Monday, June 15, 2015

CHRISTIAN NATION? Studies Set Fire To The Christian Right's Pet Ideology And To Right Wing Candidates' Talking Points

In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. [Jefferson, in letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814]

"America is definitely a Christian Nation." So says the Christian Right's Official Pseudo-Historian, David Barton. Many people believe it, and most of today's GOP Presidential hopefuls are depending on that belief. 

But what if that statement is based on a 50-year-old assumption and not today's reality? Candidates like Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee might be counting on a force that really isn't there - with a meme that is not quite true.

The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center.

So America is not as Christian as it used to be which, according to previous studies, was not as Christian as David Barton thought it was in the first place. The decline in Christian numbers is disturbing to many evangelicals such as Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson and Tony Perkins, but it is disastrous to politicians like Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz.

Over time, the group of Americans who are dissatisfied and want religion to have less influence has consistently been larger than the group who are dissatisfied and want it to have more influence. The gap between these groups grew bigger as overall satisfaction with the influence of organized religion dropped in 2005.

In its State of the States report, Gallup also divulged that the highest level of people who attend church regularly is a rather meager 51% (Utah) and goes down to 17% (Vermont, which will burn in hellfire). This does not bode well for Presidential hopefuls like Huckabee and Jindal who are putting all their eggs into one Evangelical Christian basket.
It’s a narrative [America is fundamentally a Christian nation] that is fundamentally wrong. Yes, the majority of Americans identify technically as Christians, but a deeper look at how our people act, believe, and think shows that we’re not at all a “Christian nation,” but a largely secular nation that suffers a small but vocal minority of theocracy-minded conservatives. And not just that, but that the secular-minded majority is getting even bigger and more secular all the time.
The Theocratic Set


Today's Republicans still think that pandering to the Christian Right with "Christian Nation" banners and speeches will get them votes. And while it is a meme that comes disastrously close to reconstructionism and theocracy, they seem to think that America will not look past those speeches - and who organizes them. David Lane, the man behind theocracy's (Christofascism's) support of Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz, has squarely put Evangelicalism on the path to theocracy. While calling for 1000 pastors to seek public office, he has also curried favor with Ben Carson and Rick Perry. If ever there was an architect behind "America Is A Christian Nation," it is Lane, not David Barton who wields the real power. The reaction (or strategy) that Lane has had regarding the new studies is not yet known, but rest assured he is concerned.

Rick Unger (Forbes):
Cruz embarked on his march to the White House before a crowd of some 10,000 students at Liberty University— a number that would have been terribly impressive for such an event were it not for the fact that attendance was compulsory —where the Senator would spend the first part of his speech extolling the virtues of Jesus Christ and the importance the Christian faith played in keeping his family together.
Cruz does not seem to know (or care), that his "family" is on the wane: it may still be strong in Texas, but the CN (Christian Nation) talking point is weaker beyond its borders than he cares to admit.

Back in 2012, Rick Santorum's campaign was almost single-handedly derailed by one pastor.

Pastor Dennis Terry introduced Rick Santorum to Southern Baptist voters with the CN meme:
“This nation was founded as a Christian nation…there’s only one God and his name is Jesus. I’m tired of people telling me that I can’t say those words. […] If you don’t love America and you don’t like the way we do things, I’ve got one thing to say — Get out! We don’t worship Buddha. I said we don’t worship Buddha. We don’t worship Mohammed. We don’t worship Allah. We worship God. We worship God’s son Jesus Christ.”
We can bet, however, that Santorum ( who rarely learns from his mistakes) will keep CN alive during his campaign.

Huckabee could rank as the most out-of-touch candidate with the collective mind of the American public (remember the Duggar support backlash). He would never, for example, believe a word of this WSJ survey:
A new SURVEY conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News has found that more Americans would be comfortable with a gay or lesbian president (about 61 percent of respondents) than they would with an evangelical Christian president (only 52 percent).
Furthermore, only 37 percent said they would be uncomfortable with a gay or lesbian person in the highest office in the country, while 44 percent said they would be hesitant about an evangelical Christian running for president.

Ignoring The Causes
Clinging to a Christian Nation ideology may be disastrous for today's Presidential hopefuls, but it is downright stupid for Christofascists to uphold it and even dumber for them to ignore the real causes.
While blaming the declining numbers on the overall moral decay of the country, the candidates and Christian Right leaders will dodge the real reason: Millennials are leaving in droves simply because they can't stand thinking that some day they might actually be like the Evangelicals they've come to dread: the crackpots and charlatans and ranters, the bigots and zealots and hate-mongers who have ruined religion for so many. Think Cindy Jacobs, Pat Robertson, Bob Jones, Jerry Falwell, Benny Hinn and a host of others who have used the Bible as a weapon and refer to a jealous, vindictive God abandoning the nation for things like same-sex marriage. 
Or they might be leaving because they know too many Betty Bowers. 

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