Sarah PalinThe nation’s apparent religionist-in-chief has declared the United States “a Christian nation.” The Washington Post Under God blog reports on her claim (WebCite cached article):

In a speech last week, Sarah Palin promoted belief in God as a form of patriotism, dismissed notions that “America isn’t a Christian nation,” and denounced a federal judge’s ruling that it’s unconstitutional for government to declare a National Day of Prayer.

“God truly has shed his grace on thee — on this country. He’s blessed us, and we better not blow it. And that’s why I talk about politics,” Palin told the 16,000-member choir at a Women of Joy conference in Louisville, Ky., last Friday.

“Lest anyone try to convince you that God should be separated from the state, our founding fathers, they were believers,” she continued. “Hearing any leader declare that America isn’t a Christian nation . . . It’s mind-boggling to see some of our nation’s actions recently, but politics truly is a topic for another day.”

Mrs Palin, of course, is alluding here to Barack Obama, who — as the Post explains — didn’t actually say what she suggests he said:

Palin’s reference to “any leader” was a clear reference to President Obama, who in a 2006 speech said, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation — at least not just — we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of non-believers.”

Those comments — especially the truncated sound bite “We are no longer a Christian nation” — were deployed across the Web to depict presidential candidate Obama as a non-Christian or an anti-Christian.

Once again Mrs Palin displays an astounding penchant for not letting facts get in the way of a sanctimonious diatribe.

The Religious Right’s continual mantra that “the U.S. is a Christian nation” has, of course, one ramification, if taken to its logical conclusion: That every American must be a Christian. To this, I say — to Mrs Palin and to any other ardent Christian who believes as she does — as the godless agnostic heathen that I am: Go ahead. Make me a Christian. Please. By all means, give it your best shot, and don’t hold anything back.

How Mrs Palin — or anyone else — goes about this, will tell me everything I need to know about Christianity. And if they refuse to attempt it, this means they’re just going to have to accept that I’m a godless agnostic heathen … and stop demanding that I become a Christian.

It really is that simple.

So, is this truly “a Christian nation”? Are Christians who think so, actually willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen? Time will tell.

P.S. It’s not as though Sarah Palin actually understands what it means to be “Christian” … her command of the teachings of Jesus himself is tenuous, if not non-existent, as I blogged just a little while ago.

Photo credit: Thomas Roche.

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