Christian nation trap ensnares John McCain

October 5, 2007

Let’s put an end to the silly “Christian nation” notion once and for all. Can we?

I am a hopeful person. Of course, I realize that it is highly unlikely we would ever be able to disabuse people of the Christian nation myth.

Okay — then let’s at least lay some facts on the table.

John McCain, perhaps as Popeye

First, some background. John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona and candidate for U.S. president, granted an exclusive interview to a reporter from Belief.net. Read excerpts here.

In the interview McCain falls into the Christian nation trap:

Q: A recent poll found that 55 percent of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation. What do you think?
A: I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation. But I say that in the broadest sense. The lady that holds her lamp beside the golden door doesn’t say, “I only welcome Christians.” We welcome the poor, the tired, the huddled masses. But when they come here they know that they are in a nation founded on Christian principles.

Second, David Kuo properly, but gingerly, takes on McCain′s argument (hooray for Belief.net).

Then, third, Rod Dreher (the Crunchy Con from the Dallas Morning News) agrees with McCain, mostly.

McCain’s blithe endorsement of this myth, based in error and continued as a political drive to shutting down democratic processes. McCain may be starting to understand some of the difficulties with this issue. His remarks are a week old, at least, and there’s been a wire story a day since then. Will it make him lean more toward taking my advice?

Below the fold, I post a few observations on why we should just forget the entire, foolish claim. Read the rest of this entry »


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