Posted by: the warrioress | November 12, 2011

Patrioticism God-Gap in America?

Now that we’ve celebrated Veterans Day and exhibited our “patriotism,” it seems like a good time to discuss some recent research that finds that the religious and the spiritual, or those who believe in God/Higher Power, seem to be more patriotic than the rest who are not religious, who do not believe.God Bless America Patriotic Religius Tapestry Throw Blanket
Research shows that Evangelicals have more love for God and country, versus those who have no religious affiliation, who have no faith. This has been referred to as a “patriotism God-gap in America.” Do you believe this to be factual? Is this a possibility?
Personally, I think there is no question that this is the case here in America. I think Christians are more positive about America and those who believe are more loyal to the country and inclined to see her in a treasured, sentimental way versus the less emotional, outwardly more cynical who do not believe, who reject faith.
I don’t see a lot of love for country from many of the anti-theists, anti-religionists and the non-believing of America. Many atheists seem negative and angry about pretty much everything. They appear to be a very glum lot. Yes, I know this could be classified as a stereotypical statement, but I’m talking about those whom I’ve talked with and discussed politics and religion with consistently. They have essentially reasoned themselves out of some of the better qualities that are traditional of the majority of people in this nation.
I think that a love for God evokes a love for country as well; it’s just this simple.
Christianity Today crunched data from a Pew Research Center poll that asked more than 1,500 Americans for their views of the United States.

“Nearly all Americans think they live in the best country on Earth. While a majority of Americans believe there are other countries just as great, nine in 10 say no nation is better. Within this high view of America, there are differences between different religious groups,” the magazine noted.

A folded American flag held by a United States...

To this end, Christianity Today suggested the existence of a “patriotism God-gap in America.”

Among those surveyed, evangelicals were the most likely to think the United States is No. 1.

“Other Christian traditions were less enthusiastic about America’s position in the world, but they still saw the U.S. as one of the best on the planet. About 40% of other Christians said the U.S. stands alone as the greatest country; around 55% said it and some other countries were equally great. As with evangelicals, only a few said there were greater countries in the world.”

“Those with no religion, however,” hold a much less favorable view, according to the magazine.

“Only one in five of those without religious beliefs said the U.S. is the best country in the world, an equal percentage agreeing that ‘there are other countries that are better than the U.S.’ ”

Flying the flag is among the easiest ways to display patriotism. Is it also an expression of religion?

In an article titled “Flag Desecration, Religion and Patriotism,” Temple University associate law professor Muriel Morisey suggested that for proponents of a constitutional amendment, “the American flag is the equivalent of a sacred religious icon, comparable to Christianity’s crucifix, Judaism’s Torah and the Quran of Islam. No court has designated patriotism as a religion for Establishment Clause purposes, but in every other significant respect it operates as a religion in American culture. Regardless of the religious beliefs we profess, we simultaneously practice patriotism.”

That said, a “God gap” may exist in the flying of Old Glory as well.

A Pew poll taken March 30-April 3 suggested that 78% of religious people display the flag on their clothing, in the office or at home, while 58% of nonreligious do likewise.

Evangelicals were the most likely to say they displayed the flag; those Americans unaffiliated with religion the least likely.

As to the religious identity of the nation, 62% said the United States is a “Christian nation” in a survey of 1,000 adults done a couple of years ago for Newsweek, while 75% of Americans call themselves Christian, according to the American Religious Identification Survey also done in 2009.

And earlier this year, writing for the CNN Belief Blog, Boston University religion scholar Stephen Prothero analyzed the religious affiliations of those elected to serve in the 112th Congress and concluded: “Is this a Christian nation? No way, says the Constitution. But U.S. voters are telling us something else altogether.”



  1. It’s a real compliment that you like this post, LeRoy, as your blogs are excellent. Thank you.

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