A recent Pew Research study found that 4-in-10 American adults believe that United States should be “Christian nation.”
“There are a lot of Americans — 45% — who tell us they think the United States should be a Christian nation. That is a lot of people. (But) what people mean when they say they think the U.S. should be a Christian nation is really quite nuanced,” said Greg Smith, who was one of the leader authors in the survey.
According to the survey, 60% of Americans believe the U.S. was initially intended to be a Christian nation, however only 33% believe it still is today.
Approximately 67% say churches and other houses of worship should remain clear of any political issues, with only 31% supporting faith groups giving their opinion on both political and social issues.
The respondents who believe America should be a Christian nation tended to avoid hardline stances. The majority of this voting group (52%) believe the government should avoid declaring any particular faith the official state religion. Only 28% said they wanted Christianity recognized as the country’s official faith.
On a similar note, 52% said the government should advocate for moral values shared across the board by several faiths, compared with 24% who said it that it should only promote Christian values.
Smith emphasized that those who believed in a Christian nation “do mean that they think Christian beliefs, values and morality ought to be reflected in U.S. laws and policies.”
He added that many respondents “think the U.S. should be guided by Christian principles in a general way, but they don’t mean that we should live in a theocracy.”
“They don’t mean that they want to get rid of separation of church and state. They don’t mean they want to see the U.S. officially declared to be a Christian nation. It’s a nuanced picture,” Smith said.
Among U.S. adults as a whole, 15% believe the government should declare Christianity as the national faith, 13% advocated for Christian values, and 19% believe that the government should stop enforcing the separation of church and state.
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