Why Don’t We Want To Call Ourselves A Christian Nation (Christian Nationalism)?

Done with Religion
5 min readMay 10, 2024

--

By Mike Edwards

The Founders of America referred to God/Creator in the Declaration of Independence. They also referred to the “Laws of Nature.” The Founders fled to have freedom from Government control or tyranny, so they certainly would advocate for freedom of religious beliefs or that atheists shouldn’t be discriminated against. Christians leaders and others are often falsely accused of forcing beliefs on others by declaring their Christian heritage, but Christians aren’t always careful in their language. Declaring we are a Christian nation implies lack of freedom in religious beliefs.

A Christian label doesn’t respect God’s freedom of belief

The presence of so much evil in the world suggests God has given us freedom to choose from the beginning. God understood forced love is an oxymoron. Without freedom we could accuse God of not creating the very best world where only true, authentic relationships can develop. It may be suggested that God eventually gets you by lighting infidels on fire and not allowing it to burn out in the afterlife. Christians must reject such a view of Hell. Now, when one meets their Creator and rejects living a loving/godly life, I can see them being allowed to pass into final death. I wrote here that Hell (a place of forever punishment) is doubtful biblically and morally from a loving God.

Even Jesus didn’t advocate for a Christian nation

Most Christians argue that to understand Jesus is to understand God. Jesus didn’t attempt to overthrow the Roman Empire to establish a “Christian” nation. Jesus came to influence others to love as they want to be loved. Jesus spoke how to start living here on earth, not what awaited in the afterlife, when asked how to have eternal life. He simply said to love God and your neighbor (Lk10:25–37). Jesus knew loving God led to loving your neighbor. If one is so inclined, they can ask for God’s help in living a meaningful life here on earth.

Christians often assume truth only comes from a Book

How can there be a Christian nation if Christians disagree what such a worldview is? Christian leaders of companies or religious institutes often claim they are guided or adhere to biblical principles. This implies biblical understandings are agreed upon by all who follow the Bible, and non-followers have less than ideal morals. Ancient literature subject to human interpretation cannot be the definitive word on truth. Besides, it can’t be proven one’s God inspired all written down about God in their cherished book. I’m not convinced the writers always understood God perfectly. See here.

Good and evil has arisen because of how the Bible or other religious Books have been interpreted or viewed. Biblical scholars who respect Scriptures don’t agree what the Bible teaches about many moral values — women rights, gay condemnation, and the afterlife. See here. See here. See here. Some Religions’ Books are interpreted that God authorizes killing infidels in this life, not just suffer consequences in the afterlife. Again, it can’t be proven Prophets always understood God correctly. Common moral sense isn’t the enemy!

Where do our rights come from — who’s on Top?

If one’s Creator exist and is perfectly loving, natural law and God’s laws should be one and the same. Moral values are not determined by a Book, popular opinion, or by a few in power. There are universal values that most rational people agree on such as murder, stealing, equal rights for all, etc. We may disagree what should be the punishment for breaking certain laws. That must be debated openly. Most religions agree the overriding moral guide is to love others like you want to be treated. Belief or lack of belief in God doesn’t give you an excuse to not treat others like you want to be treated. Perfect rights or laws demonstrate loving others like we want to be love. Even atheists would agree.

We don’t all agree what the most loving actions are. It is a bit naïve for any nation to claim our values must be biblically based, as if all agree what the Bible says about abortion, gays, capital punishment, etc. The equal rights of women with men in many Nations are denied because of a Book. Regardless of your faith, most rational beings agree on many universal moral values (murder, stealing). And no — climate control, immigration, taxes, health care, are not universal laws. The problem in the U.S. is debate is frowned up and attempts are made to censor contrary opinions.

Is there a Nation we could all agree on?

We are neither a God or godless nation. Censoring belief in God or unbelief in God is all the same. If suggested God is not above all, then neither is State/Government on top as a god. An ideal nation is surely free to believe in a Creator or not believe in a Creator. Christian politicians often claim or imply our rights are given by God. We can attempt to avoid accusations of Christian nationalism by clarifying our beliefs are personal not universal. Self-evident rights may be found in a Book or natural law, as we all have an inborn sense of good and evil. No rational being argues sexual abuse isn’t evil. Freedom of beliefs is our foundation to decide democratically the more caring action in policy.

I believe the Declaration of Independence and Constitution makes the U.S. unique from most other countries. We all have “unalienable rights” and not rights according to Government, Dictators or one’s understanding of a perfect, loving God. In our Republic, the Government is limited in taking away certain rights of the people. A true Democracy allows representation through voting, though the Constitution and Bill of Rights safeguard individual rights such as freedom of speech — protection from majority power over the minority. A true debate of differing opinions is out best chance at arriving at the most caring decision for all concerned. Until we all ask ourselves “am I acting toward others like I want to be treated,” we seem destined to fail.

Why Don’t We Want To Call Ourselves A Christian Nation (Christian Nationalism)?

Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. He couldn’t find enough people to discuss God openly so he started blogging years ago. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

--

--

Done with Religion

Done with religion does not mean done with God, but done with religious traditions. We post articles weekly about living for God outside the walls of religion.