A ‘Christian Nation’ is not a nation made up in entirety of people who profess faith in the name of Jesus Christ. A Christian Nation is a country that functions on Christian principles.
But if Christian principles are discriminatory in character, clearly they are not ideal to mediation of relationships within societies that already are secular in composition. Suppose, however, that Christian principles can be shown to be secular in character. We have then that it cannot be discriminatory for a country that is founded on Christian beliefs to characterize itself to be a ‘Christian Nation’.
What then are
principles of a ‘Christian Nation’?
The First principle of a ‘Christian Nation’ is Love that looks out not only for his or her own interests, but also for the interests of others. In Finance and Economics, this principle is referred to as interest in arrival at Pareto optimal outcomes. Whenever there is Pareto optimality of outcomes in society, with acknowledgement of constraints of mutual coexistence in tow, everyone attains to the best possible outcomes. Pareto optimal outcomes are possible because society recognizes everyone’s minimum claims. It would be the case for example, that the rest of society would be willing to tolerate an increase in inflation from 3.0% to 3.50% so everyone who possesses necessary qualifications, and who seeks a job can have one. This of course is one of the objectives of the Federal Reserve, which is, achieving a balance between inflation and full employment.
The Second principle is Justice. Justice of course is self explanatory, yet people have many different conceptions of what exactly constitutes justice. Within context of Christian sensibilities, justice means people who set out deliberately to hurt others are deterred from such behaviors. Simultaneously, people who enhance everyone else’s welfare with their actions are rewarded for such behaviors.
Deterrence of course is not the same thing as punishment. When people are deterred, the focus is on helping them arrive at the realization that an evil course of behavior is bad not just for others, but also for themselves. The focus is not on beating down of such people so they feel they have nothing to lose, the focus is not on sending to prison so ‘more evil’ people can molest or oppress others who turn out to be less evil. Never mind the fact that a focus on punishment of bad behavior does nothing to rehabilitate people who are wronged. When a rapist is sent to jail, and the person raped is left to fend for herself psychologically, there is punishment of evil, yet justice is not attained for nothing is done to help a woman who has been wronged.
When money is stolen and a thief is sent to jail, but with money stolen not recovered, there is punishment, yet justice remains elusive. Consider, however, the Christian alternative. In context of Christian principles, a person caught stealing is given opportunity for work and required to repay in a convenient, as opposed to punitive manner whatever was stolen from another until it is paid back in full. This principle recognizes the possibility that such a person stole out of need, as opposed to out of willful evil. As outlined, the remedy focused on provision of a job and restitution of what was stolen, with outcome such a person no longer could justify stealing for a living.
Consider then the deterrence value of the remedy for stealing. In context of Christian principles, people who steal do not go to jail, rather they are made to restitute, with outcome people who consider stealing see it as a zero sum game. Stealing becomes a zero sum game because it produces exactly what a person who seeks to steal for a living seeks to avoid, which is, a 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily grind for producing of a living.
No pun intended in the ‘9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily grind’, for all of life in reality ought to be a ‘joyful daily grind’.
There are few things that are good, that are produced by mankind that are not outcomes of perseverance at a ‘9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily grind’, a daily grind which expends effort on things that are good for the ‘grinder’ and for society at large.
‘Tis the reason Einstein declared that ‘genius’ is 10% brilliance, 90% hard work.
In the realization that stealing and getting caught induces the exact same 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily grind that a professional thief seeks to avoid, the temptation to steal is deterred within the entire population. We arrive then at the inference that a ‘work and repay what was stolen Christian principle’ does a better job of mitigating the temptation to steal than a prison system that enables exactly what stimulates a professional thief, which is, avoidance of a 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily grind.
Within Christian sensibilities, justice does not revolve around a prison sentence. Justice revolves around restitution of wrongs and institution of penalties for wrongs that enable rehabilitation of wrongdoers and deter development of wrongful attitudes within the rest of the population.
The third principle is competitive, yet peaceful coexistence. But is this possible? Absolutely. Cooperative Game Theory — the notion that people can compete against each other cooperatively — has been part of Finance and Economics for decades. In context of cooperative game theory, there is competition, yet everyone cares about the other person’s payoffs or outcomes. Caring about others’ payoffs or outcomes is possible because there is a grand objective that is common to everyone.
In a civilization that functions on jobs, businesses, and money, it must be the case that the right to self sustenance in context of qualifications that are recognized by society is common to everyone.
For illustration of feasibility of a common objective in context of business arrangements, consider a firm seeking to raise money on the stock exchange. Naturally, the company wants to issue shares to investors at the highest possible price. Simultaneously, investors much like anyone shopping around for good quality bread, rather would buy shares of a good company (rather would buy good bread) at the cheapest possible price. We have then basis for competition because objectives it would seem are conflicting and dichotomous.
Both sides agree, however, that investors should be able to reap some return from facilitating the IPO of the firm seeking to raise money. Imposition of the rationality that a firm cannot reasonably be happy if it’s investors are losing money generates then a common ground.
So then, the firm seeking to raise money says perhaps, “well we deserve US$50.00 per share. But since you make our lives easier by investing in our projects, we share some of the surplus that we already have created with you, as such based on ‘so and so facts’ are willing to accept US$44.00 per share.” Perhaps investors counter with US$42.00 per share, and then the firm says, let’s do it.
How does the firm benefit? After the IPO, the value of the firm rises to it’s fair value, which is US$50.00 and other investors see the rise from US$42.00 to US$50.00 as a signal of the firm’s willingness to benefit investors, as such see the firm as a good investment that contingent on it’s continued production of new innovations will continue to create value for shareholders. So then they buy at US$50.00, with the conviction that the company will not in future become a company that seeks to cheat shareholders. So long as the company creates new innovations, which it must if it is to remain in business, buying at US$50.00 eventually will generate some decent return in future.
In the recognition that if the first set of investors lose money on their investment, that other investors will become wary of a company, firms listing on stock markets agree that providing the first set of investors with a discount, with a share of the surplus that they already have created creates a common ground for discussions. All that remains thereafter is a determination, based on sound Finance principles of the exact size of the discount.
There hardly is any context of life within which, if searched for, there does not exist some common ground no matter how small, around which discussions can evolve in context of peaceful, yet meritorious coexistence. The discount is not based on any price shareholders want, the discount is based on the fair value of the firm.
So then we arrive at a misnomer, and yet again at genius of Jesus Christ and His Father, which is, the fact that the principles of a Christian Nation in reality are principles of an Ideal Secular Nation.
Whenever a race car driver takes pole position, unless he or she does not drive as well as everyone else, he or she is guaranteed a win. In essence, in their delineation of good principles for life, Jesus and His Father took up pole position, such that an Ideal Secular Nation functions in essence much as a Christian Nation functions. We have then that rightly understood and practiced, the principles of a Christian Nation are secular in character, not religious.
The principles of a ‘Christian Nation’ have nothing to do with religion or religious services, are in entirety secular in character, with outcome they enable Loving Coexistence, Justice that Rehabilitates and Deters, and Peaceful, yet Merit Based Competition — critical essences of an ‘Ideal Secular Nation’.
Most people see Jesus as a religious figure. In actual fact, Jesus is the only spiritual leader who secularized principles of worship, who declared that worship would be evident not in a congregation of people for His adulation, but in how people treat one another.
With respect to peaceful competition, by the time Jesus completed His ministry, it was clear that Apostles Peter, James, and John had emerged as leaders. Regardless, every single one of the disciples of Jesus is recorded in history as having made their own mark in some part of the world.
So there was merit, there was a rising to the top of three out of the 12, yet everyone achieved one thing or the other. Still yet, none had Apostle Paul’s educated intellect, with outcome Jesus needed still yet one more Apostle.
It is on record in Christian Writings that Apostles Peter and Paul acknowledged to each other that neither could fill the other’s role. In this we see a practical demonstration of love (a place for me and a place for you), merit (development of certain sets of abilities or qualifications), and peaceful coexistence (everyone with qualifications is able to actualize themselves in context of their societally recognized, or organization-specific qualifications).
So then, If America no longer wants to be a ‘Christian Nation’ (Ideal Secular Nation)…What Exactly is Better?