Should US be a ‘Christian Nation’? This is what Americans want


A recent debate over the a nations’ religion is gaining momentum these days and, people particularly in the United States of America, have joined the row. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, 45 per cent of US adults – including about six-in-ten Christians – say they think the country “should be” a Christian nation.

The research, designed to explore Americans’ views on the topic, found widely differing opinions about what it means to be a “Christian nation” and to support “Christian nationalism.” Also, a third say the US “is now” a Christian nation.

Survey details:

The new Pew Research Center survey, conducted between September 13-18, 2022, among 10,588 respondents is the latest entry in the Center’s long-running effort to gauge the public’s perceptions and attitudes related to religion in public life – including their views about how much influence religion has in American society and how much it ought to have.

This also includes the US Supreme Court’s view towards religion, as 35% US adults say the court is friendly to religion, up sharply from 18% who said this in 2019.

ALSO READ: Rishi Sunak’s religious identity under radar as Christian UK gets first Hindu prime minister

What it finds?

Meanwhile, large section of Americans have expressed their opinions on intermingling religion and government. As for example, 77% say that churches and other houses of worship should not endorse candidates for political offices, while 67% say that religious institutions should keep out of political matters rather than expressing their views on day-to-day social or political questions .

When combined the new survey with an earlier Center survey of March 2021 on the relationship between religion and government, the results stated that previously 28% said “the federal government should declare the US a Christian nation,” while half (52%) said the federal government “should never declare any particular religion as the official religion of the United States.”

In the new survey, only a 24% said the federal government should advocate Christian religious values. While, 52% said the government should “advocate for moral values ​​that are shared by people of many faiths.”

Furthermore, the new survey finds that nearly eight-in-ten people who say the US should be a Christian nation also say the Bible should have at least some influence on US laws.

Also, 32% think the fact that the country is religiously diverse – ie, made up of people from many different religions as well as people who are not religious – weakens American society.

Cumulatively, the survey’s results suggest that most people who say the US should be a Christian nation are thinking of some definition of the term other than a government-imposed theocracy.

On being asked about Christian nationalism, 45% say they have heard at least a little about it, while more than half (54%) of US adults have heard nothing at all about it.

Christian nationalism definition:

One-in-ten Americans say the term implies some form of institutionalization or official dominance of Christianity, such as theocratic rule or a formal declaration that the US is a Christian nation with Christian inhabitants.

While some say it promotes morality and faith without necessarily being in a position of formal, legal dominance and others say are more negative than positive.

Other findings:

The survey also found out that four-in-ten US adults say churches and other religious organizations have too much influence in politics, while one-third now say churches and religious organizations have about the right amount of sway in politics, while 22% say they do not have enough political influence.

Also, more Americans see religion as a positive influence in American life than a negative one, the survey says, adding, that four-in-ten US adults say religion’s influence is declining and that this is a bad thing.

By contrast, about a quarter of US adults express a negative view of religion by saying either that religion’s influence is waning and that is a good thing, or that religion’s influence is growing and that is a bad thing.

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