The annual poll from the First Amendment Center regarding religion in the United States was released today and found some disturbing (although not exactly surprising) numbers:
Sixty-five percent of Americans believe that the nation's founders intended the U.S. to be a Christian nation (GOI: Despite most of them being Deists, which is not Christian) and 55% believe that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation, according to the “State of the First Amendment 2007” national survey released today by the First Amendment Center.
GOI: Of course there is no mention as to which brand of Christianity, Christian Americas would establish as "our" national religion. I shudder of the idea in general let alone battles that would be fought between Christian sects and the increased abuse and discrimination of non-Christians.
-Just 56% believe that the freedom to worship as one chooses extends to all religious groups, regardless of how extreme — down 16 points from 72% in 2000.
-Four decades after the Supreme Court declared state-sponsored religious practices unconstitutional in public schools, 58% of respondents support teacher-led prayers and 43% favor school holiday programs that are entirely Christian. Moreover, 50% would allow schools to teach the Bible as a factual text in a history class.
GOI: These are all very disturbing but having a history degree I was especially drawn to the last figure. It is very disconcerting as history is very stringent in using the most accurate sources possible, especially emphasizing primary sources.
In other words, sources that record events described or recorded by someone who either participated in or witnessed the events or who got their information from others who did. Examples include newspaper accounts, letters, diaries, notebooks, and interviews.
GOI: The Bible should only be taught in public schools in a comparative religion class where other religions are taught as well. No special emphasis should be granted to Christianity in the public arena.
This statistic confirms even more for me that history is becoming more and more de-emphasized in our society. I feel a big reason that we got involved in this boondoggle in Iraq was from not understanding history. It seems that most Americans don't even know our own history let alone that of a region we were about to go to war with!! The state of geography is even worse. I don't laugh at things such as the "Jay-Walk All-Stars" on "The Tonight Show" here in America where average people are interviewed about history, geography and current events. Embarrassingly, In most cases people fail miserably.
This can be seen in the following aspect of the survey:
“The strong support for official recognition of the majority faith appears to be grounded in a belief that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, in spite of the fact that the Constitution nowhere mentions God or Christianity.
GOI: Here's a funny thought, If the Christian "God" exists and is involved with every aspect of our lives, then why did he just award millions of dollars to a Wiccan in the latest mega-lottery here in the states?
I find it sadly ironic that many of these Christians oppose radical Islam wanting to establish Islam as the state religion of many countries (rightly so) and yet they fight to make America a Christian nation!!
We must remain vigilant and involved in the process to make sure that our religious freedoms are not further eroded.
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