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The role of religion in American politics and society

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  1. There is every reason to believe that America is not a Christian nation
  2. Americans are both citizenz and believers
  3. Civil religion

Whilst some philosophers, like Nietzsche for example, argue that "God is dead" in European societies, religion still plays a fundamental role in the definition of today's American politics and society. This difference can be explained by the fact that, since its constitutional creation, American national identity has been constantly shaped by religion. Admittedly, America is not a Christian Nation. Its Constituent texts do not set up any national religious establishment, whilst enforcing essential Republican principles such as the separation of Church and State and the freedom of religion. But, these so-called secular principles (pluralism of cults, natural and inalienable rights, etc.) are fundamentally religious. In fact, these consensual values are part of "civil religion". Thus, Americans are both citizens and believers: their commitment to the U.S. homeland (patriotism) is a secular form of religion, common to all of them, whatever their personal religious beliefs. Therefore, religion is at the root of American national identity, as it molds the U.S. democracy. This is the reason why religious reform movements traditionally have huge political influence in the US.

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