The United States IS a Christian Nation!

A Pew Research study in 2007 found that 226 million Americans believe “the United States to be a Christian nation.”

By Martin Mawyer, President, Christian Action Network

In 1892 Supreme Court Justice David Brewer ruled, “The United States is a Christian nation.” He may have been the first high-level government official to refer to America as a Christian nation, but he was not the last.

In a letter to Pope Pius XII, President Harry S. Truman wrote, “Your Holiness, this is a Christian Nation.” And his letter made a direct reference to Justice Brewer’s ruling in the Holy Trinity vs. United States court decision.

“More than a half century ago that declaration was written into the decrees of the highest court of this land,” President Truman told the Pontiff. “It is not without significance that the valiant pioneers who left Europe to establish settlements here, at the very beginning of their colonial enterprises, declared their faith in the Christian religion and made ample provision for its practice and for its support.”

Take the Christian Nation Pledge: The United States IS a Christian nation.

In 1931 the Supreme Court once again ruled, “We are a Christian people.” The court also made direct reference Justice Brewer’s 1892 decision for the basis of this claim.

In 1947 President Harry Truman (l) wrote a letter to Pope Pius XII (c) saying, “Your Holiness, this is a Christian nation.” Truman spoke of the “valiant pioneers” who “declared their faith in the Christian religion.”

The 1931 case involved a Canadian-born Baptist minister, Douglas Clyde Macintosh, who applied to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. Mr. Macintosh, though he previously served as a military chaplain for the Canadian Army during WWI, objected to swearing an oath of allegiance to the United States if it involved supporting a war that he found morally objectionable.

Writing for the majority in a 5-4 decision, Justice George Sutherland found that “We are a Christian people” and, as such, following the laws of the land is “not inconsistent with the will of God.” In essence, the court acknowledged, significantly, that there was a “God” and that laws passed by “a Christian people” would never violate God’s “will.”

There were no street protests back in 1931 over this ruling. People accepted the High Court’s argument as common sense, historical, even American. Some 90 years ago, virtually all citizens understood the United States to be a Christian nation populated by a Christian people.

Growing debate of America as a Christian nation

In 21st century America, there’s a growing debate – spurred on by a small minority of atheists and secularists – over whether the United States was ever a Christian nation.

In 2019, an atheist group called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation initiated a federal lawsuit to remove a Bible display honoring POW’s at a VA Medical Center in Manchester, MA.

The group’s attorney, Mikey Wesinstein, boldly told the court, “This is not a Christian nation. We’re a secular nation.”

He offered no facts. No historical documents. No evidence to back up his claim. Only his opinion was offered, as if it that should enough.

The atheists and secularists are certainly a minority in this country, but that doesn’t mean they lack very loud platforms from which to shout. The nation’s courts host some of the loudest platforms, but their rhetoric is also pumped up by the media, liberal politicians, academia, revisionist historians and the entertainment industry.

America, of course, is more divided than ever whether the United States is a Christian nation or can be accurately described as being a Christian people. But what all citizens can still agree upon is that laws passed in this country should reflect the agreed upon will of the American people.

But what philosophy makes people agree? In 1931, the Supreme Court said that as “a Christian people,” American laws come from a Christian perspective that would never violate “the will of God.”

Take the Christian Nation Pledge: The United States IS a Christian nation.

That’s not true today, of course. America is becoming mired in laws and policies that may rightfully be considered in direct conflict with “the will of God.” Engaging in all these particular laws is not important in this discussion, but most are familiar with such conflicts as Christian bakers being forced to make wedding cakes in celebration of homosexual marriage, or Christian resort owners being forced to allow gay weddings, or Christian evangelists being arrested for street preaching or Christian homeowners being fined for hosting Bible studies.

Attorney Mikey Weinstein, founder of Military REigious Freedom Foundation, told a federal judge in 2019, “This is not a Christian nation. We are a secular nation.” (Air Force Times/Rob Curtis)

The point of the 1931 Supreme Court ruling is that laws come from a core set of beliefs. In the case of U.S. v Macintosh it was understood that that core set of beliefs came from a Christian perspective.

In contemporary America, this is no longer true. Even if we rightfully still call ourselves a Christian nation (meaning the vast majority of Americans consider themselves Christian), this no longer means that laws being passed are necessarily rooted in Christian ethics, morality or principles.

Starting in the late 20th century and now continuing into the 21st century, it has become publicly reprehensible and unacceptable to claim a law is being passed because it has roots in the Bible. It is universally understood in America that that if a law is being drafted, supported or promoted it must come from a non-sectarian point of view, meaning a secularist point of view.

As defined, secularism is the separation of government from religion. Those promoting this viewpoint constantly use the phrase “separation of church and state” to add legal authority to support their position. The phrase has been so oft used that many (if not most) Americans believe it is written in the U.S. Constitution, which it is not.

“A wall of separation between Church and State”

Thomas Jefferson is the original author of the phrase. In a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, Jefferson said he felt the First Amendment to the Constitution built “a wall of separation between Church and State.” The U.S. Supreme Court first used the phrase in 1878 in the case Reynolds v. United States, even though the phrase is nowhere to be found in the U.S. Constitution. For nearly a century and a half afterwards, secularists have been employing the phrase to strip America of any type of religious symbols, activities, laws and celebrations from the public forum.

There is no need to labor through the volumes of success stories the secularists have achieved in eliminating religion (in particular, the Christian religion) from public view – religious monuments have been destroyed; public prayer has been banned; religious words have been censored; entire laws have been overturned; religious symbols have been removed and, in some extreme cases, religious speech has been stricken.

It should probably be noted at this point that, even if we accept that words written a letter from Thomas Jefferson should somehow carry the weight of law, Jefferson never said he wanted to build a “wall of separation between Religion and State.” Instead, he advocated for a wall separating Church and State. His meaning is obvious. He did not want an organized Church working hand-and-glove with government officials. It’s absolutely preposterous, disingenuous and fanciful to think or expect government officials will not lean on their religious beliefs in their support or opposition to policies, laws, ordinances, regulations or goals for America.

If this were not the case, the only suitable citizens that could be recruited for government would be atheists or people who deny or set aside their faith while holding government office. But who would want these people running government? An atheist is nothing but a fool. (Psalm 14:1) And a person who denies his faith is a hypocrite. (1 Tim 4:2) If Thomas Jefferson meant to build a wall between Religion and State, we would have nothing but fools and hypocrites running government. (An appropriate wink should be inserted here) Unfortunately, it has now become normal and customary to accept the view that there should be a wall between Religion and Government in America and that religious belief should not be a consideration when making government policies or laws.

This is a false narrative that even many Christians have grown to accept, either unashamedly or passively.

As an activist, I have been in the Christian advocacy movement for over thirty years. I have had the great pleasure of meeting many Christian activists during those three decades. But it is not surprising that many of them avoid using the word “Christian” in their organization’s name: Family Research Council, Traditional Values Coalition, American Family Association, Concerned Women for America and Liberty Counsel to name but a few. They correctly understand that as soon as they use the word “Christian” in their group’s name the media will stop calling them, lawmakers will avoid them and policy makers will dismiss them as zealots who are trying to impose their religious will and views on America.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the that First Amendment was to created to forge a “wall of separation between Church and State.” But more and more frequently, courts are reinterpreting Jefferson’s words to falsely mean a “wall of separation between Religion and State.”

But is imposing religious views on America always a bad thing? The mere thought of it makes many cringe. Yet it is done so all the time, mostly without fanfare or objection. Thou shall not murder, bear false witness or steal are great examples of religious viewpoints being forced upon Americans, without objection.

There are many other decidedly Christian morals and laws that are either imposed on American society or universally promoted as honorable behavior. There are laws against rape, incest, usury, assault and battery, extortion, fraud, slander and kidnapping that Americans must obey and also found in the Bible. America also promotes such biblical virtues as honesty, marital fidelity, honoring parents, responsible parenting and obeying government authorities. America also frowns on such biblical misbehavior as cheating, coveting, violence, greed and corruption.

These are not humanist values, as some would like us to believe. These values and laws existed long before the philosophy of “humanism” even existed (a method of critical thinking which has a disputable birth, though no earlier than the 15th century). These are values and laws of decidedly Judeo-Christian origin. And nowhere in America is anyone claiming they unduly impose a religion on someone else.

Take the Christian Nation Pledge: The United States IS a Christian nation.

Christian inspired laws, morals, ethics and principals ARE American. This is exactly why the Supreme Court in 1931 declared, “We are a Christian people” and following such laws “is not inconsistent with the will of God.”

Americans should have little or no fear of legislators passing laws based on their Christian beliefs, as exampled by the centuries of American laws that have already been enacted that are derived from Christian concepts. The reason little fear should be expected is because virtually all Christian laws employ the standard set forth by Jesus Christ: “Love they neighbor as thyself.”

Murder does not love your neighbor. Rape does not love your neighbor. Bearing false witness is not loving your neighbor, and so forth.

It is the secularists who are imposing their religion on others

If Americans should have a fear of others imposing their religious values on the nation, it should be directed toward the secular humanist whose dictates are not only pious and morally superior, but oppressive and absurd. Examples of these insane laws include the banning of large sodas (New York City), outlawing Happy Meals (San Francisco), giving drivers tickets for having a muddy vehicle (Minnesota), making it a crime to collect rainwater on your own property (Utah) and handing out citations to car owners with trash in their vehicles (Hilton Head, SC). There are many other man-made crazy laws that are far too numerous to recite here.

The point is all laws come from someone’s personal or religious beliefs. Simply because an individual can make the claim that their law is based on personal belief, rather than religious belief, does not somehow elevate the law to make it morally acceptable, reasonable or credible. In fact, man-made, personal laws are threatening to turn our law enforcement officers into the Super Nanny Police. Rather than fighting real crime, police officers are one the lookout for people smoking in public parks, kids selling lemonade on street corners, or (in New York) people taking photos of themselves with lions, tigers or other big cats. In California, law enforcement must be on the look out for men and women who have sex with each other without first making “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.”

Christian laws are not oppressive and intrusive, but secular-humanist laws are often the very definition of despotism and repression. In Atlanta, a fire chief was fired in 2016 simply for writing a Christian-oriented book. That’s oppression, domination and persecution, the very fear secular-humanists claim they have against Christian-based laws.

It is not the Christian who is bent on imposing their religious values on others, but the secularist who is determined to inflict his or her values on the nation – with fines, jail time or loss of employment.

The truth is, America is a Christian nation.

No other book in the United States resides in the homes of Americans than the Bible, with 88 percent of households owning at least one. Most Americans own multiple copies, on average 4.4.

According to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey, the Muslim population in America is 1%. Hindus only .07%. And Jews were only slightly ahead of both minorities at a meager 1.8%. Buddhists weren’t even large enough for the Pew Research Center to sample.

Christians, however, represent 75 percent of Americans. And of those Americans who claim any sort of religious belief, 94 percent identify themselves as Christian.

The Pew Research Center is unabashed in saying, “America remains a predominantly Christian nation.”

Predominant means to be “present as the strongest element, exertion or power.” So the strongest element in America, according to the Pew Research Center, is Christians.

More Americans read the Bible than any other book ever published.

No other book in the United States resides in the homes of Americans than the Bible, with 88 percent of households owning at least one. Most Americans own multiple copies, on average 4.4.

To tell a Bible-believing nation that it must dispense with its faith when passing laws, ordinances, policies and regulations is nothing short of denying these people citizenship. America is not a nation of secularists and atheists. Why should the philosophy of God-deniers be the only privileged class to make American laws? Why should Christians be forced to deny that their faith had any bearing on the laws they support, propose or pass?

But the mindset seems to be well established in America that laws should not come from a religious conscience. When is the last time anyone in America has ever heard of a legislator offering a law because of his or her Christian beliefs?

America is DECIDEDLY a Christian nation.

We are a Christian nation because the people in America are decidedly Christian. But our laws, institutions and policies are quickly becoming un-Christian, mainly because Christians have been committing political suicide for nearly a century. Blame it on Supreme Court rulings, media bashing, secular education or weak churches, Christians in America routinely censor themselves out of fear of violating some fictitious “separation of Church and State” standard.

Christians are denying their own citizenship, goaded by a secular, liberal and hedonist society that wants to put their faith in chains and their mouths in muzzles.

The brilliance of Justice David Brewer’s book, The United States: A Christian Nation, is that it speaks to the duty that Christian’s owe their nation – because of their Christian faith and beliefs.

What has Christianity done for America? Justice Brewer has the answers.

“It has stood for liberty and the rights of man,” Justice Brewer wrote.

“And the more thoroughly this republic is filled with the spirit of the gospel, the more universal the rule of Christianity in the hearts of our people, the more certainly will she ever be the welcome leader in movements for peace among the nations.”

As Christians we should neither be embarrassed nor cowardly in asserting our faith into the laws of the nation. Christian laws and principles are the foundational concrete upon which the American justice system and guiding doctrines were founded.

These timeless words by Justice Brewer should be taught, memorialized and emblazoned upon the American conscious.

In 1892 Supreme Court Justice David Brewer ruled, “The United States is a Christian nation.”

“I could show how largely our laws and customs are based upon the laws of Moses and the teachings of Christ; how constantly the Bible is appealed to as the guide of life and the authority in questions of morals; how Christian doctrines are accepted as the great comfort in times of sorrow and affliction, and fill with the light of hope the services for the dead. On every hilltop towers the steeple of some Christian church….

“Christianity was a primary cause of the first settlement on our shores; that the organic instruments, charters and constitutions of the colonies were filled with abundant recognitions of it as a controlling factor in the life of the people…

“And so I might go on with illustration after illustration showing how the faith of the Christian has stood in times of trial and trouble as the rock upon which the nation has rested…

“I insist that Christianity has been so wrought into the history of this republic, so identified with its growth and prosperity, has been and is so dear to the hearts of he great body of our citizens, that it ought not to be spoken of contemptuously or treated with ridicule.”

Whether the United States is a Christian nation only matters if Christians have dominance in America – over its government, social institutions, media, education, social networks, businesses, entertainment, policies, goals and justice system. If Christians are merely spectators, their overwhelming numbers do not matter. Analogous to a football game, where the spectators outnumber the players, their influence is barely worth noting. Others will make the rules, play the game and the outcome will not only affect the teams, but the spectators as well.

President Dwight Eisenhower wrote in 1955, “Without God there could be no American government, nor an American way of life.”

Christians must ask themselves: Why should we allow the unbelieving, the Jesus-haters, those who mock Christianity to rule over our lives? They cannot, unless we allow them. The ball is still in our court. We have the numbers. But we need to stop being spectators and perform our Christian duty to America.

Take the Christian Nation Pledge: The United States IS a Christian nation.


  1. Thank you for writing this article, Martin. It is good you cite the Pew Research polls- I doubt your essay targets existing Christians. We already know this is a Christian nation! 🙂 Rather, it is the secular crowd that needs convincing. It is possible to have too much of a good thing- I thought I should mention that- I welcome other faiths into my community, they will keep us on our toes, methinks. Best learn a lesson from Germany, 1939. They were 97.5% Christian, according to their official census- and mighty proud of it too. We all know what happened then.

    That isn’t a Christian problem alone, btw- its a human problem. Monocultures are driven to do that sort of thing. The Japanese with their nearly 100% Shinto beliefs did the same, and the (mostly atheist) Commies in Russia did too. They dialed it down a bit, actually- after having lost 48 million, they “only” murdered 2 million German civilians. It was actually a huge de-escalation. Shortly after, they started turning Christian themselves, while Germany lost their faith. Now Germany, USA, and Russia are all Christian, at prevalence of about 72% 68% and 49%. Those numbers might be a bit old now, but its somewhere around there. It should give us pause, and we should question- why fight the Russians, then? (or flood their enemies with advanced weaponry while stealing their money, as it is.) If we are both Christian nations, we should be able to talk it out.`

  2. God may not exist but reality does.Furthermore, reality does not care whether you believe in it or not. Religion is the opioid of the people and we are in the middle of an opioid crisis. Religion has proved toxic throughout history and we should dedicate ourselves to stamping it out for a better future.


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