The debate over God and government is a touchy one in the United States, because it’s one of the major points of disagreement in the current culture war. The nonreligious and the opposing Moral Majority debate everything from the presence of God to our national heritage.
My personal view is that we should embrace God more as a nation. We’ve cornered ourselves into a secular sphere for so long that I feel it has partially led to the cultural fault lines we experience now. If we committed more of our culture to a religious temperament, perhaps unity will follow.
People are of course calling for legislation to put God in government, but the problem is that most of them would not agree with me. The current Christian climate in the United States is thoroughly controlled by Protestant evangelism, Southern Baptism, and their Charismatic equivalents. This is clearly shown by the power of prominent figures likes Huckabee, Santorum, and now Ted Cruz.
When this group talks about “putting God in government,” what they actually mean is something along the lines of Christian fascism. Ted Cruz’s father is a Dominionist who believes that Christians should occupy all positions in government to ensure Christian principles are upheld throughout the nation.
The continually refer to the Founding Fathers’ faiths and how it was their inherent Christian character that shaped the nation.
This fails to acknowledge the evolution Christianity has gone through. We’ve had a Great Awakening (which produced the Church of Latter-Day Saints) and a revivalist movement that took hold in the 1970s. Not only this, we experienced a massive influx of Catholic immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that had a heavy impact on the culture of Christianity and America as a whole, despite nativist efforts to remove it.
This is especially contradictory to the Founders’ brand of Christianity. The kind of Christianity they practiced was subtle, mystical, and heavily relied on aesthetics—it was much less orthodox and in return it promoted the more liberal freedoms that the Constitution offers today. Some of these rights and freedoms are heavily opposed by the Christian Right, who feel as though some of strong-armed theocracy better defines American principles.
I do believe we need more God in government. I mean that in a sense of acknowledging that Christian principles helped write the tenets of the Constitution that helped America stand strong—but it was a kinder, more understanding and more natural form of Christianity that wasn’t convinced of an eternal struggle against atheist boogeymen.