Christian Nation vs. Christian Culture

So you might wonder at the Facebook post about not arguing with people online. There’s a lot built into this, but I think I can make my point.

There’s a kind of mistaken notion that floats around certain socially conservative groups of people that the USA was founded as a “Christian Nation.” The trouble with this statement is that it implies that the USA is some kind of theocracy.

People who, for instance, don’t realize that there are at least three different lists of the Ten Commandments and at least two different lists written in the Torah itself say things to the effect of “all our laws can be traced back to one of the Ten Commandments.”

‘fraid not.

We’re not a theocracy, and we never have been. That’s just the plain facts of the matter. So saying “Christian nation” is completely out.

However, I have said this many times: the dominant religion that has influenced people in the USA, even people who aren’t overtly religious, is Christianity, and so I observe that the USA is a Christian culture.  That’s neither here nor there on whether or not it should be a Christian culture, only an affirmation that most of us born in the USA are influenced to one degree or another by Christianity as opposed to other religions.

Some of our major holidays in the USA include St. Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas.

I’m not going to bother with the perennial debate among people about the potential pagan origins or influences on these different holidays because there’s too much misinformation that would have to corrected and other information that would have to be placed into context. Misinformation, whether used by Christians, pagans, atheists, or whomever, is still misinformation.

The point is, these holidays all have a Christian “flavor” to them now, even if in some vague sort of way, and that’s what I’m pointing to as one aspect of the Christian culture.

So anyway, the other day, in a group on Facebook, I posted that I prefer saying that we’re a Christian culture as opposed to a Christian nation because it removes the political connotation while still pointing out that we’re all influenced by Christianity.

Some woman who I don’t know from Adam’s house cat began a response about how the USA wasn’t founded as a Christian nation, how (some) Christians have frequently tried to make Christianity the “norm” and make everyone believe as they do (all of which I agreed with, by the way!), and then…she began to talk about my sense of entitlement and how I’m pushing my beliefs on others and so on despite not everyone believing the same way.

First of all, I’m so sick and tired of hearing people toss around the word “entitlement.” It’s become meaningless at this point because it’s used as an insult too frequently.

Second, this woman placed me into a category of people who want to impose their Christianity on other people, which was not what I said.

Funny that one of my other friends on Facebook pointed out that sometimes people don’t bother reading what one has written but instead are always ready to yell about their agenda.

I told the woman in this group that she could ignore my reply if she didn’t mean for it to be personal, but I told her if she DID mean it personally, as in directed at me, that she needed to understand that she was misrepresenting how I feel and what I said.

Because I don’t have time for that. Making an observation about something and stating that observation shouldn’t be tantamount to wanting to force everyone to be a fundamentalist Christian, nor I should be attacked for it.

But whatever. Time for coffee.

Steve

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