Christian Nation? The United States in Popular Perception and Historical Reality

By T. Adams Upchurch | Go to book overview

Preface

PURPOSE, METHODS, AND LIMITATIONS

Barely two months after Barack Obama took the oath of office as president of the United States in 2009, he made an overseas diplomatic tour that included a stop in Turkey, a nation with a Christian heritage but which in recent centuries has been controlled by Muslims. There, in a press conference, the new president made a statement that immediately flashed across the airwaves and into the blogosphere with lightning speed for its controversial, provocative flavor. Of the United States and its people, he said, “we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.” Although he went on to explain that the United States is a “predominantly Christian nation,” just as Turkey is a “predominantly Muslim nation,” this second comment largely went unnoticed in the media. The first comment so tantalized Americans that it seemed not to matter what he said in clarification thereafter. The brouhaha that resulted lasted only briefly, soon to be eclipsed by more pressing concerns of economics, health care, war, and such. Even though the furor died down for the moment, the controversy over whether the United States is, was, or was ever supposed to be a “Christian nation” will never go away. How do we know? Because 2009 was not the first time a U.S. government official proclaimed to the Muslim world that America is not a “Christian nation.” That sentiment was, in fact, first expressed in 1797 in the Treaty of Tripoli, a product of the John Adams administration, which was ratified by the U.S. Senate. History thus shows that the issue has been with us from the beginning and has surfaced and receded over the years with the regularity of the tides—partly (and unfortunately) because too many Americans do not know their own history.

-ix-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Christian Nation? The United States in Popular Perception and Historical Reality
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 200

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.