What Pew actually did over two weeks in May was ask 820 self-identifying American Christians "Do you think of yourself first as American or as Christian?" And in this case, 42% of Christians did actually answer "Christian first." Another 48% answered "American first," while 7% ducked and said they thought of themselves as both.
Not surprisingly, the "Christian first" response emanated disproportionately from self-identified Evangelicals, 62% of whom said "Christian first." By contrast, the figures for other major Christian sectors were nearly reversed, with 62% of Catholics and 65% of Mainline Protestants saying "American first".
David van Biema, God or Country
The author tries to score "controversial" points by comparing these responses to American Muslims. How pedestrian.
If van Biema had wanted to start a titanic media firestorm, he could have tried to find a poll asking about Jewish loyalty. Heck, even an inconsequential blogger like myself can't even speculate about that hypothetical situation without worries I'll be lumped in with the nuts.
The nationalist sentiment reported to be strong among my coreligionists is typically disconcerting, but not surprising. As usual with such surveys, I would like specific statistical breakdowns considering mass attendance and other measures of Catholic practice.