The Electric Commentary

Thursday, July 15, 2004

America is a ________ Nation.

An interesting article by Cathy Young on the Republican Party of Texas affirming a plank in its platform that "the United States of America is a Christian nation." (via Volokh)

On Hannity & Colmes, (guest host Mike) Gallagher asserted that the plank was a simple statement of a numerical fact. "If a neighborhood had 82 percent of the population that was Italian or a town had 82 percent of the population that was Polish, we'd call those communities Italian or Polish towns. So why do liberals have such a knee-jerk reaction when anybody dares to suggest that with 82 percent of the population being Christian¬ówe are, in fact, a Christian nation?"

Young notes:

If we're going by the numbers, why not have a party platform asserting that the United States is "a white nation"? After all, 77 percent of Americans are white.

excellent point. If we apply this formula across the board we should also pass resolutions that say:

America is a fat nation.
Less than half of U.S. adults have a healthy weight (BMI > 18.5 to < 25).

America is a dehydrated nation.
"Americans are probably only getting about a third of the valuable hydration benefits they need," says Barbara Levine, R.D., Ph.D., Director of the Nutrition Information Center.

America is a female nation.
"In 2000, 50.9 percent of the population was female, and 49.1 percent was male."

America is a nation that gets off the toilet before it flushes.
33% OF ALL AMERICANS FLUSH THE TOILET WHILE THEY ARE ON IT

19 Comments:

  • America is a stupid nation.

    A Bell Curve dictates an average IQ of 100. Studies have shown that 54.3% of Americans have a below average IQ(1), and really do believe in Iraqi WMDs.

    Will Faith-Based Home Schooling turn us into a nation of Christian Fundamentalists, bent on flying a 757 into the Black Stone of Mecca?

    -gb

    (1) yes, of course I made this up. No, wait .. I saw it on Fox News, so it must be true.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:02 PM  

  • America is a Masturbating Nation.

    [you know it is true]

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:40 PM  

  • America is a fucked nation

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:11 PM  

  • a football lovin, pork and beans eating, farting, fucking and shitting nation

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:58 PM  

  • Such witty and thought-provoking discourse. It seems you've proved the first comment true.

    By Blogger RyanSimatic, at 10:26 PM  

  • This post seems quite ridiculous. You have left reason at the door completely. It is a bit like saying "half of all dogs are male" or "the Eiffel tower is in Paris." It is stating a fact/the obvious as opposed to the historical tradition that the platform is introducing.

    Of course, how silly do you take people for if you think they will think Christianity and fat people are similar in this context?

    Context is important, and forgotten. The Texas Republican Platform is not an eating disorder club, it is a political party. The platform does not talk about the fact that there are a majority of Christians -- it talks about ideology. The constitutional structure of America is Christian; the history was Christian; the founders acknowledged God. The platform is about recognizing tradition; not stating statistics on the current biological predispositions of Americans.

    This slippery slope you point out is not slippery at all - it is awfully rugged and obfuscating.

    Jonathan

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 5:21 AM  

  • I really don't care if some shmuck says "America is a Christian nation." My problem is in making it offical. This is why fat people and Christians are similar in this context--I don't want to be mistaken for either because I live in this fat Christian nation. The link in the post DOES talk about majority rather than ideology. The founders may have been mostly Christian but they obviously went out of the way to make a secular document. The word god does not appear at all in the text (except for in the date) and the amendments seem to say that they were trying to be noncognizant of religion. Tradition is stupid. I didn't talk about a slippery slope. I talked about recognizing Christainity as defining our country is stupid and pointles and dividing in itself. It is as stupid and pointless and dividing as officially recognizing any of the other things I metioned.

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 4:11 PM  

  • You obviously did not read the platform....it does not talk about the body politic being a majority Christian nation. It talks about the institutions clearly.

    Secondly, you say "the founders went out of their way to make a secular document." Well the constitution was pretty secular...it is a division of powers. But the institutions at the time were very Christian. The constitutions of many states were "Christian" and in fact endorsed Christian sects. My point is not even to defend whether or not Texas is right or not, but just that their platform does not talk about a current majority as much as a supposed hey-day.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 5:54 PM  

  • And again, I was commenting on the remarks made on Hannity and Colmes, NOT on the language of the plank. And if its about honoring the religious hey day, what's the point? In my opionion, there is none.

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 6:04 PM  

  • There is nothing explicitly "Christian" about the Constitution as a document. Aside from the customary way of saying the date (and if that's all you have then you don't have much), there is no reference to Christianity, God, Jesus, etc. When it speaks of religion it does so only in the negative sense.

    What was special about the Constitution is that, unlike those STATE constitutions that explicitly endorsed the notion of "Christian commonwealth" our Constitution followed the VA model and separated Church & State at the federal level.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 9:27 PM  

  • There is nothing explicitly "Christian" about the Constitution as a document. Aside from the customary way of saying the date (and if that's all you have then you don't have much), there is no reference to Christianity, God, Jesus, etc. When it speaks of religion it does so only in the negative sense.

    What was special about the Constitution is that, unlike those STATE constitutions that explicitly endorsed the notion of "Christian commonwealth" our Constitution followed the VA model and separated Church & State at the federal level.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 9:27 PM  

  • Is there an echo in here?

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 12:21 AM  

  • So Mr. Noonan, did you make your way thru law school or are you a "ditch-digger"? You know the world needs them too!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 10:34 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 10:51 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 11:27 AM  

  • Two Jonathans?

    What are the odds? OK, so I lumped two separate people together (probably) who have the same name. The context of the comments changes a lot knowing that. My post still makes a lot of sense though, so I'll leave it up.

    This comments secton is interesting because it is an entirely new context for me and for this site. As we were linked by Virginia Postrel, we have had more traffic than normal. Those anonymous commentors at the beginning, I assumed were one person at first (I'm sure Ryan did too), whichis reasonale given our normal level of traffic. Now I'm not sure. It may very well be several people leaving a few short funny comments.

    The context of one person vs. many is very different. One person is a smart alleck troll, trying to make some vague point. If those posts come from many, they seem like honest attempts to contribute short items that build on the point of the posts.

    Now it appears there are two fellows named Jonathan commenting (either that, or one with two profiles). This is unexpected as well, and changes the way I read the whole thing. If it's one guy, I have to make all of those posts fit together, and they don't fit that well. As two people, they make more sense. It also seems like a debate of higher quality.

    How very interesting.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 11:48 AM  

  • Yes there are 2 Jonathans.

    I am Jonathan Rowe, a secularist capitalist libertarian attorney and college Prof. and posted my response as a retort to the "Canadian" Jonathan. My point was we are NOT a Christian nation because the Enlightenment "modern political" Lockean theories which founded our nation, separated religion from politics, and such principles are in no way grounded in Christian theology. Not all of the states -- at the time of the founding -- adopted this Enlightenment model. But VA and the Federal gov't did. And eventually the other states, in time, came around.

    Whereas states (like Del. and others) had explicitly Christian langauge in their Constitutions, the US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and VA -- particularly the revolutionary VA Statute on Religious Liberty, penned by Jefferson and passed by Madison --, appealed to Enlightenment notions of "natural right" ascertainable by Man's Reason unaided by Biblical revelation.

    Sorry to come off as a "smarkalleky troll" but my "ditch-digger" remark was truly a light-hearted joke if you understood the context, which, if you are also a "Caddyshack" fan, you should have!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 3:28 PM  

  • I'm glad thats cleared up. Now I can concentrate on winning the caddy tournament and getting on Judge Smails' good side so I can win the caddy scholarship.

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 3:43 PM  

  • Gee, I thought otherwise. International treaties signed by the President and ratified by Congress are part of the Law of the Land. One of the earliest U.S. treaties, with the (pirates of) the Barbary Coast, contains in its Preamble: "The United States of America is not a Christian nation." This treaty was ratified unanimously and this ratification occasioned no comment in the press of the day. We do live in a different world, don't we?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:22 AM  

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