, or simply forgotten. Greater nuance is necessary when due respect is given to the recollection of history.
Unavoidably, the scholarship surrounding this question has become politicized. In some cases this has added another layer of arguments being proffered via selective retrieval of historical facts.
The answer to the question of whether or not the United States was “founded as a Christian nation” hinges on one’s interpretation of “founded,” “Christian,” and “nation.” This paper will investigate the context and various meanings of these terms and provide a review of the pertinent academic literature (some more politicized than others) as well as a glance at representative figures who offer popularized accounts.
|Keywords:||Politics, Religion, Christian Nation, Religious Right, Founding of the United States|
Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Religion, California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, California, USA
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