The Myth of a ‘War on Religion’

Last week, the Public Religion Research Institute published a study showing that Americans want their fellow citizens to think they are more religiously observant than they really are. When asked by a live human being on the telephone how often they attend religious services, respondents were more likely to say they attend frequently. When filling out a self-administered online survey, by contrast, they were more likely to admit that they do not.
Surprising? Not terribly. But this may be: Liberals were more likely to exaggerate their religious attendance than conservatives. Liberals attend services less frequently than conservatives do. Yet their desire to be thought more religiously observant than they actually are is greater.

Why does this matter? Because it’s more evidence that the claim that liberals are waging a “war on religion” is absurd. You can hardly listen to a GOP presidential hopeful or flip on Fox News without hearing the charge. In 2012, Rick Perry promised that if elected he’d “end Obama’s war on religion.” Bobby Jindal recently warned that “the American people, whether they know it or not, are mired in a silent war” against “a group of like-minded [liberal] elites, determined to transform the country from a land sustained by faith into a land where faith is silenced, privatized, and circumscribed.” Ann Coulter explains, “Liberals hate religion because politics is a religion substitute for liberals and they can’t stand the competition.”

Notice the claim. It’s not merely that liberals are not religious themselves. It’s that they disdain people who are, and this disdain creates a cultural stigma (and a legal barrier) to religious observance. “Bigotry against evangelical Christians is the last acceptable form of bigotry in the country,” Ralph Reed said recently.

The truth is almost exactly the reverse. 

Read the rest here
"As your Facebook commenters stated, much of it is about our political system. Capitalism and ..."

Why Do We Have Such a ..."
"I don't understand how anyone who follows Jesus can disdain poor people. Jesus said the ..."

Why Do We Have Such a ..."
"From the beginning of time, those with power and wealth believed that they held that ..."

Why Do We Have Such a ..."
"Why do "we" disdain the poor? I agree with many of the answers given in ..."

Why Do We Have Such a ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.