THE BLOG
05/09/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Is the United States a Judeo-Christian Nation?

The United States of America is not a Judeo-Christian nation. Yet, President Obama is getting some heat for this statement he made in Turkey:

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.

President Obama's statement is aligned with the First Amendment of the Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

While I and many Americans are Christians, we are most certainly not a Judeo-Christian nation. In a letter to the Dansbury Baptists, Thomas Jefferson wrote these words in reference to the First Amendment:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.

In the Christian faith belief in God is a choice. How can a nation be such?