Large Majority Of Republicans Want US To Be Christian Nation
Over the past year or so, Republican legislators and voters have become increasingly enamoured of Christian Nationalism, an ideology once pretty much limited to neo-Nazis and similar upstanding citizens. They love saying the United States is a Christian nation almost as much as they hate the separation of church and state. And according to a recent poll, they're ready to make it official.
Conducted by the University of Maryland and published on Politico on Wednesday, the poll found that 61 percent of Republicans would like to see Christianity established as the official religion of the United States of America. Scarily enough, 17 percent of Democrats would also like this very much.
The poll also found a correlation between white grievance and a desire to establish the United States as a Christian nation, which should not be too big of a surprise.
Our polling found that white grievance is highly correlated with support for a Christian nation. White respondents who say that members of their race have faced more discrimination than others are most likely to embrace a Christian America. Roughly 59 percent of all Americans who say white people have been discriminated against a lot more in the past five years favor declaring the U.S. a Christian nation, compared to 38 percent of all Americans. White Republicans who said white people have been more discriminated against also favored a Christian nation (65 percent) by a slightly larger percentage than all Republicans (63 percent).
This, first of all, is about power. The Right feels that they are losing the culture war — largely because they are always losing the culture war. They want to be able to pass laws and legislation based exclusively on what their religion says and have everyone agree that that's entirely valid. They don't like it when they demand laws respecting their religion be passed and people respond to that by telling them that not everyone practices their religion. They're also aware that the more they decrease in number, the less power they will have over all. Obviously.
Christianity is in decline. Just last week, Pew Research released a study showing that if things continue at the same rate they have been going, Christians will eventually be a minority in the United States ... by 2070, anyway. A 2021 poll found that fewer than half of Americans belong to a specific church. A poll two years ago found that Christians only make up about 65 percent of the country, down from 78 percent in 2012, 81 percent in 2001 and 85 percent in 1995.
Now, I would think that if one really believes something is the absolute truth, it wouldn't matter to them what other people believe. But that is apparently not the case here.
The fact is, a lot of people find it difficult to sustain their faith in something when they're not getting a lot of external validation for it. And it's not just Christianity, either. People get mad when other people don't believe in ghosts, when they don't believe in astrology, when they don't believe that water has feelings, etc. etc. Declaring that the entire country is now Christian would make it a lot easier for a lot of people to feel that it's not just the religion that they happen to practice, out of the 10,000 distinct religions that exist worldwide, but a fact of life. An "it's true whether you want to believe it or not, because look! The government says it's true, so there."
Of course, they might not get what they want, were that to occur. The United Kingdom does have Christianity as its official religion and the Church of England as its official Church ... and they are far less religious than US Americans. Only six percent consider themselves "practising Christians" (that gets the UK spelling), though 41 percent identify as "non-practising Christians."
Why, it's almost as if forcing religion on people makes them extra hostile to religion.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse