The United States is not a “Christian” nation. In addition, one does not have to be a Christian in order to be a “true” American.
Despite what should be obvious to most any student of a decent high school civics class, the aforementioned facts have, like so many others, fallen through the cracks.
According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, thirty-two percent of Americans said that, in order for one to be a real American, one has to practice Christianity.
The survey compared that statistic, with results from Australia, Canada, and the rest of Europe, which unsurprisingly found that much smaller percentages in each, felt religious affiliation defined national allegiance. Just 13 percent of Australians, 15 percent of Canadians, and 15 percent of Europeans felt the same way as Americans.
The survey is timely given President Trump’s recent unconstitutional ban on immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries. The fact so many actually believe that religion and national identity go hand in hand provides some insight into why Trump’s supporters are so unapologetic in their defense of his xenophobia.
In other words, they do not see Trump’s ban on Muslim immigrants as an affront to the First Amendment and American liberal values. Rather they see it as Trump protecting “true” Americans from infidels. Does something about this conflation of religion and nationalism sound familiar? It should. These people want an American Taliban.
We must remain vocal and vigilant. Here is a video of one such member of the American Taliban who used to be a Congressman.
Featured image via YouTube screengrab.