Are You Christian or American?

RedBlueChristian reflects on a recent poll by the Pew Research group asking people, are you Christian or American?

David Van Biema opines at about a recent poll that asked American churchgoers whether they identified themselves primarily as Christians or Americans:

What Pew actually did over two weeks in May was ask 820 self-identifying American Christians “Do you think of yourself first as American or as Christian?” And in this case, 42% of Christians did actually answer “Christian first.” Another 48% answered “American first,” while 7% ducked and said they thought of themselves as both.

Van Biema was surprised that so many people would put their American-ness behind their faith, but I’m surprised that so many Christians would subordinate their identities as Christians to their nationality. But I suppose we should expect this:

Not surprisingly, the “Christian first” response emanated disproportionately from self-identified Evangelicals, 62% of whom said “Christian first.” By contrast, the figures for other major Christian sectors were nearly reversed, with 62% of Catholics and 65% of Mainline Protestants saying “American first”.

It’s unfortunate that the results aren’t that surprising.


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