While watching The Jewish Americans last night on PBS (ht: Paul Harvey), I was struck by the fact that every individual interviewed (including both Orthodox and Reformed Jews and everywhere in between) that was asked to describe his or her identity as a Jew living in the United States affirmed that he or she was an American Jew, and not a Jewish American. Some of the interviewees explained that “Jew” described more fully and deeply who they were as an individual, and “American” used (in this instance) as an adjective simply desribed their nation of residence. Some were careful to point out that this was not meant as a insult to or lack of appreciation for America and does not lessen their status as Americans. It made me wonder how we Mormons identify ourselves in relation to our religion and our nationality. In addition to the question asked in the poll below, I wonder how differently this poll would have been answered 50 years ago? 100 years ago? 150 years ago? How do you think this will be answered 25 or 50 years from now?
*For those readers not citizens of the United States, feel free to substitute your own nationality for “American.” If you answered either answer choice 3 or 4, please explain/elaborate in a comment.