God Bless a America, One Nation Under God, slogans from my childhood growing up in rural Bible belt North Carolina. They were as common as hello, good morning. Fast forwarding, to this present day I find myself asking the question,?Is America Really A Christian Nation??
There was a time in America, when the Christian faith had a major influence in everyday American life. Most everybody claimed they were Christians. In 1972, 64% of all Americans identified themselves as Protestant, while 93% of Americans claimed affiliation with some form of religion. Nowadays, those ?numbers have changed drastically.
The rate of Americans today who claim no religious?affiliation whatsoever is growing at rapid rates.?
In a 2012,?Pew Research Poll?reported that?in the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%).The facts bear out the reality that religion is no longer something that people really have on their mind. Evidence shows that the younger you are the less likely you will identify yourself with a religious?organization.
88% of those that are religiously unaffiliated ?are not looking for religion?.
Many studies and surveys have found that?religiously?unaffiliated people tend to support gay marriage and?legalized abortions. The data reveals that some 24% of the religiously unaffiliated are registered?Democrats or lean Democratic. One of the most shocking, revelations to this writer, is the fact that Protestants are no longer the majority in America. At one time, in the past, Protestants made up 64% of the American population. Another trend is that more and more people do not go to church services on Sunday. Why?
51 % of all U.S. adults believe that churches and other religious organizations ?are too concerned with money and power?.
What these number reveal is that religion has lost its influence on a vast majority of the present day Americans. Moreover, with the ever-increasing political factions trying to invoke religion into the everyday business of government and claiming that America is a “?Christian Nation,”?founded on “?Christian?Principles,”?one needs to really revisit the founding fathers?waywardness of this very notion.
Despite the aforementioned data, despite the factual historical ?record of statements from our founding fathers, and despite the Bill of Rights and the constitutional doctrine of ?”church and state,” we have today factions in our country who still make the claim and have the desire to make America a Christian nation. The Tea Party and the Libertarians backed by their deep-pocketed media echo-chambers would have use go back to a time that the American people have progressed from or woke up from that was never intended in the first place. These factions are quick to throw Jesus, God and Israel into their political jargon. They do all this under the guise of what they call fiscal conservatism. But, when you really examine the motives of these groups, it’s the religious mantra that they seem to rely on the most to garner support for their cause, which we have seen played out since 2010. Tax breaks for the rich, off the backs of the middle-class and poor. Deregulation and the doing away of unions and workers’ rights. Regressing Civil rights and Voting rights with regressive voter suppression measures. We have seen these factions cut money for public education, and social safety net programs. All in the name of GOD. The Tea Party is nothing more than a rewrite of the old Jerry Falwell crowd who have lost their luster and now don’t know what to do with themselves but cause polarization not only in our country, but; in the Republican party as well.?What is really evident is that the long-held battle cry of?social conservatism?is their compelling driving force. Anti-gay, Anti-same-sex-marriage, anti-minorities, anti-woman, anti-workers rights, anti-minimum wage increase, and lastly anti-government. They have been the impudence for the Republican party being labeled the “party of no.” All in the name of GOD.
The Tea Party Movement Has Been Co-Opted By Big Money Donors.
So, while the Republican party and it’s factions of Libertarian’s and Tea Party members claim they are physical conservatives the gong they bang the loudest come from the social issues. As the mid-terms near and posturing for the 2016 presidential race starts to format itself, its the age-old social issues that have these potential candidates posturing for support and money. And, what better way than ring the tried and true church bells of religion.
In closing, I wander what Jesus answer would be?to the questio: is America really a Christian nation?
Edited/Published by: SB