We’ve been talking through the two debates below, and looking around on the net, and it seems this question cuts to the heart of a fierce debate that’s been reignited by Tuesday’s inauguration. The first issue is whether America is a Christian nation, and what follows is whether it should be?
If you look at the inauguration this week, plenty of observers thought there was a subtle (and maybe not so subtle) move away from religion being at the centre of politics. “God Knows His Place” wrote George Pitcher in the Telegraph in the UK.
Then there was the “Second Oath” – it wasn’t done on a Bible. As the BBC’s U.S correspondent Justin Webb commented, you can bet your life that wouldn’t have happened with the previous president.
This article talks about the new watchword in an Obama presidency : inclusiveness. As the man himself said on Tuesday :
“”We know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and nonbelievers”
There are some who argue that this coalition may be a strength for the U.S abroad and the country not being seen as a Christian country only. All kinds of faith groups are being consulted to shape -among other things- foreign policy.
So it’s not like religion isn’t important in moulding the future of 21st century America – just not one religion only.
There are those who are worried by the notion that America is not a Christian nation :
“In broad sense Buddhism and Confucianism made China what it is. Shintoism made Japan what it is. Hinduism made India what it is. Islam made the middle east and North Africa what it is. Communism made 30 nations what they became. Reformation Christianity made America what it is”
We’ll be at the HQ of WGCU in Fort Myers Florida later to test this one out. I know you won’t be slow to join in.