This content has been archived. It may no longer be relevant Via Salon.com: Are Evangelicals a Threat to National Security?…
Via Salon.com: Are Evangelicals a Threat to National Security?
If, as Islamophobes argue, refusing to assimilate is defined as expressing loyalty to a religion before loyalty to country, then this data suggests it is evangelical Christians who are very resistant to assimilation. And yet, few would cite these findings to argue that Christians pose a serious threat to America’s national security. Why the double standard?
This article gets at the heart of what this blog is all about and why I’m excited to blog in general. The article compares how Muslim Americans say they put country before religion in polls, while American Christians say they identify with their religion first.
To a secularized American this may come across as threatening. But it may sound just as threatening to a Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or atheist/agnostic American as well. Where do Christians get off believing that their moral/religious views can supersede their duties to their country? This could be the heart of the issue behind all things BAD about the religious right in America; e.g. anti-gay, anti-immigration, pro death penalty, and anti-abortion legislation.
An old, overused hyperbolic question that ran through Christian summer camp circles when I was in high school is actually very illustrative: “Are you a Christian American, or an American Christian?” The noun that you choose shows your loyalty.
I would argue that a proper understanding of a separation of religion and state authority begins with this question. Many would claim the opposite, that the State should decide what the proper role of religion is in society. That is not religious freedom, that is state-control. When people of faith understand their religious convictions as a priori to State laws and societal norms, then religious dialogue is possible. If the State and society inform religious views first, then faith becomes civil religion: faith-based expressions of fealty to the State.