Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Christian Nation

By Alan Caruba

My areas of expertise are, generally speaking, energy, environmentalism, education, immigration, and anything else that I find of interest which, to be candid, is just about everything.

I got to thinking about this while doing an hour’s radio Tuesday morning with Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, along with his co-host, Marvin Sanders. The program is aired by the Christian Radio Network on more than 200 stations in 34 states, 19 affiliates, and in Canada.

I have been doing radio for some twenty-five years, so I have a finely tuned antenna for the mood and style of radio hosts. These two fellows were as relaxed about their Christianity as one could find. It wasn’t something they had to prove. It wasn’t something they felt compelled to talk about all the time. I was not there to discuss religion, but energy issues.

At one point, a caller asked some arcane question about American and Christian values. My first thought was that they are one and the same. It has never been a question or an issue for me that America was and is a Christian nation. It was founded by men who were profoundly influenced by Christianity, but like Benjamin Franklin were also interested in the sciences and natural world.

One cannot take a walk around the nation’s capital without reading inscriptions or finding statuary everywhere that reflect the religiosity of the founders and those who followed in their footsteps.

To those who insist that we must make all determinations by numbers, it is clear that more Americans describe themselves as Christian than any other faith. Sadly, a growing percentage of Americans self-describe themselves as no longer believing in God or any specific faith.

This lack of faith, the acceptance of mushy morals, has led some in the nation to accept things like people of the same sex marrying one another. The issue of abortion will not go away so long as there are people whose faith has taught them that killing babies is murder and a sin. An X-rated society is a society in decline.

As they wrestled with the larger issues of the question that was asked, Wildmon and his co-host seemed a bit hesitant to affirm the proposition that America was “a Christian nation” so I did it for them.

Then I asked how we have come to have a President who, in Turkey, told the entire Islamic world that America is not a Christian nation, but rather some amorphous collection of creeds and values. I answered my own question by saying that someone named Barack Hussein Obama might have his own reasons for saying something that appallingly stupid.

If America were not a Christian nation, a tolerant nation, Obama would not be President. His twenty years or so of listening to Rev. Jeremiah Wright spew hatred for America hardly qualifies him to call himself a Christian.

It is no accident that the very First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” First among the protections cited in our Bill of Rights was freedom of religion!

You won’t find such laws in many Islamic nations. You won’t find much or any tolerance either, yet despite 9/11 America’s Muslims have not had to concern themselves for a moment about the practice of their faith.

Sadly, Christianity is under attack in America these days. Frankly, I wish more Christians would be more outspoken in the defense of their faith. Christmas is not “Festus”, it’s Christmas, damn it! Christians have got to stop apologizing for being Christian.

At this point, it would be a good idea to confess that for many years I have not stepped foot in a church or synagogue except to attend the funeral services of people I have loved.

Am I less religious because of this? No, I carry my religion around with me in my genes. It was passed to me by countless generations and by grandparents who had the good sense and great courage to get on a boat and come to America.


Carolyn said...

Thank you for this Mr. Caruba. I find it very frustrating when I hear people who have been born and raised in this beautiful country claim it was never a Christian country. I may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but I have looked at and studied the History of America. As you pointed out, one only has to walk around Washington DC to see all of the Christian influence. However, I've not yet been there, but all one has to do is read the founding documents, and also virtually every State's constitution as well demonstrates a Strong Christian background and faith. So do many of the writings of the early leaders and even Supreme Court Justices. I will always talk about my Bible beliefs in Jesus. I may offend some because of my excitement, but not purposely. However, Christians who follow Christ (surprisingly some don't!) need to remember that Jesus tells us that we would be hated as He is. I don't go looking to be called names or provoke things with my faith, but I count any insult as a Blessing because of this. Thank you Mr. Caruba. God Bless~

Guy said...

Alan, you sound a lot like me. I also rarely feel the need to go to a church to make my connection with God. I feel the hand of God in my life on a daily basis, and rarely feel the need to go somewhere in particular to exercise my faith. There have been so many times in my life that my faith in God has been tested, but so many more times, it has been reaffirmed. Sometimes I feel like I have a special relationship with God. I'm careful not to ask for much, but it seems like everything I pray for just happens ... so it's hard not to have faith.

I wasn't always the free-roaming Christian that I am now though. I was raised a Catholic, went to church every week, CCAD on weekends, and had already started my weekly tithing like a good Catholic. One night though, shortly after my Father died (the first big test of my faith), the church sent two thugs to our home to ask my widowed Mother of four children why she had reduced her weekly donations to the church. Needless to say, that prompted me to throw them out of our house, and I've been pretty disillusioned with organized religion ever since. However, I never let my disgust with the Catholic Church (or organized religion in general)interfere with my relationship with God. I marvel at the incredible world that surrounds us every day, and thank God I am allowed to be a part of it. I don't expect anyone to understand my particular concept of religion, but I also don't try to impose it on others, and I CERTAINLY don't expect to have anyone dictate their beliefs, or lack thereof, to me. Those who would have us believe that our nation wasn't founded in Christianity have an agenda ... the complete eradication of God and religion from our country. I, like you, will continue to fight their attempts to do so.

Alan Caruba said...

Guy: I don't have the statistics to prove it, but I think your views reflect those of a great many Americans who no longer feel they need a specific or organized church in order to express or feel their connection with a higher power.

Brian G Valentine said...

All I know about morality is what I learned from reading the King James Version of the Bible aloud in Sunday School when I was nine years old in the 1950's -

and getting yelled at or swatted for behavior that wasn't deemed acceptable.

Maybe if we had some more of that, then Hollywood Starlets parading around half-nude while spewing four-letter words in front of a camera, and hucksters like Albert Gore Junior, wouldn't have the appeal thay seem to carry now.

Joel J. C. said...

Hi Alan,

I am not American; although, I am Christian. I wish to say that for many years, Christians from around the world have looked to the United States as a beacon of Christianity. Indeed the erosion of Christian values, and the confession of the same is a disappointment to people around the world.

I sincerely hope that voices such as yours are heard more and more in your country.

Alan Caruba said...

Thanks, Joel.

As the Hebrew sages remind us, "If I am not for myself, who will be?"