Christians a minority in the US

by John Q on May 23, 2007

Rightwing bloggers are making a big fuss about a poll in which 47 per cent of US Muslims stated that they thought of themselves first as Muslim, and only 28 per cent as Americans first (18 per cent volunteered “Both” and 7 per cent Don’t Know). By contrast, for self-described US Christians, the results were 48 per cent for American first, and only 42 per cent for Christian first, with 7 per cent saying “Both” and 3 per cent Don’t Know.

The only possible reading of this data is that less than half of all Americans are in fact Christians in the religious, as opposed to the cultural/tribal, sense of the term. Galatians 3:28 is pretty clear on the subject, but more importantly, it’s obvious that you can’t seriously believe in, and worship, an Almighty God if your allegiance to an earthly power comes first, or equal, or if you don’t even know.It might be useful in discussion of US exceptionalism as regards religion to note the preponderance of nominal believers revealed by this question.

* Possibly, some of those saying “both” are making the claim that they can conceive of no possible inconsistency between the two, but even on this charitable reading, and standard treatment of the Don’t Knows, that only gives a bare majority of self-described Christians, and therefore still a minority of the US population as a whole.

** Hat-tip to Glenn Greenwald, who points out some rather unchristian attitudes, maybe among the 48 per cent).

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Crooked Timber » » Can Christians be Patriots?
05.25.07 at 3:24 pm



abb1 05.23.07 at 1:13 pm


Anderson 05.23.07 at 1:28 pm

There are some Christians for whom “American” is a Christian denomination. I am not entirely kidding about this.


George W 05.23.07 at 1:31 pm

Interesting, the article I read on this poll in the BBC had a distinct upward tilt. BBC emphasized that the data showed Muslims are *more* integrated in the US than in most of the West.

I disagree with your categorical interpretation of the data on Christians, btw. Render unto Caesar, etc.

And lastly, where did you scrape up that troglodyte blog? When I visited via your link, there was a banner ad proclaiming “Shoot the Rapper”, and a ape-like black guy bouncing back and forth. (The photographer, below the scroll, only slightly mitigated my disgust.)

4 05.23.07 at 1:46 pm

Interesting how you ignore the disturbing poll. Do you mention that 26% of US Muslims believe that suicide bombing is ok to defend religion, at least some times?

By your same logic, that means that it is likely that 47% of Muslims see no difference between the US, and Islam.


lindsey 05.23.07 at 1:47 pm

I’m actually pleasantly surprised that a whopping 42% of American Christians figured out that they should serve God before country. With the prevalence of God + politics in this country, I fear that the even more Christians would be befuddled on this issue. I would have estimated a much lower percent myself. Perhaps there’s still hope for the faith of people in this country?


thag 05.23.07 at 2:13 pm

that’s GalatiAns, not GalatiOns.

you despicable commie pinko heathen.


dsquared 05.23.07 at 2:47 pm

I disagree with your categorical interpretation of the data on Christians, btw. Render unto Caesar, etc.

no, no, this is bad theology. “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” means what it says; pay your taxes and obey the law of the land.


Martin Bento 05.23.07 at 2:48 pm

So Christians don’t count as Christians if they do not put God before country? Splendid. So all those born-again Armageddon groupies in the military who have said they place enacting God’s will before the interests of the country – they’re the only legitimate Christians in the military? Should Christians then be banned from the military? After all, one cannot serve two masters, and we need people in the military who will follow secular command.

You’re leading us down a very dangerous path here. Why? Because a Bible verse clearly says so? C’mon, you know as well as I do (don’t you?) that the Bible contradicts itself all over the place and one can find a verse that contradicts almost any position a Christian could take. People are Chrisian if they think they are; there are no fair coherent standards. As for the “omnipotent God”, one can legitimately holds one knowledge of God’s will to be extremely weak while holding one knowledge of secular law to be vastly more certain; while the former may trump in an absolute trump, this does not necessarily mean your imperfect human knowledge of it can or should trump.

And really, if the poll were reversed, and showed more Christians than Muslims putting God before country, would you be attacking the Muslims for insufficient fanaticism?


Ciarán 05.23.07 at 2:54 pm

As one of the commenters points out on, 60% of Muslims in America were not born there, so would probably be somewhat less likely to consider themselves as Americans at all. In which case it’s possible that native-born Muslims would be far more likely to think of themselves as American first than native-born Christians do.


S. Moore 05.23.07 at 2:55 pm

“Interesting how you ignore the disturbing poll. Do you mention that 26% of US Muslims believe that suicide bombing is ok to defend religion, at least some times?”

Actually that is not accurate. That’s for Muslim’s under 30 not all american muslims. Still not a good sign but not quite as bad as at first glance. The young ones appear to be the most problematic.


Martin Bento 05.23.07 at 3:08 pm

“while the former may trump in an absolute trump”

should be

“while the former may trump in an absolute sense”

Gotta start proofing.


George W 05.23.07 at 3:12 pm

Dsquared, I know what the verse means, I use it to illustrate that Christians are allowed separate spheres in their lives for God and country. Christianity (most denominations of it anyway) does not demand the sort of total lifestyle adhesion that some sects of some religions do. A person can be a devout and thoughtful Christian and yet consider that his duty to his country places more direct demands upon him, in more contexts, than his religion does. So it seems quite natural to me that if you stop him on the street and ask him, Are you a Christian first or an American first, he might answer one way or the other, depending upon how he contextualizes the question. (Is the pollster asking whether I feel a closer bond with Christians in other countries, or with Americans of other religions? Or is the pollster asking which beliefs I’d renounce first upon being waterboarded?)

In any event, my guess is that John Q recognizes these nuances perfectly well, and is just trying to provoke. Very well….it’s a blog, after all.


luci 05.23.07 at 3:17 pm

As “ciaran” said above – it’s a comparison of two different things. Ask Chinese immigrants, for instance, which do they consider their primary “identity”, and I’m sure you’ll get high numbers for “Chinese” vs. “American”. (And they are an immigrant group largely lacking in religious identification).

It’s also a majority/minority dynamic. Ask US blacks which they’d choose as a primary classification, and you’d get high numbers for “African-American” vs. “American”. Racial or religious identity could be more important than nationality when you’re a minority in a country.

And what’s so positive about claiming “American” first anyhow? Nationalism isn’t an unadulterated good. It’s often not a “good” at all.


joe hill 05.23.07 at 3:36 pm

Draft them all…then see where values are


Martin Bento 05.23.07 at 3:44 pm

If one takes John Q.’s position here seriously and also believes that JFK was a sincere Catholic, were not religious objections to having a Catholic in the White House legitimate? After all, the Vatican is a player in international politics, however much it may pretend to stand above the fray. Is there not a legitimate conflict of interest here? John Q. aligns with John Birch. There are cases where this sort of thing is worrisome – having a former US President as the lackey of a Korean madman who wants to rule the world, for example – but I don’t think John’s view of religious faith is fair or accurate, and I doubt John does either. He’s being a smartass, I think, and an irresponsible one.


Steve LaBonne 05.23.07 at 4:00 pm

And what’s so positive about claiming “American” first anyhow? Nationalism isn’t an unadulterated good. It’s often not a “good” at all.

Hear, hear! I am a human being, a father, a scientist, a musician,… before I am an American. If the wingers don’t like that they can kiss my ass.


bernard goldstein 05.23.07 at 4:10 pm

augustine said render unto god what is gods and render unto caesar what is caesar’s – religion and government can be separated.


Stuart 05.23.07 at 4:35 pm

So Christians don’t count as Christians if they do not put God before country? Splendid.

So basically you agree with his point that right winger bloggers making a fuss about the equivalent statistics for Muslims is stupid then?


Kenny Easwaran 05.23.07 at 4:55 pm

I found it interesting to compare the CBS version of this story ( with the IHT version ( I see that one of the commenters here picked up on the one potentially worrying point, which CBS used as their headline.


harry b 05.23.07 at 5:13 pm

martin — look at what Lindsey said. Christianity is a universalistic religion, with a God who love all impartially. That’s in the new testament and nothing contradicts it. Putting country before God surely makes a mockery of one’s attitude to God. It is like putting one’s country before one’s spouse or one’s children. Who does that simply fails to love their spouse or kids in a morally right way. Now, putting justice, or good, before one’s spouse and kids, that’s a different matter. Perhaps, but one that doesn’t arise with respect to God (given what Christians believe about God).

So, of course JQ is being provocative, but surely he’s right. If there’s an actual Christian who’s willing to put country before God, let’s hear them rather than making things up on their behalf.


trane 05.23.07 at 5:39 pm

“of course JQ is being provocative, but surely he’s right. If there’s an actual Christian who’s willing to put country before God, let’s hear them rather than making things up on their behalf”

John is not right, on my count. I would consider myself more culturally Danish than Christian. I would also be considered so by people who meet me. They would spot something Danish in me, before anything Christian. Yet I consider myself Christian which ultimately means more to my making sense of the world than my being Danish.
I could easily change citizenship. Religion is a different matter.

The point: John, as I see it, interprets the responses in terms of whom you ‘pledge allegiance’ to politically; nation or religion. I think what people have responded to may be primarily their cultural attachment.

The finding is not surprising if you consider that people are much more culturally ‘marked’ and named nowadays if they are Muslim than Christian. At least that is the case in my country. It defines you to be a Muslim, in the view of others. Not so if you are a Christian. Speculating I would say that one effect of this is: Where first generation Muslim immigrants mainly identified with their ethnic group (Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Turkish etc.), second generation Muslims feel stronger attachments to a broad Muslim community. They are Danes and Muslims. Partly because they are viewed by others as ‘Muslim’ whether or not they feel initially stronger attachments to their ethnic groups.


George W 05.23.07 at 5:45 pm

That’s not what the question asked, harry b. The question asked, Do you think of yourself first as an American or first as a Muslim/Christian? It’s a question of identity, not of loyalty. I’m a (more-or-less) observant Christian, and if I were asked that question I’d probably answer American.


Sebastian Holsclaw 05.23.07 at 6:30 pm

The problem (as is too often the case with polls) is of wording. “Think of yourself first as ‘X'” does not precisely translate to “Holds highest allegiance to ‘X'”

When asked to describe myself, ‘American’ is NOT one of the first things that comes to mind. But I don’t give allegiance to ‘the group of descriptively tall people’ either.


MikeJ 05.23.07 at 7:15 pm

Where do “actress” and “denture wearer” fall in the list of self description adjectives?


lindsey 05.23.07 at 7:34 pm

Identity is closely tied to loyalty, and that’s the problem. If you think of yourself first as American, then you are most likely going to promote love and justice in America, when it is needed all over the world. While there is something important about taking care of your immediate neighbors, we shouldn’t be confined to them. For Christians, their duties extend to all peoples. God commanded believers to be impartial (whether in regards to someone’s race/gender/social status/etc) because everyone is his child. If a Christian identifies first with America and second with God (I use God here to be charitable to the Christians in the poll…I hope they meant Christianity as a relationship with God and not just the traditions that go along with a religion), then she will be tempted to forget about the other nations that God has called her to serve. Genuine Christianity is not about celebrating Christmas and going through the motions on Sunday. If you really believe, you’ll want to follow God’s commands, and being American first can hinder this.

Love of country is fine, but love of one’s country above other countries is not. The ancient Israelites had this very problem, look at how they treated Samaritans. Many of the Christians I know aren’t that bad (they have nothing against people of other countries), but they identify with America to the point that they forget about extending their love to the rest of the world. So why the right-wingers are in a huff, I’m not sure. But then again, the Pharisees never did get it.


John Quiggin 05.23.07 at 8:29 pm

I have to go meta here. As noted in the post and by various commenters, there are both religious and cultural interpretations of the question. But going with the cultural interpretation implies, pretty clearly, that you don’t regard religion as the primary component of your identity, and that is precisely what religion (at least Christianity) demands it should be.


Ssezi 05.23.07 at 8:37 pm

Christianity (most denominations of it anyway) does not demand the sort of total lifestyle adhesion that some sects of some religions do.


And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

– Mat: 8:19-23

That’s not what my Bible says. Oh yeah, and there’s more.

There’s a hermeneutical principle that things repeated three times are of the utmost importance. So the emphasis on not having any attachments before Jesus seems to be more than just a suggestion, whatever one’s particular brand of accommodation.


George W 05.23.07 at 10:22 pm

ssezi, that’s compelling, and I agree wholeheartedly that all Christians — indeed, all people — have to decide for themselves whether they are being true to their own beliefs, or just paying lip service. My point is only that Christianity as practiced encompasses a very wide degree of interpretation on that score.

I see that you are on the same page with John Q on this point though. As a Christian myself, it’s not that I fully disagree with either of you on the nature of Christian identity. But it just seems unnatural to me to categorize myself by religion. If you ask what religion I am, I tell you, but if you ask *what I am* it does not occur to me to give my religion. Perhaps that’s the most American thing about me.


roy belmont 05.23.07 at 10:34 pm

“…demands it should be.”
It’s the nature of that demand and the nature of the place wherein it is demanded that’s blurred and imparticular.
National identity for an American would appear to have at its most central part a loyalty to something called “democracy”. The same official versioning you cite for Christianity would have American democracy fulfilled by its elected officials enacting the expressed will of the American people.
The will of the people in the case of the Iraq war is and has been since last November clearly for immediate disengagement. The Bush Administration with a sad and tacitly compromised Congress prepares to send more troops in with no disengagement anywhere in sight.
Clearly the official rules aren’t being observed on either side of the question of religion and national identity and consequent loyalties and allegiances are to things less well-defined whose names aren’t as revealing as we’d like them to be.
Maybe you should go super-extra-meta.


James 05.23.07 at 10:36 pm

Islam teaches that religion (Islam) is the state and the state has the authority to demand the citizens practice Islam. Christianity teaches it is an individuals acceptance of faith and thus can not be forced.


Donald Johnson 05.23.07 at 10:39 pm

John Q is right, I think–in my experience every Christian friend I have knows he or she is supposed to be loyal to God first, and to think of oneself as a Christian first, so I don’t think that loyalty/identity distinction really holds up. The passage quoted by ssezi, for one thing, would cross our minds. The people who say they put country first or something else are either knowingly confessing to sin (which is fine, many or most of us don’t really live up to our alleged principles and patriotism before God is a more respectable form of idolatry than love of money, I suppose) or else have never read the New Testament.


Donald Johnson 05.23.07 at 10:41 pm

“Patriotism before God” was badly worded. I meant putting love of country ahead of love of God.


memberofthetribe 05.24.07 at 2:28 am

“Christianity is a universalistic religion, with a God who love all impartially.”

Really. And I thought that Christianity is a religion that teaches that my father is right this minute suffering the torments of hellfire and will suffer them for all eternity.


Mark Rich 05.24.07 at 3:24 am

“”Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” means what it says; pay your taxes and obey the law of the land.”

To dsquared (et sqq.), I’m so sorry to have to prick the bubble of this hoary old commonplace, but Jesus was in no wise authorizing the payment of taxes to Caesar, nor of any other form of government. (Romans 13 doesn’t do so either, by the by).

Jesus was forcing his inquisitioners to look at their own idolatry of the Roman state. The coin he explicitly asked to see clearly showed the image of the son of the divinized Caesar, and was therefore a graven image of another god, Tiberius (a graven image that was present in the Temple, no less!).

For any pious Jewish hearer, who understood that absolutely everything belongs to God, Jesus’ dictum would then force them to evaluate, first, who is really God — Tiberius or .. God — and second, what is really owed to each. The most likely answer would then have been, nothing to Tiberius and everything to God.

Furthermore, it’s easy to see that Jesus never paid any taxes, was quick to encourage tax collectors to abandon their posts, and outraged laws both Jewish and Roman on many occasions. Do you suppose that he then ordered others to do just the opposite?

It is the all-too-glib equation of religion and the state that has gotten both the fundy American Christians and you, dear Mr. Davies, into such a puddle of muddy thinking. Jesus and other prophets were much clearer about these matters.


Richard 05.24.07 at 6:50 am

21-24: Thank you. This poll (like most polls) poses an over-general question which leads to ambiguity in answers: we may think it’s clear, we may think we understand the answers given, but we have no way of checking what the respondents thought they were saying, or how they would describe themselves given free rein. There are many, many political arguments and assumptions concealed in the short phrase given. John Q makes a theological argument but, as far as I can tell, issues no value judgement about whether religious or national identity are good or bad.

8: Should Christians then be banned from the military? From my very limited background in theology it seems to me there shouldn’t be any Christians in the military anyway: how much clearer does “thou shalt not kill” have to get? (unless you’re assuming they’re there as a form of undeclared resistance, and will refuse to fight when the orders are given)

People are Chrisian if they think they are; there are no fair coherent standards. I agree with this wholeheartedly (it’s also my position regarding transsexuals) – but then, I’m not a Christian. It’s a great illustration of why answers to the question posed aren’t very useful as a basis for drawing conclusions.


Richard 05.24.07 at 7:08 am

OK – scratch that bit about being value-free: I’ve just re-read the original post and
or if you don’t even know
charitable reading
are both clearly connotative of disdain for people who seem themselves unclear on the categories John works with. I still see no tacit support for Christianity or American-ness, however.


roy belmont 05.24.07 at 8:25 am

“”pay your taxes and obey the law of the land.””
Praise Mark Rich for going super-extra-meta.
The creepy extension of that submissive interpretation of duty would have good Christians doing whatever they’re told by anyone in authority, any authority. Hey.
As opposed to the Original Founder’s risk all and sacrifice everything for the sacred.
The Christian teaching that glimmers from the scraps of the Gospels is about compassion love mercy and humility. That its diametric opposites – scorn hatred cruelty and arrogance – are so characteristic they’re virtual type descriptions is likely no accident.


Colleen 05.24.07 at 9:07 am

The people who claim to be Christians but think of themselves as Americans first, then Christian, are changing Christianity to suit their own goals, which are nationalistic

Christ was providing an alternative value system to the state’s. Christians were advised to render what ever required by the state to the state, but their true allegiance would be to God. And Christ was crucified by the state because of his perceived threat to the Roman government.

It would be difficult for a true Christian to serve in the military,

Even as Christ was led to be crucified he did not offer resistance to the state and rebuked Peter for using his sword on one of the Romans come to take Christ. Christ’s life was an example of how Christians should live.

This US version of Christianity where they try to force others to pray is not in line with Matthew 6:6 “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you”

If God has the capacity to forgive these people who have bastardized Christ’s philosophy then God will have the capacity to forgive us all, because what we are calling Christian in the US looks like blasphemy to me. Good Christians should not be nationalistic, supporting wars, and enjoying wealth while others are poor. If the US were based in Christian values we would have universal health care.

The people who say that the US is a Christian nation imo are not Christians. They are often nationalists using the power of God to instill their version of government and they outed themselves by saying they were first Americans, then Christians.


trane 05.24.07 at 9:10 am

Question: Is the American state predominantly Christian or Muslim? Answer: Well, Christian. As indicated by the fact that so far only one Congress representative has pledged his allegiance to his country by the Koran. All others, I suppose, have done so by the Bible. And only one representative, as far as I know, has publicly declared himself an atheist.

I am probably wrong on some details here, but the general point would be that when you pledge allegiance to America, you also – at least culturally – in some measure pledge allegiance to Christian symbols.


trane 05.24.07 at 9:18 am

Oh, and that might be an elaboration of #2 above:

“There are some Christians for whom “American” is a Christian denomination. I am not entirely kidding about this.”


abb1 05.24.07 at 10:03 am

Isn’t it true that Christianity is also about detachment from all the earthly stuff; their kingdom isn’t of this world. So, do they really have a good reason to be patriotic? It certainly sounds like idol-worshiping.


Colleen 05.24.07 at 3:12 pm

Well I’m an existential Christian and a mystic and American. A personal relationship with God is paramount but difficult to establish imo. So it worries me that some in the US are so outspoken about being Christian while not following what I view as Christ’s teachings.
The Christian religion is easy to discuss and very difficult to follow and like some other religions it has been perverted by governments for their own values.

Matthew 7 is a good section of the New Testament to look at when discussing Christianity and the Bible is great literature and poetry. Some selections from Matthew 7:

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”


“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

For Americans I particularly like the part about the false prophets and you will know them by their fruit which I view as Bush’s form of Christianity (false prophet) and the war for profit in Iraq (the fruit.)

Some of the American opposition to the war in Iraq has come from within churches.


Aj white 05.24.07 at 6:02 pm

Growing up in Montana I couldn’t understand why some friends would put religion above allegiance to America. Now I can.


glenn 05.25.07 at 1:07 pm

That’s one great thing about being an athiest, I think. We’re generally not “joiners” and I would bet most American atheists see themselves as Americans before any other tribe … except for maybe hockey fans who can all just go to hell.


Richard 05.25.07 at 4:33 pm

I would bet most American atheists see themselves as Americans before any other tribe

Yikes. That sounds like the old saw about “when you don’t believe in God you end up believing in anything.”


Barry 05.25.07 at 9:09 pm

martin bento: “So Christians don’t count as Christians if they do not put God before country? Splendid. So all those born-again Armageddon groupies in the military who have said they place enacting God’s will before the interests of the country – they’re the only legitimate Christians in the military? Should Christians then be banned from the military? After all, one cannot serve two masters, and we need people in the military who will follow secular command.”

Those ‘Armageddon groupies’ are not un-nationalistic; their picture of Armageddon seems to have the USA on the side of the angels, even though the only power which could fulfill the ‘Evil Empire’ function today is the USA. The Antichrist certainly wouldn’t settle for less than worldly military supremacy.

But somehow I doubt that they’d be comfortable sitting in a foreign pew in a right-wing (protestant, fundamentalist) church, and hearing a sermon which implied that the USA must be Gog and Magog.

In fact, what churches are really serious ‘Left Behindist’, outside of the USA? The whole pre-mmillenial theology, from my casual understanding, is something that never really caught on outside of the USA.


Richard 05.25.07 at 10:15 pm

The whole pre-mmillenial theology, from my casual understanding, is something that never really caught on outside of the USA.

I dunno, it seems quite popular in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.


Randy Paul 05.25.07 at 11:19 pm


I’m Roman Catholic (pining for another John XXIII), but grew up for several years in the Deep South (Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee) and can tell you this: the one gospel that gets the least attention in my experience from Southern evangelicals is Matthew.


Colleen 05.26.07 at 5:35 am

randy paul

Everyone has to find their own way. And imo the answers can be found within ourselves and in our own nature. Someone doesn’t have to read Matthew or be a Christian to know that war and violence are evil and create great pain. The solutions to our problems are in uniting and in helping one another. Why can’t we do that? for a plan for Iraq and for a global Marshall Plan that is based in morality.
“An Ethical way to End the War in Iraq”

But groups like Tikkun have to buy space in newspapers while people like Falwell got easy coverage from the media. Some liberal bias! Hah!


Randy Paul 05.26.07 at 9:25 pm


That may be true, but it has been my experience that those who expend the most energy in talking about Christianity have very little in common with the gospels, especially with regards to charity.


Sarah 05.27.07 at 4:41 am

trane, Congress doesn’t represent America. If it did, you would see more women, minorities, and those “other” religious groups you hear about all the time.

Swearing on the Bible is cultural and not required. “Under God” was added in the 1950’s to a Pledge that had already been written as a secular tribute to the flag by a Baptist minister.

We need to stop using religion to base our laws and societal rules – the left and right. I proudly consider myself an American above any other label.


Martin Bento 05.27.07 at 7:44 pm

I’ve been away a couple days and the discussion has, of course, progressed without me. There are a lot of issues here, and it’s probably not worth getting into most of them on a dead or dying thread, but just one thing.


The notion that Christian “Left Behind” armagedddonsis is linked to US patriotism is a misconception. The creator of Left Behind, Tim LeHaye was the US head of the Unification Church – that is to say an adherent of Rev. Moon. Moon is one of the most important figures on the Christian Right. And aside from Moon being himself Korean, the country with the largest per capita Moonie population is not America, but Japan. Christian armageddonism is growing by leaps and bounds in Latin American, due in no small part to Moon’s efforts. When Moon left the US a few years ago, he said the country had become an emissary of Satan and would be punished by God. The “punished by God” line is, of course, quite in line with what other Christian Right figures like Falwell and Bobertson have said. So, yes, far right Christians will condemn the US as evil, and will ally themselves with foreigners against it.

The Christian party line is that Gog and Magog are Russia, based on a Bibile verse which places them to Israel’s uttermost north. I think it’s pretty clear now that no one is capable of unassisted world conquest, including the US, Russia still has enough nukes to convet the Middle East to a “lake of fire” if it wanted. I’m not claiming that the armageddon storyline is coherent, but it is different from US nationalism. The US “naitonalism” we see from the right currently is the same sort of faux nationalism that Arendt decried in fascism, which she correctly described as the most multi-national political movement of the day, other than communism. The “nation” the right wing recognizes is not America, comprised of Americans, but conservatism, comprised of ideological conservatives. This is why there is such a narrative that liberals are not “Americans”. OF course, liberal Americans are American by definition, but that’s not what conservatives mean by “Americans”.


Anderson 05.28.07 at 4:56 pm

Martin, where do you get that LaHaye was the “U.S. head” of the Unification Church? I see where LaHaye took heat for getting bankrolled by Moon, but I don’t find anything to support his having an official post w/ the Moonies.


Martin Bento 05.28.07 at 9:32 pm

Anderson, Lahaye served on the boards of two Moonie organizations in the early 80’s. Here is a summary from Americans United for Separation of Church and State

“Bo Hi Pak, a longtime Moon operative, gave ACTV $10,000, and LaHaye subsequently agreed to serve on the board of directors of Moon’s own Religious Right group, Christian Voice. LaHaye also joined the board of another Moon front, the Council for Religious Freedom (CRF), which was formed primarily as a vehicle to protest Moon’s 1984 imprisonment after he was convicted of filing false tax returns and obstructing justice.”

I don’t have the source of the quote that he was head of Moon’s organization in the US, and it may have been speakly loosely of his position at Christian Voice. So you got me to look up a specific source, which is good.


Maynard Handley 05.29.07 at 4:15 am

This post displays a profound ignorance of why a situation exists where people think Christianity equals patriotism, specifically the Puritans believed that they were creating a society that, like ancient Israel, represented god’s covenant with a chosen people.
This strain of thought never really died in US society, driving everything from lack of guilt over native Americans through manifest destiny to America’s continued belief today that not only does it deserve to be hegemon but that it will undoubtedly remain so, in spite of such pesky real world issues as federal debt, trade surplus and ecological concerns [peak oil, global warming].
This line of though is extremely obvious in Mormon theology, but what the Mormons make explicit was taken as common place in the mid-19th century — Americans were the new Israelites, fleeing the Egypt of godless England across the Red Sea of the Atlantic for the new Israel where the new Moses of George Washington established their new state. (Yeah, like all theology, as soon as you look at the details it doesn’t make much sense.)

Robert Oden, as just one author, has covered this in detail.


Ned 05.29.07 at 7:10 am

Lahaye was never the head of the UC but was a top official in a Moon front group which he quit when he caught some flack. Lahaye visited the conservative’s messiah, Moon, when the old devil was doing time for conspiracy and tax evasion. LaHaye took it upon himself not to get Moon to repent but instead he apologized to Moon on behalf the US government for jailing him.

You can read a letter Lahaye dictated to Moon’s long time aid and bag man, Bo Hi Pak here. Pak was the same operative Bush 41 has gone through to get his Moon cheese.

Might I suggest several posts here:

which explain much of this including this one which is about one souce of his money.

Moon funneled billions in overseas cash into the USA to fund the rise of the right. And now, after years of kicking the left in the nuts, democrats like Vilsack send him greetings when he tours the country promoting his grand plan. Democrats can be blind naïve fools, suckers.

Moon believes that as Messiah one of his jobs was to restore Christianity which in moonie lingo means raise them up politically as Moon does not separate his movement and politics. In fact he disbanded his “church” in the mid 90s to make way for an all out assault on the political structures of the world. Laugh if wish but you will only be showing how uninformed you are.

He actually drove our country right as you will see if you look back the last 25 years and know the players. He had a plan and he has carried it out while people laugh at him, think of him as some sort of a clown. Conservatives were his blind tools. Moon funded LaHaye, Falwell, Viguerie and operatives like Terry Dolan, the father of the attack ad. His 300,000 strong American Freedom Coalition front which was designed to gather the Christian “right” for political power, was key during the failing years of the Moral Majority and before the advent of the Christian Coalition.

Moon wants a rightwing extremism with a strong theocratic vein governing America and brought the right to power in 2001, without his billions, operatives and fronts there is no way our fragile democracy would have had been conned into letting Bush take the WH. This then helps him gather the nation into his last gambit, the Universal Peace Federation, which he has rolled all his fronts under including the UC/FFWPU. It is his last stand and countries all over the world are falling for his con.

Go here for info on the WTimes.

Coalition for Religious Freedom [CRF] 9 : Started by Rep. George Hansen in 1984. CRF Executive committee members have included Tim LaHaye , Jerry Falwell, James Robison; Rex Humbard, D. James Kennedy, and Jimmy Swaggart. “…According to CRF president Dan Sills, [CRF] has received at least $500,000 from Moon sources.

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