The Old “Christian Nation” Debate

I read this op-ed piece by Newsweek editor Jon Meacham in the New York Times online recently. Meacham, an Episcopalian, became the editor relatively recently. I don’t have a whole lot of experience with him – I’ve read the piece on Billy Graham that he wrote in the magazine not long ago, and I think that I saw him alongside Rick Warren on “Meet the Press” once. From that limited experience, I know that I don’t entirely agree with everything that he says.

Nevertheless, I do enjoy this piece. Take a look at it. What I like in particular is that he doesn’t simply argue that the United States is not a Christian nation because our founding fathers and founding documents are not uniquely Christian; he also uses the Bible to argue against the desire of Christians to portray the United States as a Christian nation.

There is a cottage publishing industry that has sprung up around this topic. I’ve not ready any full length books, but from what I can tell, Greg Boyd’s The Myth of a Christian Nation might be a good book to read from the religious side, and David Holmes’ The Faiths of the Founding Fathers might be a good read from the historical side.

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