In a book I recently read the author noted how those who identify as Christians want to alternately consider the U.S. to be Zion or Babylon, God favored or God cursed. This writer simply recognizes what happens routinely. When trying to explain and, therefore, justify our national prominence and prosperity, the church will claim that America is blessed by God and therefore rightly entitled to its abundance. When trying to exert its control over the American population by invoking God's authority as their own, the church does an about face and denounces the country as God forsaken and in immediate need of submission to church doctrine.
If one wants to cast America as Zion, which often happens for political purposes, then it serves best to have a very broad definition of who is a Christian. In that case, we witness those who otherwise have a very narrow definition of a Christian, suddenly embracing a wide variety of other groups under a conveniently looser definition. Zion should logically have a majority of people who personally enjoy God's sanction and favor, the Christians.
If the church wants to instill fear for political purposes, a historically effective ploy, then we see the flip side of the church's opinion of our nation. Under those circumstances, the U.S. is considered to be under God's curse, with few real Christians, and in need of rescue by the church, maybe with political help. Generally speaking, the church message then becomes this- we were blessed in the past because we were a good Christian nation and therefore accumulated the blessings we now enjoy. As the story goes, our dedication to the church and its societal influence has slipped, and we must return to our former adherence to church sponsored righteousness.
Those on the outside must marvel at these diverse messages out of the church. Our national wealth and power, on the one hand, are credited to a Christian past, meaning that we gained God's favor and prospered thereby. Then, in almost the same breath, they hear the church say that our comfortable economic state and the distraction of materialism/worldliness are corrupting the nation. God must have blessed us with a curse. Are we saying we are the example to the world or the exact opposite? Who knows? Not the church, for sure.