Many conservative Christians are outraged that Barack Obama would say the United States is not a "Christian nation." For many Christians, Obama's statements in Turkey are a repudiation of the Founding Fathers, a betrayal of America's culture, and a public disavowal of Christianity itself.
Not so with R. Albert Mohler, the president of the flagship seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention and the man Time calls the "reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement." Mohler is no liberal. He's a diehard conservative - politically and theologically. And on the subject of Obama's comments, he is correct.
"There is indeed a controversy over whether it is appropriate to call America a Christian nation in the sense that Americans would even make such a claim -- but the context in Turkey and the Muslim world is very different. Do American Christians really believe that Christianity benefits by being associated with all that America represents in the Muslim world? To many Muslims, America appears as the great fountain of pornography, debased entertainments, abortion, and sexual revolution. Does it help our witness to Christ that all this would be associated in the Muslim mind with "Christian" America?
"Beyond any historical doubt, the United States was established by founders whose worldview was shaped, in most cases quite self-consciously, by the Christian faith. The founding principles of this nation flow from a biblical logic and have been sustained by the fact that most Americans have considered themselves to be Christians and have operated out of a basically Christian frame of moral reference. America is a nation whose citizens are overwhelmingly identified as Christians and the American experiment is inconceivable without the foundation established by Christian moral assumptions.
"But America is not, by definition, a Christian nation in any helpful sense."
For all of Mohler's blog post, click here.