Wednesday, June 29, 2005

On Christianity in Europe and the United States

Mark Steyn, interviewed by John Hawkins:
John Hawkins: In your opinion, why is it that Europe has become so much more secular than the United States, where Christianity is still strong?

Mark Steyn: The short answer is separation of church and state - and I use that phrase as it was intended to be used: The founders’ distaste for "establishment of religion" simply means that they didn't want President Washington also serving as head of the Church Of America and the Archbishop of Virginia sitting in the Unites States Senate - as to this day the Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church Of England and the Archbishop of York sits in the House Of Lords. Most European countries either had de jure state churches, like England, or de facto ones, like Catholic Italy. One consequence of that is the lack of portability of faith: in America, when the Episcopalians and Congregationalists go all post-Christian and relativist, people find another church; in Britain, when Christians give up on the Church of England, they tend to give up on religion altogether.
You can read the entire interview here.

UPDATE: John's first interview with Mr. Steyn can be found here.


  1. Nehemiah4:25 AM

    Excellent points! I see separation of church and state as a good thing, the reasons he gives are new to me but reasonable. Also, great blog! Good luck in school.

  2. Thanks for your comment, and thanks for stopping by!


  3. The idea of the separation of church and state is a means to protect religion from the state.

    The majority of men and women who first settled this country were primarily escaping religious tyranny. The founders of the US were determined that the central government should not be allowed to trample on an individuals right to worship as they chose.

    This interview touches on unique viewpoints regarding secularism in Europe. Excellent post!

    I would also add the centuries of wars across Europe with roots in religion and politics would also lead to distrust in state sanctioned religions.

    Nice blog you have here, Christopher Drew.