While the Christian Right wins in court, it loses in public opinion

A small but influential group of Americans see the United States as a Christian country.

05 July 2022 Tuesday 14:19
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While the Christian Right wins in court, it loses in public opinion

A small but influential group of Americans see the United States as a Christian country. This group has made significant progress in fulfilling its mission. Among these victories are recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court that reverse Roe v. Wade.

However, these legal victories for the Christian Right are occurring at a moment when a growing majority Americans strongly oppose their views.

Robert Jones, founder and CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute aEUR, a nonpartisan organization that studies the intersection of religion, culture, and politics, said, "This is the most disproportionate strength that the Christian Right had in my lifetime."

White evangelical Christians are increasingly speaking out about the U.S.as a Christian country in ways that are close to or even embrace Christian nationalism.

Lauren Boebert, a Republican congresswoman from Colorado spoke to a crowd in a church in Colorado on Sunday after the Supreme Court overturned a decades-old decision that legalized abortions in the U.S. Boebert also complained that faith communities have had to deal for decades with U.S. laws that they disagree with.

She said, "The church is supposed direct the government." "The church is not supposed to be directed by the government. This is not the way our founding fathers intended. This separation of state and church junk is a problem that I'm tired of. It is not in the Constitution.

The Constitution explicitly prohibits the establishment of any particular religion. It is in the First Amendment.

Timothy Head, the executive director of Faith and Freedom Coalition, believes that this section of the Constitution was intended to prevent the government from interfering in religion.

He said, "Not to keep anyone that holds a religion out of government." "All of us have different worldviews. Some are based on professors at college, your favorite philosophers or a comedian. Some people have a biblical worldview.

Jones stated that even though the Christian Right is as strong as ever, it isn't winning over the public's attention.

Jones stated that white evangelicals have lost a lot ground.

White evangelicals have seen their population shrink since at least 2008. The median age of aEUR now 56 has been increasing. Jones claims that the Christian Right was aligned with the majority of the country during its heyday in 1970s and 1980s.

He said, "When they said things such as "We are the moral majority", there was a kind truth to that aEUR" even though it wasn't a demographic truth." If you take a look at certain issues like same-sex marriages, the majority of the country agrees with them.

These days are over. Jones stated that seven out of 10 Americans now support same-sex marriage. This number is growing. Six in ten Americans believe that abortion should be legalized in the U.S.

Amelia Fulbright is a progressive pastor at Congregational Church of Austin. She said that religious communities shouldn't expect to see their specific theology in the country’s laws.

She says, "I don’t believe it is the role for faith communities to use political to impose their worldviews on others."

Fulbright spent nearly a decade advocating for Texas' rights to LGBTQ people and abortion rights in Texas. According to Fulbright, Republican state legislators have been "crossing a line aEUR" in advocating for laws by citing Christian ideas over the last few years.

"There is no attempt to hide that these are theological concepts aEUR," that is, there is a full-throated unapologetic attempt at imposing a certain Christian worldview upon everyone.

Fulbright stated that she had relied on Texas' Supreme Court for years to stop laws in Texas that were explicitly rooted within Christian theology. Fulbright and other court members claim that those guardrails were removed after Republicans won a conservative majority.

Tim Whitaker, founder of The New Evangelicals, said that this is how The Christian Right decided to respond to waning public opinions aEUR" rather than embrace changing views.

He said that white evangelicalism rejects all forms of pluralism aEUR." They don't see themselves as coexisting alongside other religious views or sexuality ethic views. They view it as a spiritual struggle and are on God's side.

Whitaker founded his group to combat less tolerant forms of evangelicalism. He said that decades of such campaigning have amounted to a tremendous amount of influence, especially in the Republican Party.

He said that when they get a "taste aEUR", a very small taste of making space for other views, it's seen as a loss in power. They then campaign on it."

In his four years of office, Donald Trump appointed three anti-abortion-rights justices to the Supreme Court. This fulfilled a crucial campaign promise to Christians Right. These groups have also energized power in the state legislatures throughout the country.

Head refuted the claim that Christian conservatives want to force their views on everyone.

He said that he did not believe religious views or Christians should be given special places, but they shouldn't be exempted from public discourse.

Whitaker stated that not all Christian conservatives agree with extreme views such as Christian nationalism. However, a significant number do.

He says, "It really does concern about the future of the nation because ultimately Christian nationalism doesn't care about democracy." "It's really all about aEUR" Although I don't like to use such blunt language, aEUR is really more about theocracy.

Jones stated that he sees the Christian Right starting to abandon democratic norms. Many Christian conservatives, for example, have supported voting restrictions and supported Trump's election lies. Jones stated that it was one of the best ways to ensure their country is a Christian country.

He says, "I believe we are witnessing the last kind of desperate grasp" which by the way also includes violence. It is a desperate effort to kind of hold onto that vision of the country as well as to keep power."

Jones stated that this period of American history could prove pivotal for democracy.

He said, "I believe if we can defend our democratic institutions and weather these attacks then there is light at other end of the tunnel." "But I think we are in for some very dark days."



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