The Myth of America as a “Christian Nation”

March 30th, 2015
epluribus.jpgIt was Churchill who reminded us that history is written by the victors.  Well this is as true of religious history as it is of military, political and geopolitical history. 

We’ve all been been told since childhood of the Christian foundation of America.  That the history of America is John Winthrop's "Shining City on a Hill."  That the Christian Village Green represented the apotheosis of America. 

The fact is, since before the time of Columbus, America has been a pluralistic society.  An idea that Jefferson had to battle to prove, just as President Obama has in his recent speeches about religion.

At a time when technology and globalization continue to draw us all closer together, we have a choice. We can either channel our heritage and embrace that religious diversity or pull up the proverbial drawbridge and defend the mythology.

This is the world that Peter Manseau looks at in his new book One Nation, Under Gods: A New American History.

My conversation with Peter Manseau: