Following the Fourth of July weekend, a recent Lifeway Research poll shows that most Americans believe that God has a special relationship with the United States.
Evangelical Christians are particularly likely to believe that God has a special relationship with the U.S. — with two-thirds agreeing with that statement — but it has a broad base of support, with even a third of those identifying as not religious agreeing with it.
"53 percent of Americans say they believe God and the nation have a special relationship, a concept stretching back to Pilgrim days. Even a third of atheists, agnostics, and those with no religious preference believe America has a special relationship with God," says the report.
This belief in a special relationship, often called American exceptionalism, has a long history, from ideas of Manifest Destiny (and whiteness) to calls for justice and a moral responsibility, as in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech.
"Some Christians view America as an archetype of biblical Israel, chosen and uniquely blessed by God," Ed Stetzer, executive director of Lifeway Research, said.And today, despite social, economic, and political crises regularly in the headlines, American optimism remains high — only 4 in 10 Americans think America’s best days are behind us.
Read the full report here.