×
More link Christian faith to being American
Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service
October 21, 2010
2 MIN READ TIME

More link Christian faith to being American

More link Christian faith to being American
Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service
October 21, 2010

As the U.S. has grown more

diverse, more Americans believe that being a Christian is a key aspect of being

“truly American,” researchers say.

Purdue University scholars

found that between 1996 and 2004, Americans who saw Christian identity as a “very

important” attribute of being American increased from 38 percent to 49 percent.

Scholars said the findings,

published in the fall issue of the journal Sociology of Religion, couldn’t be

definitively tied to a particular event but they suspect the 9/11 attacks and

the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could have played a role.

“We suspect that these

events accentuated the connection between Christianity and American identity by

reinforcing boundaries against non-Christians and people of foreign origin,”

said Jeremy Brooks Straughn, co-author of the study.

“Although we can’t be

certain of the underlying causes, our data clearly show diverging attitudes

between American Christians and their non-Christian counterparts here in the

United States.”

Researchers found that

non-Christians and those with no religious affiliation overwhelmingly rejected

a link between being Christian and being “truly American.”

The findings are based on an

analysis of data from the General Social Survey, collected by the National

Opinion Research Center, in which more than 1,000 respondents were queried in

1996 and 2004.

In a separate survey, Public

Religion Research Institute found that 42 percent believe “America has always

been and is currently a Christian nation.”

The survey, taken Sept. 1-14, was

based on a random sample of 3,013 adults.