Home > Politics > John Warwick Montgomery on “Is the United States a Christian Nation?”

John Warwick Montgomery on “Is the United States a Christian Nation?”

Here’s a link to the mp3 file of John Warwick Montgomery‘s appearance on Lutheran Public Radio’s Issues Etc. show, hosted by Todd Wilken.

Montgomery is a professor at Patrick Henry College and is among other things a confessional Lutheran. I think he’s kind of a pedant and a blowhard, but his appearances on Issues Etc. sometimes make for compelling listening. Here he deals with a couple of different definitions of “Christian nation,” props up and knocks down some paper fundamentalists, touches on some Lutheran talking points without citing Martin Luther as the final word on anything, discusses the tension between European and American attitudes toward the future of religion in a civil society, etc.

He never discusses the relationship between Christianity and American civil religion, and he inexplicably raises the specter of fundamentalists raising a statue to Moses as if it were central to the discussion, and he relates some rather un-Christian anecdotes about Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, but if one can stand to listen to that (and the endless plugging of books etc. that plague Issues Etc.) what’s left is compelling listening.

There’s a lot here that’s good and bad; Montgomery loves to toot his own horn, and he doesn’t miss the chance to do so here, at Pat Robertson’s expense. Other than Pat (who isn’t actually a fundamentalist) he doesn’t name any of his fundamentalist whipping boys, so we’re left guessing whose opinions he’s misrepresenting. But he’s basically right about a couple of things: there’s no good reason to appeal to the Founding Fathers for a basis for describing the United States as a Christian nation.

  1. July 7, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Just a general comment…I enjoy your perspective. You have a sharp intellect and an uncommon perspective on “things”…glad you’ve started this blog and look forward to much reading.

  2. July 9, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Thanks for your kind words Alex.

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