This is true.
However, it may not be true in the way you think it to be true, or in the way you’ve been told it is true.
The American people, by and large, have been and are made up by a vast majority of individuals who identify as Christians. This may change, but for now, this is true.
The United States was founded on Christian principles. While on the earth, Jesus of Nazareth defined an egalitarian outlook that built and still resonates in American law. He came for everyone. He taught us how to treat each other:
“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)
Jesus affirmed the Golden Rule when he listed the Two Great Commandments, the First being to “love God,” the Second, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
Yet, Christ went further when he counseled his disciples,
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Not only are we to love each other as we’d want them to love us, but if we are to be disciples of Jesus, we are to love each other as He loves us. So we are not to treat one another based on some personal standard, but on the unchanging and divine standard established by Jesus Christ.
Let’s look at our Founding Documents then, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence establishes the basis of the revolt against Great Britain, laying down our God-given legacy which has been trampled upon and denied:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”
Self-evident truths are ones in which no proof is given, they are openly stated as an accepted premise to what follows, and in this case, they are the basis of the American contract: all men are created equal. The Constitution takes these rights under assumption as it sets up a structure of balanced powers poised to protect the individual from the tyranny of the state and the aggression of other nations. The Constitution defends our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
That is our faith, rooted in a Christian philosophy of egalitarianism. However, you do not have to be Christian to believe this Christian principle. You can share it, whatever your other beliefs or affiliations. This is the shared faith of the United States. We take, by faith, and despite all empirical and concrete evidence to the contrary, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
This is where Christianity resides on our Founding: an egalitarian treatment of each other, based on a faith in our equality.
Does this make America a theocracy?
Before we answer that, let us test the idea of a Christian political theocracy against Christ’s own words. To Pilate, Jesus said,
“My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36)
Jesus did not say His kingdom is some new state of liberated Jews, he did not stake claim to what was Caesar’s, he spoke of the kingdom of God existing in the now regardless of any physical form of captivity. Jesus came to wear a crown of thorns, not Caesar’s. In other words, if you venture to claim that Jesus mandated a creation of a Christian political state, He explicitly denied it. Using Christ’s New Testament teachings to build a Christian theocracy would be an oxymoron.
So, America is generally Christian because most Americans affiliate with Christianity, and America is based on Christian principles of egalitarianism which anyone of any faith can appreciate, but America is not, and was not, and was never intended to be, a theocracy.
Thank God for that.