Results of a newly-released Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll show that majorities of Americans think it’s important to protect religious freedoms for a variety of religious groups, but more likely to say so of some groups than others.
In fact, the AP-NORC poll shows that the majority of Americans think the Christian religion is more important than any other, and that Muslims are the least deserving of protection.
Well, isn’t that “Christian” of them.
Charles Haynes, director of Newseum Institute’s Religious Freedom Center, said the findings reflect deep divisions among Americans about the very definition of religious liberty, which has taken on newly politicized meanings in a time of debate over same-sex marriage and the threat from Islamic extremists.
“Religious freedom is now in the eye of the beholder,” Haynes said. “People in different traditions, with different ideological commitments, define religious freedom differently.”
Sure, the King James Version of the Bible was written by Christian men, but not one of them wrote the U.S. Constitution. Christian right-wingers seem to forget that. While they continue to decry the direction in which our country is heading and cry out to “take our country back,” they also forget that America was NEVER a Christian nation in the first place. Just ask our Founding Fathers who penned our U.S. Constitution, in which there is NOT one mention of “God,” the “Bible” or “Christianity” in the Constitution.
As we move closer to the 2016 presidential election, GOP conservative candidates must be reminded they are running for President, not Preacher of the United States. Government leaders tried that in the Dark Ages and look how that went.
Despite what conservatives in the U.S. think, results of a myriad of recent other surveys have shown that Americans are becoming less religious. While many claim to be quite spiritual, they do not claim any one religious institution. So while right-wingers keep moving further to the right — for example, fighting the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states and refusing to sell a cake or pizza pie to gay wedding couples, the fact is that here, in the America, they continue to remain in the minority. And who serves pizza at a gay wedding anyway? But forgive me, I digress.
The AP-NORC also polls respondents on other civil liberty protections, and Americans seem to give the government pretty decent marks.
“Seven in 10 say it does at least a somewhat good job protecting the right to vote, and nearly 6 in 10 say it’s doing a good job of protecting freedom of speech and press. But just 4 in 10 Americans rate the government’s performance as good on protecting the right to equal protection under the law, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, or the right to bear arms.”
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll on civil liberties and surveillance was conducted by NORC Dec. 10-13 after Islamic extremist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, and during intensifying anti-Muslim rhetoric by Donald Trump and other candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. It was based on online and telephone interviews of 1,042 adults who are members of NORC’s nationally representative AmeriSpeak panel.
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