America is Not a Very Christian Nation

Christian Nation?Stephen Prothero writes at CNN:

In the never-ending debate over whether the United States is a Christian nation, recent events support the nay-sayers. I am referring to the troubles of Herman Cain and Joe Paterno.

How we respond to ethical conundrums often boils down to empathy. In the abortion debate, do you identify with the woman who wants an abortion or with the fetus? Concerning the federal deficit, do you identify with the wealthy person who might see his taxes rise or with the poor person who might see her unemployment benefits extended?

One purpose of the world’s great religions is to widen our circle of empathy beyond ourselves and our families to others in our community, and in the wider world. Christianity, for example, has long taught that we should empathize with “the least of these,” and particularly with the poor and oppressed (see Luke 4:18).

The morality plays we are now witnessing — the sexual harassment allegations swirling around Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain and the sexual assault charges swirling around the Penn State football program headed by former coach Joe Paterno — provide an opportunity to assess just where our collective empathy lies …

Read more here.

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  • Housemouse

    puh-lease – you could have written this article anytime within the last 50yrs – you didn’t need the presence of these particular political players to make this article.  Way to go Captain Obvious!

  • Housemouse

    puh-lease – you could have written this article anytime within the last 50yrs – you didn’t need the presence of these particular political players to make this article.  Way to go Captain Obvious!

  • Wil

    In my town the majority of the population is Christians and republican.They have fused the two together, and have become something truly ugly. They are xenophobic, racist, hypocritical, fearful war mongers.They care not for anybodies interest but their own. People here are all about killing benefits to the needy, and I can hardly believe that these are the same people pushing Jesus.
    I’m an atheist, but find myself telling these people exactly what Jesus was teaching.

    • Ronniedobbs

      You must live somewhere in the bible-belt…

      • Jin The Ninja

        if you follow any mainstream news, it is quite obvious how prolific this kind of thinking is, whether in america or elsewhere. although intensified in a regional context, it is no doubt illustrative of the larger picture, that portrays an overly simplistic approach to living: money= god, war= necessary (often good), excess = saintly (refer to money), social justice= code word for ‘commies’, religion= great if protestant or catholic-evil if anything else, celebrity= aspirational, happiness= simply pharamlogical .

        • Big T

          More accurately I would say, if you follow the mainstream news, it is quite obvious how prolific this kind of thinking is amongt the media, or at least that they want it to seem that way.  You have to “follow” the media in the sense that one “follows” a relgion anymore. 

          • Jin The Ninja

            i disagree with the first part- it’s not simply an issue of representation- this is the majority view. but yes, people follow the media like they follow religion, but in the defense of people- the mainstream media propagandizes even the most benign stories, and offers an overly simplistic worldview that seems to make sense of a dysfunctional world.

  • Wil

    In my town the majority of the population is Christians and republican.They have fused the two together, and have become something truly ugly. They are xenophobic, racist, hypocritical, fearful war mongers.They care not for anybodies interest but their own. People here are all about killing benefits to the needy, and I can hardly believe that these are the same people pushing Jesus.
    I’m an atheist, but find myself telling these people exactly what Jesus was teaching.

  • Ronniedobbs

    You must live somewhere in the bible-belt…

  • Jin Onikoroshi

    if you follow any mainstream news, it is quite obvious how prolific this kind of thinking is, whether in america or elsewhere. although intensified in a regional context, it is no doubt illustrative of the larger picture, that portrays an overly simplistic approach to living: money= good, war= necessary (often good), excess = good (refer to money), social justice= code word for ‘commies’, religion= great if protestant or catholic-evil if anything else, celebrity= aspirational, happiness= simply pharamlogical .

  • Big T

    More accurately I would say, if you follow the mainstream news, it is quite obvious how prolific this kind of thinking is amongt the media, or at least that they want it to seem that way.  You have to “follow” the media in the sense that one “follows” a relgion anymore. 

  • Jin Onikoroshi

    i disagree with the first part- it’s not simply an issue of representation- this is the majority view. but yes, people follow the media like they follow religion, but in the defense of people- the mainstream media propagandizes even the most benign stories, and offers an overly simplistic worldview that seems to make sense of a dysfunctional world.