I've been meaning to post the results of the recent Multifaith Matters grant team meeting in California, but my video in iMovie on my Mac has crashed. While I try to switch to a PC format, I thought I'd post something else in the meantime.
This video clip has been circulated as part of the eulogy for Senator McCain. One aspect is missing in the commentary, and that is the concept of America as "Christian Nation" in the background. I believe the concerns the woman shared about suspicions related to Obama come from ideas related to what constitutes "true Americans."
According to a paper by Carly M. Jacobs and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse that looks at the connections between religion and national group membership, they found that a majority believe that a prototypical American involves a Christian identity. "While Christians are much more likely than non-Christians to state explicitly that people have to be Christian to be true Americans, the perception that being Christian is a prototypical characteristic of Americans is held implicitly by non-Christians as well.
Further, 69% of respondents "who explicitly associated being a true American with being a Christian agreed with this statement": "Only true Americans should be guaranteed their basic rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom of assembly." The authors conclude this section by stating, "If being fully accepted as a true American is a prerequisite to being given basic civil rights and liberties in the United States, then non-Christians are in trouble."
As stated previously, Christian Nationalism is a significant factor for evangelicals in multifaith engagement, and it may be found in the background in other areas once we start looking for it.