What can Christians do to return the U.S. to a “Christian nation?’
As a final thought in response to your question, why would America not be considered a Christian nation today? After all, of the four most recent national surveys on religion, Americans, when given the option to identify with which (if any) of the 1700 religions in America they affiliated, from 82 to 88 percent affixed the name “Christian” to themselves. In any other part of the world, if a nation were composed of from 82-88 percent of self-described Christians, it would be considered a Christian nation; and if 82-88 percent were self-described Muslims, it would be considered a Muslim nation – or Buddhist, or Jewish, or whatever.
Significantly, I hear from nations across the world that most other countries teach students in their world history courses that America is a Christian nation; this fact is borne out by surveys of immigrants arriving in America who frequently declare that they believed that they were arriving in a Christian nation and were surprised to find it considered otherwise by Americans. What keeps America from being a “Christian nation” today is perception more than reality. First, national pundits and mouthpieces, including professors and teachers, regularly reject any claim that America every was (or is, or will be) a Christian nation; thus, most citizens believe that we are not, for thus they have regularly been told.
Second, judicial policy portrays the nation as being too pluralistic to be a Christian nation – especially since 1992 in the Lee v. Weisman decision when the Court erected a “classes of religion” policy, a policy criticizingly described by Justice Scalia: [T]he Supreme Court of the United States has concluded that the First Amendment creates classes of religions based on the relative numbers of their adherents. Those religions enjoying the largest following must be consigned to the status of least-favored faiths so as to avoid any possible risk of offending members of minority religions.
This “classes of religion” judicial policy is why the Koran can be passed out in New York City schools but the Bible cannot; this is why a Jewish Menorah can be displayed in public parks in December while nativity scenes cannot; this is why Milwaukee can teach training courses to its city officials on Buddhism but not on Christianity; this is why school libraries in Colorado can retain books on Native American and eastern oriental religions but must remove the Bible and books on Christianity; this is why military chaplains of other faiths can pray according to the articles of their faith but Christian chaplains are instructed to pray “non-sectarian (i.e., non-Christian)” prayers at public gatherings; and there are dozens of other examples.