What did you think of President Obama’s speech at the Turkish Press Conference? And this quote from his speech:
…”American is not a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim nation…”
Here’s the above sentence in the larger context:
I think that where — where there’s the most promise of building stronger U.S.-Turkish relations is in the recognition that Turkey and the United States can build a model partnership in which a predominantly Christian nation and a predominantly Muslim nation, a Western nation and a nation that straddles two continents — that we can create a modern international community that is respectful, that is secure, that is prosperous; that there are not tensions, inevitable tensions, between cultures, which I think is extraordinarily important.
That’s something that’s very important to me. And I’ve said before that one of the great strengths of the United States is — although as I mentioned, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.
I think Turkey was — modern Turkey was founded with a similar set of principles, and yet what we’re seeing is in both countries that promise of a secular country that is respectful of religious freedom, respectful of rule of law, respectful of freedom, upholding these values and being willing to stand up for them in the international stage. If we are joined together in delivering that message, East and West, to — to the world, then I think that we can have an extraordinary impact. And I’m very much looking forward to that partnership in the days to come.
And if you’re interested, the complete transcript.
My thoughts: Obama’s statement is accurate. We are a nation with many Christians but we are not a Christian nation. To call ourselves as such would be a lie and dangerous. And while in an ideal world, I’d like to say and believe with honest conviction that we are a Christian nation, we simply are not a Christian nation. We are influenced by certain values that are informed by the Scriptures & the Judeo-Christian worldview and I am very grateful for that but…
How could we possibly be a Christian nation?
I think we sometimes make this mistake of thinking that because have many “Christians” or churches or Christian conferences/gatherings…we must be a Christian nation.
I liken it to his example that I share in PreMarital Counseling. Its’s one of the greatest myths in marriage:
Just because two Christians – Joe Christian and Jane Christian – get married doesn’t equate a God honoring Christian marriage. It simply means two Christians are living together.
America is a country influenced by Judeo Christian values; by God’s grace, it has stories (past & present) of the movement of the Holy Spirit; it has many people that identify themselves as Christians – but it is not a Christian nation. Even despite the American Patiot’s Bible.