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. Harry

    Since when does God = Country? Oh yes, thats right since the Republican nut jobs arrived on the scene.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
  2. Sue

    Patriotism, or should I say unwavering full-time patriotic love of one's country, requires faith that everything that your nation does is a good thing. Religious people already have this kind of unquestioning loyalty built in, so this comes easier to them. The rest of us judge our nation's actions individually, leaving us patriot some of the time and not so proud the rest.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  3. ExRepublican313

    Can't imagine a god who would claim the hate spewing US christian church as a part of his flock.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Alex in NJ

      Democrats: Preach tolerance, diversity, accepting all people...hate Christians.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • gremlinus

      @Alex-You DO realize that "ExRepublican" does not equal democrat right? There are many political parties besides the two.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:04 am |
  4. stevie68a

    Freud called religion "a mental illness". So true! Modern christians seem to hope for the end of times, so they can be whisked
    up to heaven. Just like the World Trade Center terrorists, who right now, are enjoying their 72 virgins, while overlooking
    streets of gold and rivers of honey. That's the islamic belief. You are all seriously deluded. To understand this better, realize you
    were brainwashed as a child with these silly stories. Teach ethics instead. We are in a New Age, whether you like it or not,
    Religion is of the Old Age, the Bronze Age. Any rise of religion, is only it's swan song.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Mike H

      Patriotism (my country is better than your country) is as bad as religion (my god is better than your god) and both are responsible for most wars and much cruelty. When one thinks he is inherently superior to everybody else it leads to ignorance, arrogance and intolerance. Americans are among the most patriotic people in the western world, and many of them tote bibles.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  5. Reality

    What makes this the greatest country in the world? Its hard working, caring citizens!!

    One measure (and note the word god is not mentioned once):

    An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression):

    -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

    – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

    – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

    – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

    – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

    – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

    – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

    – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

    – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

    – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

    – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

    – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

    The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

    – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

    – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

    September 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • slightlyconcerned

      Right. Well then. I don't know what to address first; the random use of hyphens, your misapprehensions about U.S foreign policy, or the fact that you seem to think that 6,000+ U.S soldiers dying is a good thing. I am impressed with your extensive list of death but just...no. Please, please, tell me you were being sarcastic. And if not then really, read some books.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Reality

      • The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

      • Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

      Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

      Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation" or deletion.

      Zeb’s alphabetical listing

      o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
      Allowed words / not blocked at all:
      raping (ra-pe is not ok)
      shat (sh-@t is not ok)

      The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:18 am |
  6. OnLooker

    How is this even a discussion? America is most certainly not a Christian nation.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  7. Dante

    Yes, you can say it...


    September 28, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Bryan

      Jesus fails....sorry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYaQpRZJl18

      September 29, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  8. stevie68a

    christianity in America has become "I'm better than you". If religion has anything good to say, it's beyond politics, as this writer
    has wisely pointed out. There is too much hate coming out of many churches, which really invalidates their reason for being.
    Religious zealots will destroy this country if given the chance. I believe in God, but I don't believe in religion. The television
    preachers show often just who their god is, and that god is Money. People like Pat Robertson have huge fortunes. I cannot
    understand why people can't see through the phony smile of Joel Olsteen. The smile stays glued on, even when asked
    difficult questions. Phony, phony, phony!

    September 28, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Ben

      You can't understand because you have a brain. Just feel fortunate that you are not one of those people who blindly follows what they are told to. People are following smiles and handshakes and buying into it instead of focusing on real things. Any fool can be charismatic and charming and have a pefect smile. The public saddens me.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Reality Check

      Stevie68a, I agree with what you said, but also I am saddened that actually the hated and desire to destroy anyone who beliefs differently falls both within and outside the church. Look at many of the responses of people on this website towards Christians.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  9. Nick

    The reason for this is because Athiest's are not narrow minded and realize that there are wealthier, happier less christian countries out there that believes in Democracy. Don't get me wrong, I love my country and I in fact fight for it because of what I believe we stand for. But christianity polutes the decision making process of millions of Americans. Why are Athiest's like myself considered imoral and bad human beings? I have all the same morals as a christian but I choose not to believe in a false idol.
    "All people are Athiest, some people just believe in fewer god's"

    September 28, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Ben

      I am an atheist and the funny thing is I am more moral by the bible's standards than most christians I know. I don't steal, cheat, drink or smoke or do any drugs. I am free from all temptation and very strong willed and don't have any desire to do bad things, but somehow because I don't believe in a magical guy in the clouds I must be a bad person. The reality of stupidity and ignorance in America is just tragic. But I have hope for the country as we slowly evolve, no matter how slow or how many try to hold us back, I believe that it is inevitable that people become more informed as a society someday.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • Copenhagun

      I also am an atheist. I love my country, but I'm not over jingoistic. I would agree with the article in only that, evangelicals tend to forget about the entire world around them and think that America is somehow special. It's special, sure, for us, but the world is a big place and we should open our hearts, religious, or atheists to all human being on this earth. I don't begrudge religious people of their beliefs, but when they try to use their religion as a blunt object and try to pound it over peoples heads, that's when I have a problem and tend to speak out.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
  10. Terb0

    This article makes one major mistake: it confuses correlation with causation. just because a greater percentage of Christians display the flag and think the U.S. is the best doesn't mean that they do so because they are Christian. Personally, I am very Christian and very patriotic, but I do not confuse one for the other. God and country are two different parts of my life, even if I am devoted to both of them.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
  11. JoJo

    What bothers me is the constant linking of religion and the militaristic brand of patriotism. Only in last resort, self defense is warfare morally justifiable. It's otherwise contrary to everything the Pince of Peace taught. Most of the major religious hierarchies including the Vatican said the war in Iraq, a preemptive war of choice based on flimsy justification, did NOT meet Just War Criteria. Ron Paul said "it didn't come close". And yet it was hugely supported by the Relgious Right.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:26 pm |

    they should ban religion

    then this kind of thing would never come up and people could just work for a living

    instead of asking god to give them everything

    nothing happens when you die anyway

    so i dont know what the fuss is about

    September 28, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who's "they"? What are you, 12?

      September 28, 2011 at 11:27 pm |

      the government

      theres an answer for you

      are you a closet christian or something tom

      always defending christianity

      how old are you tom

      or should i ask

      does your age have any relevance to the article

      because if thats all you got

      then pucker the piehole

      September 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • O

      Best comment I've seen here.

      Amen to that!

      September 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • John Richardson

      You don't have to be a closet Christian to gag on your oft repeated call to ban religion. You just have to think that freedom of thought and freedom of conscience are good things. You might also want to toss in some skepticism about the how much "good" ever comes empowering the government to ban more and more things. We already lead the world in per capita incarcerations. Clogging the justice system with people who dare to defy the government by being Methodists is a bad idea even IF you would like to see religion totally disappear.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • Darn straight

      @ Brown Note.

      I 'm sure you would rather have the government give you everything.


      September 29, 2011 at 12:43 am |
  13. PP

    The article is qouting an excerpt from the magazine Christianity today saying that American Christians should not equate the Kingdom of USA with the Kingdom of God. God's Kingdom is not of this world but in the hearts of all men (from every nation). Bottomline, if I am not an American Christian, that does not make me of a Christian.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • PP

      Correction on my last sentence, "If I am not an American Christian, that does not make me a lesser Christian".

      September 28, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  14. Melanie

    An overly confident country is every bit as offensive an dangerous as an overly confident individual. It's time everyone realized that.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  15. AB

    I left my country in the West Indies for about 25 years because of dictatorship and moved to the USA, since then I have travelled to 40 countries around the world and USA is still the best country to live in. I spent 1 to 2 weeks in per country and so far I will not trade the USA for any of them and my quest to find a better country than the USA will continue.
    Even though a country claims to be democratic, don’t think they are. They changed a few rules and call themselves democratic. Example England which I visited, Paris, Poland, Check Republic, Hungary Germany and many others in South America, they are far from being democratic countries. As far are the Middle East and Asia I don’t even bother because they will never be free. Let alone being like the USA which is where Washington failed big time thinking they can change the world to be likes the USA. All these countries hate USA for one reason and one reason alone, “materials things and freedom” Their people will never be able to understand the USA’s freedom, this is the reason why they try to destroy it. Many of these citizens to other countries try putting a lot of post degrading the USA as they live here and failed to understand that their very countries treat them like slave and not able to do anything they please. They failed to understand that they are able to participate on these discussions because USA let people express themselves. I have visited foreign web sites like BBCWORLD.COM; they will not post anything that offends the British royals. I even read post from a foreign web site talking bad about the USA by comparing the big USA with a little stupid tiny kingdom like Swaziland and when I send them my post they never post it because they don’t have freedom to express themselves like the USA.
    Americans need to pay attention and understand the value of their freedom. It is good to learn new ways and ideas from foreign countries but it is not a good thing to follow them. The foreign cultures are base in the old centuries and their old ideology will only lead to slavery which is the way the world was back in them days. Americans has their children in the army and they feel like they have to encourage them through patriotism and I don’t see anything wrong with that because the kids are very young and have not seen life yet. Sometimes churches mistaking it but can you blame them when their kids are dying every day.
    All I have to say to Americans keep on loving your country regardless what the rest of the world think. They hate Americans and the USA because of jealousy because their government keeps them in slavery. If they hated the USA that much why will they flood the country as they do? I don’t think so; I believe they move here in the USA to flee their low minded government like my government in the West Indies. They are stupid enough to try making the USA a bad place and failed to admit that the USA is very different when they should applaud the USA. Americans your country is failing because of the fools in Washington but it is the best place to live compare to the rest of the world.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  16. Bruce

    "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.' ...

    So – err – non-religious freethinking Americans are more rational and balanced in their thinking than eager religious devotees. What a surprise. The Christianity Today article is an example of duplicitous political correctness. Just as marginal Islamists do nothing real to curb Islamic fundamentalism, Christian 'moderate' clergy and theologians specialise in inverse exceptionalist politics. Dominionist Christian theology is not really anything new. Everything has always been the dominion of their proxy god fiction, and the god fiction was made by monarchs and lying clerics in an attempt to control us. That's how Catholicism did it in the dark ages, that's how British and German Protestant powers did it post reformation, that's how the Puritans did it to freethinking women, and that's how evangelicals do it today. 'The way' is not narrow and winding. Most people are determinedly on it to their detriment and that of those less convinced. Of course the Christian doctrine has always been about passive aggression stemming from anger at the state of human existence and fear of terminal death. Those non-believers: take it out on them – especially the atheists. They have a nasty habit of not buying into afterlife fictions, which we need to make out little selves feel better, but which really make everything worse than it already is. "And lo they threw their hands over their ears and ran about in circles saying 'lalalalalalalalalalalalala' (and then accused the true freethinkers – who stood there in perplexity witnessing the true madness of mass self-delusion – of doing the same)".

    September 28, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
  17. vmaxnc

    Some conclusions that might be drawn:

    Non-believers are not as concerned with symbols such as flags, which may be why fewer of them display such symbols. They deal more in fact than believers do, so such romantic notions as the US being the best (whatever that means) would have to be quantified, not just wished.

    As for the last paragraph, it is much like the bible. Results can be interpreted as desired to support just about any viewpoint.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Ben

      Yeah simply put, good job. I am a non believer not only because I am a skeptic but mainly because I am logical and capable of thinking for myself. I am also a realist. I live in reality, not in a fairy tale where magical things happen. Anyone with half an education knows that . What is funny is when a christian calls an atheist a "know it all". Well, i wouldn't call myself a know it all but I certainly know more than you because I understand that science is not a fictional thing like the bible. It is factual based no matter what your creationist science books tell you. There is no such thing as creationist science. That is a direct contradiction in and of itself. IT is an oxymoron. Science made it possible for you to have a computer to type on and a car to drive and countless other conveniences that you enjoy, retard. Science flies us to the moon. Religion flies us into buildings.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Reality Check

      Ben, you show your bigotry and lack of knowledge.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Alek Henson

      Reality Check, at what point does Ben show us his lack of knowledge?

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

      Yes, if creationism is were actually a science then what discoveries has it made? Have they figured out how God created everything out of nothing, or how he managed to have always existed without being born? If they had to depend upon research grants based upon results like actual scientists do then they'd have disappeared ages ago, right?

      September 29, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Answer

      Creationist science is a joke.

      Wrap up a primary level of understanding in science and doctor it up with heavy doses of religion and relabel it. That is essentially what the creationists did. It was a ploy to fight back against science's growing strength.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:19 am |
  18. Reality Check

    Forget the whole religion debate. This country suffers from a lack of patriotism.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  19. CSX

    This article reveals the direction of thinking of the Liberal godless mind.

    September 28, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • Melanie

      It's true – I, a Progressive, do not believe in God, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, invisible friends, magic hats (or beans) or ghouls that go bump in the night.

      I'm pretty sure you complimented my rational thinking. Thanks.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Ben

      did you mean to say the logical and reasonable mind? Yeah us liberals and our damn reality based thinking is going to be the end of the world. Godless anything is not a bad thing, it's only bad in your mind because you have convinced yourself that a god exists and therefore you take offense at anything that remotely doubts or questions your happy fantasy. Something exists when there is proof. There is no proof that any god exist, not just your god, ANY GOD! christians make up less than half the worlds population so by your reasoning 70 percent of the worlds population is going to hell for not being as fortunate as you for being born in the good ol usa. Are all chinese people automatically going to hell because they were not born in your country? Get your head out of your ass you self righteous idiot.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Jadugara

      CSX,...your comment reveals that you are a bigoted idiot...

      September 28, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Sue

      You make 'godless' almost sound like a bad thing.

      September 28, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Darn straight

      YAY! the oppressed heathens can come to a message board and promote their agenda without fear of repercussion!

      Why can they do this? They can thank our Christian founding fathers!!

      September 29, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  20. Ryan

    Okay, this was a kinda confusing pointless article. The United States is a country, and it does not have Christianity as its official religion. So, flying the flag shouldn't be a problem at all. Right? Why would it be an expression of religion? Doesn't anyone remember separation of Church and State?

    September 28, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • Jadugara

      I totally agree Ryan...

      What so many fundamentalist Christians seem to forget (including so many right-wing fanatical politicians currently running for office), is that merely 20 years after the founding of our country, and with the full knowledge and approval of our founding fathers, the Treaty of Tripoli was authored by American diplomat Joel Barlow in 1796. It was then sent to the floor of the Senate on June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved. John Adams, having seen the treaty, signed it and proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.

      The first part of Article 11 of that treaty CLEARLY states....."....the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."

      It's unfortunate that there are so many people so very blinded by their own faith and ignorance that they cannot see what has been plainly held true since the very founding of this nation....

      September 28, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
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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.