home
RSS
Patriotism and the 'God gap'
Surveys suggest a 'God gap' in views on American patriotism.
September 28th, 2011
07:19 PM ET

Patriotism and the 'God gap'

By Dave Schechter, CNN

(CNN)– “And may God bless the United States of America” is a popular closing line in speeches by presidents and presidential hopefuls.

Does a higher power, if one exists, “shed his grace on thee,” as the lyrics of “America the Beautiful” proclaim?

And if so, does this make the United States of America the greatest country in the world?

Christianity Today crunched data from a Pew Research Center poll that asked more than 1,500 Americans for their views of the United States.

“Nearly all Americans think they live in the best country on Earth. While a majority of Americans believe there are other countries just as great, nine in 10 say no nation is better. Within this high view of America, there are differences between different religious groups,” the magazine noted.

To this end, Christianity Today suggested the existence of a “patriotism God-gap in America.”

Among those surveyed, evangelicals were the most likely to think the United States is No. 1.

“Other Christian traditions were less enthusiastic about America's position in the world, but they still saw the U.S. as one of the best on the planet. About 40% of other Christians said the U.S. stands alone as the greatest country; around 55% said it and some other countries were equally great. As with evangelicals, only a few said there were greater countries in the world.”

“Those with no religion, however,” hold a much less favorable view, according to the magazine.

"Only one in five of those without religious beliefs said the U.S. is the best country in the world, an equal percentage agreeing that 'there are other countries that are better than the U.S.' ”

Not everyone is enamored with equating religious conviction and patriotism. Consider these excerpts from the comments that followed the Christianity Today article:

“To call yourself a Christian evangelical and still think that America is the greatest is ironic to say the least. God is not about country. God is about love and everyone is equal in his eyes, including the rest of the world.”

“What's really sad is the widespread perception among evangelicals that there is some kind of link between America's standing and the work and purpose and success of God's kingdom. There is not. Two words: wrong kingdom. I repeat: wrong kingdom. It matters not a whit what America's status in the world is. The kingdom of Jesus Christ does not depend on this in any way and will continue regardless.”

“When our astronauts look down at the Earth it doesn't look like a classroom globe with lines on it. All of those lines are drawn in the minds of human beings. I am grateful to be an American. But sometimes I think that some elements of conservative Christianity really see their religion as patriotism, their scripture the Constitution and God their servant to gain their personal aims. This whole Earth is the object of God's love and concern. And to claim that any one nation in today’s world is more favored than another may be promoting a Christian heresy.”

Flying the flag is among the easiest ways to display patriotism. Is it also an expression of religion?

In an article titled “Flag Desecration, Religion and Patriotism,” Temple University associate law professor Muriel Morisey suggested that for proponents of a constitutional amendment, “the American flag is the equivalent of a sacred religious icon, comparable to Christianity’s crucifix, Judaism’s Torah and the Quran of Islam. No court has designated patriotism as a religion for Establishment Clause purposes, but in every other significant respect it operates as a religion in American culture. Regardless of the religious beliefs we profess, we simultaneously practice patriotism.”

That said, a “God gap” may exist in the flying of Old Glory as well.

A Pew poll taken March 30-April 3 suggested that 78% of religious people display the flag on their clothing, in the office or at home, while 58% of nonreligious do likewise.

Evangelicals were the most likely to say they displayed the flag; those Americans unaffiliated with religion the least likely.

As to the religious identity of the nation, 62% said the United States is a “Christian nation” in a survey of 1,000 adults done a couple of years ago for Newsweek, while 75% of Americans call themselves Christian, according to the American Religious Identification Survey also done in 2009.

And earlier this year, writing for the CNN Belief Blog, Boston University religion scholar Stephen Prothero analyzed the religious affiliations of those elected to serve in the 112th Congress and concluded: “Is this a Christian nation? No way, says the Constitution. But U.S. voters are telling us something else altogether.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Courts

soundoff (2,100 Responses)
  1. chad

    ""Only one in five of those without religious beliefs said the U.S. is the best country in the world, an equal percentage agreeing that 'there are other countries that are better than the U.S.' ”

    Well then, perhaps they should leave 🙂

    September 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Greg

      what an idiotic argument.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      It's possible to love your country and still think there's room for improvement. Unlike your ridiculous god, countries don't have to be perfect to be believed in. Grow up, you silly little man.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Chris Mankey

      "Well then, perhaps they should leave :-)"

      Yep, if someone points out that were 38th in the world in health care outcomes, 30th in the world in scientific literacy and 11th in the world in per capita incomes people like you should say "why do you just leave" instead of doing anything to fix it. Go to hell!

      September 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Ryan

      No, because this is our country too, go eat a bag of D!cks.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • nilsjames

      Perhaps you should leave. By your logic if you don't like something you should leave, since you don't like it that people here are allowed to think the US is not the best, maybe you should leave? See how this makes no sense? Try again please.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • Jesus

      Evangelicals have consistently demonstrated their foremost quality-being delusional. Naturally they would say that the USA is the best country in world. It's all part of the delusion.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Michael

      Whenever someone says that, I think back to what Al Franken said: Republicans have a child/parent relationship to the country, while democrats act more like adults who have a mature relationship with the country, able to criticise and seek improvement.

      October 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Jon P

      Where is this data from? I've looked through that report before and I'm not sure where the information is even coming from. I see that question posed but it's answered in terms of political affiliation. Also under demographics, of those polled, I don't see where it shows religious beliefs. Also the word you're looking for is nationalism not patriotism. Did you bother to look?

      October 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • vintage274

      Silly argument. Let's say you're a huge fan of the Raiders, but you're at a game in which the Giants are making fantastic plays. If you admire what the Giants are doing, should you have to leave the game because you are somehow being disloyal to the Raiders. I don't think so. There's a level at which admiration and love for anything becomes an overwhelming vanity. If you think your child is the greatest and refuse to punish him when he does something wrong or refuse to acknowledge that another person's child is also great, you are being a lousy parent. If you think your country is great, but you refuse to acknowledge the things it needs to improve or to acknowledge that other countries also offer their citizens good things (or sometimes even better things than yours does), then you are being a lousy citizen.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  2. Ryan

    terror management theory: read up on it

    September 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  3. Bruce H

    Have the evangelicals forgotten the sin of pride? Why should they believe themselves better than others?

    What supreme hubris! Do they think they are worthwhile to reward?

    Think of the advice in Matthew 6:6 and decide to stop being hypocrites.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  4. Evolusionism

    It is sad that we even feel a need to rank countries, rank races and rank religions. Ranking economies, human rights records, education programs and science advances, yes please rank these and provide balanced reporting on them; CNN! However; each country, each "race" (remember there is not enough difference in human DNA for scientists to even consider categorizing humans into more than one...) and each religion has an equal right to exist, no matter where they fall in anyone's rankings. A separation between church and state, while not a necessity of running a country, certainly helps smooth out some bumps in the road. As we have seen with the Arab Spring and the conflicts in the Middle East, the more religion is intertwined into politics, legislation and enforcement of laws, the harder it is to get anything done...so, LONG LIVE THE GOD GAP when it comes to running the United States of America!

    September 28, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Excellent

      September 28, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  5. victor tx

    i love my country and i believe in a god and doing good and being a good, helpful person but im not gonna blindly follow the morons that scream "usa usa usa". i live in texas... their are soooooo many religious fanatics here its frightening . like the saying goes... "fascism will come to america in a cross covered in an american flag"

    September 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Thinks2010

      Exactly.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • MrHanson

      Perhaps it's just the very few religious fanatics that do somthing horrific in the name of God it gets the most attention? But a murderer that most likely believes that God is not watching what he is doing, gets barely a wisper?

      October 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  6. Norm - not that one

    Not surprisingly, those with strong religious views are just as "non-reality" based, opinionated about this or any other nation.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  7. CalgarySandy

    "...the U.S. stands alone as the greatest country." Duh. If it did not stand alone it would not be the greatest. We do not need journalists being sloppy too.

    As a Canadian who has lived in the US I have to say that some parts of the US really are great places but the Fundamentalists have made a mockery of the claim that the US is a democracy. I don't think any country is the greatest though Canada with its very strong economy compared to every other developed nation and its health care plan and apparent tolerance of the other gendered comes close. We have Evangelicals. The Prime Minister comes of a long line of brutally bigoted Fundamentalists. I come out of the same tradition and fled as soon as I could get away from my mother who forced it, literally, on me. Yet, he cannot override the majority on social issues. He works it into his foreign policy but Canada was not settled by Puritans and did not have the movements in the 1800's of crazed people who claimed the end was neigh. The Baptists and the rest of their ilk come out of the US and no other country has many of them. As long as you allow these fringe people to hoard the media and as long as the majority moderate Christians let them you will have nothing but trouble. They seem to have it in their beliefs that they will get brownie points in heaven by forcing everyone to walk their path. There is little of love or compassion in their attempts to "save the nation." In other words, their message has left out the only important thing: Love thy neighbour. If you tried to tell a Brit or Canadian or any European that patriotism should be mixed up with religion they would laugh you out of the country. Europe got rid of those Puritans for good reasons.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Earthling

      It is possible for there to be a tie for greatest country as many of the respondents indicated. Duh.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Drinker

      I am also Canadian and currently live the US. I definitely agree the number one thing that brings the USA down is religion. I prefer the USA to Canada since I am not a fan of high taxes and government had outs. I think there are several great countries in the world and I also think you have to live in them before you know what they are really like.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Yes. It could be a group. However, at the time I wrote it there were not many commenters. I was addressing the article. I do not believe that the crazed Fundamentalist Nationalists being discussed are interested in being one of the greatest. I do not understand caring about how great we appear to the world but how great life is to us. If you are well liked in the world it makes international relations so much easier so for that reason it is nice to be liked for being nice.

      I loved living in NJ and working in NYC. As an Albertan, I found the people refreshingly left wing. I would prefer to pay the higher taxes so the single mom down the street who was abandoned by her husband can be sure her kids will have a pretty decent education and have health care. I found my lower taxes in the US eaten up by the cost of a good health care plan. I was a high earner so I could do it. I don't need those extra thousands of dollars enough to want to see the poor, ill and otherwise vulnerable rot. As I have become disabled I am darn glad I am in Canada though I would never have returned to Alberta from NJ but for the dot.com crash took everything from me including my home and everything in it. I prefer to pay with taxes for me and everyone else. It is a matter of values. I do not value money the way I do the health of the citizens. I know that it is likely that at least half of the US feel the same way but are hindered by the Fundamentalists and wing-nut politicians. Democracy was not developed by cowards but it is dying because too few have the courage to stand against these people.

      I did not go to the US for lower taxes. I knew very well what the situation would be like. I went because I could not get through the glass ceiling in the Oil Patch. I went where I would be able to use all my skills, NYC. If I were well or had lots of money I would be doing all I could to get back, not because I do not love Canada but because I also love NYC and NJ and there are more people who agree with me there than in Calgary. Ten years ago, before the Towers went down, there was still as strong belief in the American dream and people were working towards it. I felt that Canada was starting to turn to the right but NJ and NY, at least, gave me a strong sense of people believing in a worthwhile goal. Where did that go? We all know where it went.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Drinker

      I am from Alberta originally also. I was young when I moved down here , first to NC and now outside Kansas City. I definitely was not a high earner when we made the move 12 years ago and taxes were not my main incentive. It was a different country before George Jr. I have been lucky with healthcare, with my current employer my premiums are less than Alberta Healthcare used to be. That is not easy to come by though. Like I said, there are lots of good countries in the world. There needs to be some kind of healthcare for everyone. The middle class are hurting here. I did get very tired of the handouts to natives up there that I know still go on. I didn't feel like they deserved my money or anyone else's!

      September 28, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  8. Just Curious

    One of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated evidently lives on today. Manifest Destiny was the belief in the 1800's that the fledgling US had a divine mandate to expand west across and conquer North America (read: commit genocide against tribes of indigenous people to take control of the land).

    The same delusional thinking appears firmly rooted in the evangelical-leaning responses to the survey.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • Cogito

      So nice to see someone mention 'Manifest Destiny' finally, after reading most of the comments here.

      Let's not forget the modern day equivalent of "American Exceptionalism" either...

      September 28, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Jesus

      Remember the guy who wrote The Wizard of OZ? Baum was his name and the extermination (i.e. genocide) of the Native American was his cause.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Blahman

      Awesome post! I never thought of the current religious movement as Manifest Destiny. It explains a lot.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  9. augustghost

    Your Christian god is a myth...just like all of the Greek gods.....

    September 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      To be fair, I always found the Greek gods a little easier to buy than the Christian one. The intersection of supposed infallibility and a decidedly flawed world just represents so many logical paradoxes.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  10. Rick

    Using religion as a political tool was never what our forefathers intended, it is in fact contrary to that and un-american.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • frank hernandez

      well said !!!!

      September 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • TSIndiana

      Rick, Jesus became violent one time...when he threw the money changers out of the temple. Then he was crucified.

      September 29, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • Jesus

      20-25% of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Britain, Finland....identify as Christian. The rest are irreligious or nonbelievers. Here in the good old USA the dim bulbs rule-70% identify as Christian. No wonder we're a nation in decline!

      September 29, 2011 at 9:52 am |
  11. Coined

    So, religious people can believe in God and say this is the greatest country. Likewise, non-religious people can refute a higher power and claim this is not the greatest country. So long as both can continue to do so, without brawls and bullets, I'd say this is exactly where I want to be.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Brandon

      The occasional brawl can be a dandy of a time, though!

      September 28, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Befuddled2

      Very nice point.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  12. Adrian

    The God gap exists because us Christians allowed it to happen. We have allowed the media and the government to consider us "extremists" if we actively exercise and profess our faith. It's a tragic irony: you will more likely see a faithful Muslim or atheist (a religion if ever there was one; just read their website) than a faithful Christian. It's because we've been brainwashed that calling out sin is judgemental, when it isn't. Now, sin has it's on political agenda. Gay rights, children "divorcing" their parents and the hypocritical attack on Big Tobacco when Big Beer (or Alcohol, or whatever) isn't exactly pushing milk and juice to people. FYI: I've NEVER seen a cigarette ad....especially not during a HUGE family program like football. Funny, this world is.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • UncleM

      Because christians have "allowed" it to happen? Christians have no right to claim moral superiority based on their delusions and made-up book of primitive beliefs.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • pfft

      stupid, this poster is.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • *frank*

      Yes! You should not allow them to consider you extremists! Crush them! Silence them!

      September 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • Befuddled2

      More likely to see a Muslim or atheist than a faithful Christian. I am amazed you can say this and apparantly mean it.

      I don't know about your neighborhood but there are numerous churches within a mile of where I live, all with signs out front. I see more positive stories about Christians than either atheists or Muslims in the newspaper. All the religious fliers I get, the door to door religious people who come by are all Christian. There are no atheist or Muslim stations where I live but there are at least two religious on non-cable television and several Christian radio stations.

      Most of the time most Christians are not labeled as extremists, especially by the mainstream media. Perhaps a little whiny at times :>)

      September 28, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Adrain where is the web site you claim? you most likely think that any group of people are a religion...doctors, dentists, street cleaners etc. You have had 2000 yrs and still demand more time. Other than the fact that we do not believe in your, or any other, god, atheists have completely different views on every thing else...whereas your religion demands you follow the complete group think.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • Iamgr82day

      Not for nothing, but Christians have no choice but to allow it. I could not give two shakes to how you live your life...including how and who you choose worship. I have a big problem with you or anyone else forcing those choices on me.

      The worst part is that I have met very few Christians that are also good people. By good people, I mean that they live the uplifting parts of the bible and pretty much stay out of everyone else's personal life unless invited in.

      To lift a line from a favorite movie, people who believe like you believe the government should tell us how to think.. you want to be in our homes and in our heads and you haven't the right. I love how Christian's are so anti-government, but want the government to pass laws that put them in our homes and in our beds... provided it conforms you your religious views.

      I hate the hypocrisy and would prefer Christians and everyone else stop trying to control me. Religiosity holds us back...by us I mean the human race...it is anti-science and anti-progress. It limits human potential in hopes of a infinite life after death. If religion was just a guide to a good life it would be fine, but it is not. It is a tool to gain control and force people to do want a certain group wants. Which christians should we give control to? Baptist? Fundamentalist? Lutherans? 7th Day Adventists? Catholics? My experience is that these sects do not really think much of each other anyway. Someday, probably in the very distant future, mankind will realize that religion in one of the major causes of human suffering.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • ladybear

      I suppose you would consider me an atheist, because although I do believe in some kind of higher power, I do not believe in religion, it is a man made political structure, based on hierarchy and terms of address dating from the 12 and 13th centuries. More evil has been done in the name of religion, by men and women of great faith, than just about any other cause. Christians have fought and killed each other for centuries over microscopic differences in the way they address their god. The 10 commandments of the old testament are almost identical to teachings of the ancient Egyptians. The contents of the new testament were largely decided by a group of politically minded clerics and their ruler some thousand years after the supposed date of the crucifixion, who picked and chose from all the books and stories written and eliminated those they found inconvenient, including books about or by women of the early years of Christianity. And the teachings purported to come from the Christ, of peace, brotherhood, forgiveness and being 'your brother's keeper' are pretty much ignored by modern Christians in politics, as taking from the poor to make the rich richer, crushing the sick, weak and elderly, and forgiving no one seem to be the rule of the day.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • AmazingSteve

      I'm assuming you're going by the standard definitions of extremist Christian (bombs/protests abortion clinics, beats gay people, and believes everyone else in the world deserves eternal torture), extremist Muslim (threatens cartoonists drawing his prophet, oppresses women, has an annoying tendency to explode), and extremist atheist (admits that he is an atheist and that he finds religion silly, will not hesitate to discuss this, likes beer)?

      September 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Bruce H

      Judge not, lest you be judged – and found wanting.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  13. Fed Up with Politics

    Yeah, religion needs to be kept personal. NOT in government.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Jesus

      Religion is like your private parts...you should not expose it in public. Just whip it out with intimate friends.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  14. magdaleine

    I do agree with this article, evangelicals have hijacked Christianity in public pursuit of their own goals leaving the rest of the authentic Christians (who don't wear religion on our sleeves), misrepresented. Its usually those who speak the loudest, that have the least to say instead of the most profound...

    September 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  15. frank hernandez

    As another Atheist, I'm glad I'm here in the USA, but Europa would probably be better due to THEIR religious freedom, or lack of religion. What could be worst in being an Atheist in a Muslim country 😦

    I agree, too many religious nuts here in the US also. PEOPLE! God does not run your lives....YOU DO!

    September 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • JLS639

      Stereotyping religious folks, aren't you, Frank? A "Muslim country"? Do you think they are all the same when it comes to atheists or religious minorities?

      September 29, 2011 at 2:09 am |
    • MrHanson

      No, blind random processes rule my life. The mind is just an illusion and so are morals. We are not people, just a highly organized colony of eukaryotes.

      October 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  16. Kris Hanson

    I'm a Christian and we're definitely not the best country. We're certainly a good country, and I'm happy to live here, but the Christian-Right is beyond brainwashed in America rather than the teachings of Jesus.

    If most Christians actually believed in what Jesus said, we'd be way more socialist than Glenn Beck would be comfortable with.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Rebecca

      I agree with this. What is touted as extreme right Christianity does not resemble anything I have ever read in the Bible. If this were a Christian country, it would truly be more socialistic. The religious right seems to worship Mammon. That said, I am a Christian and this is my home and I love it, warts and all. Is it better than other countries? How would I know, I have only lived here and in Mexico. There were many things I liked about Mexico... including family ties. Still, I am a U.S. citizen.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Thinks2010

      Well said.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • Angi Stamm

      Whew, thanks for the news flash on America not be the last great hope on earth. Now I can go ahead and move to one of the other great countrys like: Cuba (No...Communist), Russia (No...Communist), Africa (No...civil wars & massacres), Iran (No...Islamic calipahte & kill christians), Saudi Arabia (No...kill Christians, opress women), Venezuela (No...confiscate people private property, kill those opposed to their dictator)...what about Germany, I would love to live under Socialism (oops my sister-in-law is from Germany and doesn't want to live there anymore.) Actually, Europe's not looking good these days with Italy, Greece, Spain etc. going bankrupt and all...how bout England (No...riots against the government, Islamic extremism, Muslims hate crimes against whites)...China (No...Communist)...Iceland is looking pretty good...you might buy a one way ticket there.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Randolph Carter

      Angi, try Argentina. A booming economy and all the Americans I know there are happy as clams. And it's spring there right now.

      September 28, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  17. *frank*

    Evangelists have creepy eyes like Yul Brynner in Westworld.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Awesome reference. Rock on.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  18. MAN_OF_GOD

    This country needs to turn back to GOD!

    September 28, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why? Countries like Norway seem to be doing fine and their population is largely non-religious.

      What benefit would there be in making this a theocracy?

      September 28, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • UncleM

      This country needs to abandon Bronze Age supersti-tions.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Adrian

      Yeah, we do! But, we can't. It takes getting involved, and many of various denominations of Christianity, not only never preach politics, they are too ignorant to even take it up in their spare time. But, alas, if we, who know better, reach one and teach one, then we can stem the tide of spiritual numbess and complacency that has gripped America.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • frank hernandez

      it was NEVER god's to begin with!
      Jefferson didn't believe Jesus was god.
      Our forefathers were mostly theists and children of the European Enlightenment, trying to GET AWAY from the chains
      of religion existing in Europe.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Rebecca

      Having read the Bible through many times, I have often wondered about how it repeats that Christians are the "salt" of the earth. Interesting thought, since too much salt kills everything. Salt, lightly, and it increases savor. Salt too heavily, and death. Just sayin.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Jane

      Who's god , your god plus others god. ?, just curious. many religions in our country. Jane

      September 28, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      So tired of this "back to God" crap. The evangelical movement began in the 1950's, ushered in along with the paranoia of Mccarthyism and the Cold War. "One nation under God" and "in God we trust" are both artifacts of trying to root out "atheist communism." The majority of our country's history was not as obsessed with Jesus as the fundamentalists like to think it was. Revisionist history.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Benzin

      I advise you to look up the Treaty of Tripoli and read it in full and then tell me how this nations needs to turn BACK to god. As it clearly states in the treaty, we are not a Christian nation.
      As mentioned before, many of the founders were deists (basically, god made the universe then didn't interfere after that), or secularist Christians, neither of which really wanted a "Christian Nation" at all.
      Washington never took communion, Jefferson published a revised new testament with all references to the supernatural removed, several founders ensured secularism in government in their own states; the list goes on.

      And, really, what will "turning back to God" do?

      September 28, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Tom91E

      When religion ruled it was called the dark ages!

      October 25, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  19. Paul

    "Leave unto Caesar that which is Caesar's."
    Jesus has no interest in politics.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      But unfortunately the jesus-freaks (and other tribal cults) do.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • JLS639

      Jesus is the shrewdest politician in history. He has been on all sides of so many conflicts and is always the political outsider. Heck, he convinced people his mother was a virgin. I don't know any other politician that can lie that well.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:16 am |
  20. Some dude

    As an atheist I have to say this is far from the best country. Why? Cause of all the religious nuts.

    September 28, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Larry

      Agreed! Well said.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • David

      Pretty much and I'm NOT an atheist. Religion is personal, gov't needs to be secular.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • leecherius

      Move..simple.

      September 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Some dude

      Why don't you move? I've got just as much right to live here as you. I'm just not stupid enough to think "God loves 'Merica! We's the best in da whole werld".

      September 28, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Ted Williams

      Atheists are such gutless pessimists. It takes nothing to believe in nothiing. It's just a "cool" way to pass socially with no cost and no taking a stand on anything. Others with more guts and heart carry the load that teaches people to love, seek peace, forgive and be honest and faithfull. Atheists just can't step up. They just suck up.

      October 24, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • ????

      And being a Deist, I agree completely with you. Good post.

      December 6, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • tallulah13

      Hey Ted? It's nothing to do with being "cool". I love, seek peace, forgive and am honest and faithful, all without need for a god. I am accountable for my own actions. You ought to give it a try, instead of insulting people who look at the facts and find no evidence of supernatural beings.

      December 6, 2011 at 11:25 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.