In his book One Nation Under God, Princeton history professor Kevin M. Kruse asserts that the idea of a “Christian America” was contrived by corporate and religious figures who were opposed to FDR’s New Deal.
According to Church and State, Kruse’s novel asserts that President Eisenhower was a champion of a civic religion that both sides of the aisle could relate to.
But in the 1960s, when Americans were polarized over issues like the Vietnam war and school prayer, some politicians like Richard Nixon moved away from Eisenhower’s theory of civic religion.
Evangelists like Billy Graham joined forces with Nixon’s administration in order to encourage a religious schism in the U.S.
Nixon attempted to align his party with Christianity, so that those who were against his administration were seemingly against American Christian values.
Kruse writes that eventually, “the rhetoric of ‘one nation under God’ no longer brought Americans together; it only reminded them how divided they had become.”
Thus, Kruse says “the Christian nation” of America had nothing to do with the country’s founding fathers whatsoever.
Read the full story here.