Thursday, November 15, 2012

Just How Post-Christian Are We?

I never meant to take so long to come back to this series. My how the time swirls by when you're busy.

One thing that seems obvious to me, from watching not only the run-up to the election but also the election itself, is that we are for sure in a post-Christian world. Pundits argue about whether we were ever a Christian nation. I say we never were, because we never were a theocracy. We have always had a secular government. And our Constitution expressly forbids applying a religious test to Federal positions.

However, we were once a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles. That's much different than being a Christian nation, but it's an important part of our history. Public records from our founding era are full of references to Judeo-Christian principles. The records from today, not so much.

My observations are that we (the collective we meaning the nation as a whole) are no longer comfortable with public officials speaking about Christianity, or even about God. An example is the Republican candidate for senate from Indiana, who said something about a pregnancy resulting from a rape was a child that was willed by God, or something like that. The quote attributed to him by the press didn't make a whole lot of sense, but what I took from it was if a woman was raped and a pregnancy was the result that child was the will of God.

I believe this one comment ended any chance he had to win that election. People just don't want to hear about God any more. References to God were removed from the Democratic Party's platform, and attempts to put those references back in were actually voted down. Only through the bad decision of the chairman were they restored. I predict they won't be in the future.

In small pieces of evidence across my TV screen I see that references to God, or any concern for His agenda, are disappearing. As they are from American life. I think we are close to a tipping point along a path that began in the post-war world (World War 2, I mean), that was resisted in the 1950s by a drive to increase/enhance Christianity, then began rolling in the 1960s and really hasn't stopped. In politics, in culture, in arts, in just about everything the number of Americans who want to hear about God, as Father, Son, or Holy Spirit, are dwindling. That was painfully evident in this election.

In my next post, which will be the last in the post-election series, I'm going to discuss a possible alternative way for devout Christians to engage in the political process. I say it will be the last post, but it's possible it will be so long that I'll have to split it into two posts.


Susan said...

I like this series! Although posts like this make me feel so old -- like society is passing me by. I agree with everything you've said. Being from Indiana, I felt sad that that senate candidate was done in by his comment. I agree with what he said, but in this political climate it was a really dumb thing to say politically.

David A. Todd said...

Glad you like it, Susan. Society passed me by a long time ago.