Free Sacred Communities Essay Sample
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Religion, United States, Christians, America, Nation, People, Community, Society
A “Christian nation” is one that recognizes Christianity as the official religion of the state, and its laws are derived from the Christian religion. The United States of America has being argued by some as a “Christian nation”. This is a notion based on the view that the founding fathers of the United States of America migrated from Great Britain, where Christianity acquired its roots. The founding fathers are believed to have built the United States based on the Christian principles. This notion is also based on the fact that the majority of the citizens in America affiliate to the Christian faith. The United States of America is ideally not a “Christian nation”, but strongly expresses Christian principles. It allows liberties of having a “Civil religion” instead of a “state religion” of America (Cunningham & Kelsay, 2013). The United States of America is a democratic state that identifies itself in terms of religion (Christianity) although it disputes the notion of a “state religion”. The United States Constitution bars the institutionalization of any one religion as the “official religion” although it does consent to a “civil religion”. Therefore, the American Society promotes a secular state and a religious nation. Though there can be no “state church” there is a “civil religion” that expels any denominational differences to make Americans united under the governance of a provident God. In the United States of America, ones religion is a matter of choice or taste or upbringing (Cunningham & Kelsay, 2013). Other than the United States of America being a democratically pluralistic society many nations affiliate themselves with various religions. For instance, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are Islamic states and India is a Hindu nation. These nations are thought in terms of their religious affiliations. In these nations, the state institutionalizes the religion of its people and thus there is a close identification between religion and the political structure of that state. Thus religion becomes the collective expression of what people think their society is. Religion is the glue that holds societies together. It can also be a source of conflict and divide the community (Cunningham & Kelsay, 2013). Religion cannot be considered exclusively personal because many people identify religiously with distinct communities. This can be explained by the fact that what people do in private is finally expressed in their communities. In communities, religion is not expressed in the beliefs one is affiliated to or not (for example being a Muslim or Christian) but by the philosophies of the religion they ascribe to. In nations that have a “state religion” their religion counts more than their nationality since they are integrated. The laws of economics and justice are derived from the state religion and not from secular theories of the market and law enforcement.
Cunningham, L., & Kelsay, J. (2013). The sacred quest: An invitation to the study of religion. Boston: Pearson.