Tuesday, May 15, 2007

America, many religions, but no National Religion

America does not have an ‘official' national religion, which is prohibited by the Constitution, but some 85 percent of our citizens profess to be Christians. That makes Christianity America's unofficial religion. That's important. Look at the problems being suffered by Mitt Romney as he runs for President. He is a Mormon and many mainstream Christians consider The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a heretical offshoot of Christianity.

"The rhetoric between evangelicals and Mormons has been almost abusive," said Richard Mouw, president of the Fuller Theological Seminary in California.

Christians are not a monolithic group. There are more than nine-hundred Christian denominations in America, ranging in the political spectrum from liberal to evangelical conservatives. This diversity places some limits on the power Christians have to influence political policy. Collations have been built around single issues such as abortion, especially in the evangelical community, however there is not a general consensus among American Christians.

In America of the 21st century religions influence has diminished from the days of fire and brimstone preachers of the 19th century, or even the Scopes "Monkey trial" of 1925.

Now the problem is the nation-state, "in circumstance of accelerating global integration, the nation-state has become too small for the big problems and too big for the small problems of life" Anthony Giddens, University of Cambridge.

Religion is probably a best mechanism to fill this dichotomy, however with more than three-thousand religious groups in America, there is too much diversity to ever form a national religion.

4 comments:

Vigilante said...

Many would claim there is a national religion Americans claim in common. We, most of us, revere our precious Constitution. Of course our belief is under attack as being too 'secular'.

Jim said...

By definition belief in the Constitution is not a religion, thus I did not include that in the article. For me personally it is my "religion"

Vigilante said...

Good answer.

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