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View Diary: Is There a Christian Nationalist Majority in America? (167 comments)

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  •  I concur (8+ / 0-)

    The answers you get for any poll depend a lot on what questions are asked. Ask a leading question, get the answer that respondents were led to.

    •  How you phrase the question is especially key when (3+ / 0-)
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      BlackSheep1, DBunn, Fishtroller01

      using terminology that has more than one meaning.

      "Chrisitian nation" in common Christian usage often means a nation in which Christianity is the majority faith and a strong influence on cultural values.  There certainly are a number of CHristians who believe Christianity was a strong influence in forming traditional American values (including democracy), and should remain a powerful influence.   Certainly FDR, to name one of many historical figures, believed that.  It's not the same as believing that laws should have to fit biblical criteria, or that non-CHristians shouldn't be able to vote, or that Christianity is the only religion of positive value.

      The more extreme Christianists, as I'm sure you know, want the vote limited to Christians.  Or to Christian men who are heads of families.  The Dominionists want rejection of Christianity to be legally defined as heresy, and punishable by death.

      That's quite a range of meanings.

      Asking Americans if the US is a Christian nation is meaningless and really, really  misleading unless the different potential meanings are explored.

       I don't doubt that a (perhaps slim) majority of Americans believe, as was traditionally taught, that Christianity has a special and benevolent role in the history of the US and the development of democratic values (the sanctity of the individual, etc.).  

      That doesn't mean that the majority of Americans are Christian Nationalists or theocrats.

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 09:21:47 AM PDT

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      •  You don't have to be an extremist (4+ / 0-)
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        DBunn, ScienceMom, Sharoney, WB Reeves

        to believe that only Christians should have the right to vote. The pastor at the church that Cory Booker attends believes that Newark should go back to the good ol' days where you had to be Christian to vote.

        That would be Newark, New Jersey. NOT Texas. Not Idaho. New Jersey!!

        We have to take this seriously. We have to take notice that there are people - many, many people - who really believe that America was "created" to be a Christian Nation (one nation under god, etc) and it is time to reclaim that heritage.

        When we deny this and call these folks nut cases we do so at great risk to our future. It can't happen here? Yes it can!!!

        •  I think that careful polling would show that a (1+ / 0-)
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          very small percentage of Americans agree with that minister.  Probably the majority even in his church don't, on that issue.  Black people are generally touchy about the right to vote.

          Many Christians will tolerate some things that they don't like or believe being preached by their church, basically as a trade-off for the things they actually like and feel committed to.  How successful for instance in the Catholic church in teaching that birth control is sinful?  (Hint: US Catholic women use birth control at virtually the same rate as non-Catholics.)  People pick and choose, even if the hierarchy insists that they aren't allowed to.

          I'd expect more discretion from a would-be political leader, though.  What the hell is Cory Booker doing in that church?

          I do not disagree that the far-right churches are dangerous.  Funded and manipulated by big money through the Republican party and a network of foundations and "missions" and so on, they've done a lot of damage already and can do much more.

          But the polling you're quoting here is too vague to be taken as data.  From my experience, I don't believe that a majority in the US believe the US should be a Christian Nation in the Dominionist sense.  There are still enough Dominionists to be dangerous -- especially if they can influence the teaching of history in schools. Or if they can use the charter school movement to get more public money channeled into their private, anti-American schools.  

          But let's find some better information before deciding they're virtually to the point where they could vote the rest of us out of office.  

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Thu Aug 15, 2013 at 06:15:03 PM PDT

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        •  Tha Pastor cannot be pleased (0+ / 0-)

          that Booker supports marriage equality.  Actually, it doesn't concern me too much. Conservative Black preachers are common in Newark. They make a lot of noise. I'm much more concerned with  Booker's Wall Street connections.

          "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

          by DJ Rix on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:11:36 PM PDT

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