Here are ten assumptions that I believe motivate many American Christians in their understanding of God's relationship to this nation:
1. That God has a special "covenant" relationship with America; thus causing America to be under the blessings/cursings dichotomy that God specified with OT Israel.
2. That the founders were largely orthodox Christians.
3. That even if some of the founders were deistic, they weren't influential in the writing of the Constitution.
4. That since most of the founders were "orthodox" in their Christianity, the founding documents are therefore refective of "Christian" concepts.
5. That the general population was more "godly" than we are today.
6. That America has never had imperial ambitions.
7. That all of our wars have been defensive.
8. That American's are basically a "good" people.
9. That getting "under God" recited nation-wide will bring America "back to God."
10. That putting the ten commandments in public buildings across America will do the same thing.
I'm sure there are more issues that I haven't hit on here, but these are what came to mind as I was considering what I hear from the usual "Christian Right" crowd. What are the assumptions underlying these beliefs? Is it in any way consistent with historic Christianity? Am I just being overly anabaptist in my assessment? Or is it appropriate to question the basic assumptions behind the relationship between the American church and the state? Are we just struggling with a post-Constantinian church/state relationship? Are we actually in a post-Constantinian environment? Anyway, these are too many questions to ask at once; so I'll just ask that if you so desire, please take one of the above statements and run with it. Open it up. Consider what it means to be the church in our current environment; both in terms of speaking to the church about its calling, and then to the larger culture.
And here's a big question for ya: How do we communicate all this to our friends and relatives and fellow church goers/Christians? How do we reclaim a proper ecclesiology? What does it really mean to be the church here and now?