May 2019 Church & State Magazine - May 2019

Nearly Half Of Voters Oppose ‘Christian Nationalism,’ Poll Shows

  Rob Boston

A poll conducted in April shows that nearly half of all voters in America believe that Christian nationalism is a threat to the nation.

The poll, conducted by the Morning Consult, a global technology and polling company, found that among registered voters, 20 percent see Christian nationalism – the belief that the United States is or ought to be a “Christian nation” that extends preference to that faith – as a “critical threat.” Twenty-seven percent see it as an important issue but not a critical threat. Thirty-five percent say it’s not a threat at all, and 18 percent say they’re not sure.

The results sharply diverged depending on respondents’ political views. Forty-seven percent of Republicans said they don’t consider Christian nationalism a threat at all, but only 24 percent of Democrats agreed with that. Most Democrats saw it as a problem, with 63 percent saying they perceive Christian nationalism as a serious or important threat.

Commenting on these results, AU President and CEO Rachel Laser told the Morning Consult that Christian nationalism is a problem because it fosters “efforts to restrict the space for religious pluralism in the country and give special privileges to a narrow segment of white Christians in America.”

She added, “There is a strong move­ment to preserve white Christian power in America right now and a real feeling of fragility about the changing demographics of America.”

Writing on Americans United’s “Wall of Separation” blog, AU Senior Adviser Rob Boston said Christian nationalism promotes inaccurate forms of history.

 “What the Religious Right is offering is a form of what I call ‘historical creationism,’” Boston wrote. “Just as they don’t like evolution so they invented a new, bogus ‘science’, Religious Right activists don’t like our nation’s actual history so they invented a fake one. Fortunately, it is easily debunked: The next time someone tells you that the United States was founded to be an officially Christian nation, ask them to show you where it says that in the Constitution.”

Boston noted that proponents of Christian nationalism have a political expression in Project Blitz, a Religious-Right-led effort to pass legislation in support of that theocratic concept in the states. Americans United is battling Blitz bills, many of which reflect Christian nationalism, in state legislatures nationwide.

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