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Bill McKibben, in his Harper’s magazine essay, "The Christian Paradox" talks about how America is the most professing Christian of all nations in the world. 85% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. “Israel, by way of comparison, is 77 percent Jewish. It is true that a smaller number of Americans - about 75 percent - claim they actually pray to God on a daily basis, and only 33 percent say they manage to get to church every week. “Still, even if that 85 percent overstates actual practice, it clearly represents aspiration. In fact, there is nothing else that unites more than four fifths of America. Every other statistic one can cite about American behavior is essentially also a measure of the behavior of professed Christians. That’s what America is: a place saturated in Christian identity.”

He goes on from there to ask the question “But is it Christian? …Christ was pretty specific about what he had in mind for his followers. What if we chose some simple criterion - say, giving aid to the poorest people - as a reasonable proxy for Christian behavior? After all, in the days before his crucifixion, when Jesus summed up his message for his disciples, he said the way you could tell the righteous from the damned was by whether they’d fed the hungry, slaked the thirsty, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger, and visited the prisoner. What would we find then?”

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