A YouGov Omnibus poll asked recently whether respondents would like their own state to declare Christianity as its official state religion. 34% of respondents answered “yes.” Furthermore, 32% said they favored a constitutional amendment to make Christianity the official religion of the United States. I have not yet found an interpretation of the results so I can only guess what people were thinking. But whatever these responders meant, this isn’t good news.
Possibly 32% of the people were thinking that declaring the US a Christian nation would be something like making the eagle our national bird. Perhaps they have no intent of making every other faith a second class citizen, but what else could such a declaration possibly mean? Because Christianity is the dominant religion in our nation, most Christians have no understanding that religious intolerance is already a major problem in the US. Ask 64 year old Margaret Doughty. She is an atheist who stated on her application for citizenship that she was a pacifist and therefore would not take up arms to defend the country. She was told by immigration authorities that she would have to join a church that forbids war, or her application for citizenship would be denied. Where is her religious freedom?
For over a decade, polls have consistently reported that 30-40% of our fellow citizens self-describe themselves as “born again” or “evangelical” and believe that Biblical prophecies accurately predict a detailed sequence of end-times events. Their leaders control both the vast Christian broadcasting movement and great swaths of the Republican Party at the precinct and state level. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life estimates that groups representing these citizens spend about $390 million each year to lobby the Federal government to impose their religion-based agenda on the rest of us. This demographic also has the highest voting record around — 85% of their eligible voters turn out for elections. They are not disappearing and, despite the recent successes of the marriage equality movement, they continue to win victories in the culture war they have fought for 30 years.” Fred Rich, Author of “Christian Nation”
Having lived in Texas and been apart of the struggle to protect religious minorities, these figures were no surprise to me, but most Americans have no idea how dangerous attempts to impose the Christian religion can be. Every year an avalanche of legislation is proposed that violates the separation of church and state. There are people and organizations who have made a career attempting to tear down the wall of separation of church and state. But fortunately there are also people and organizations who tirelessly standing guard at the wall trying to protect it. Americans United for Separation of Church and State is one such organization. Here in Texas, the Texas Freedom Network is another. There is a small group of faithful Americans who stand between us and theocracy. If we do not add our voice, our efforts, and our votes to the struggle, 32% will be a majority.