According to a March 2002 survey by The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Pew Forum on Relgion & Public Life, nearly half of Americans (48%) think that the United States has had special protection from God for most of its history. Four-in-ten take the opposite view, that America has had no special divine protection. The perception that America has special status clearly links to religious beliefs. Seven-in-ten (71%) white evangelical Protestants believe this to be true, compared with just four-in-ten white mainline Protestants and white non-Hispanic Catholics. And within all religious groups, those with the deepest religious commitment are the most likely to believe the U.S. has a special status. Yet there is a strong sense that the United States is not alone in receiving special protection from God. Fully 76% of those who say the U.S. receives special protection also say that other nations receive the same protection from God. This viewpoint is consistent across all religious, political and demographic lines. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.