Study: 61% of Republicans said they favor “the United States officially declaring the United States to be a Christian nation.”

"The questions about Christian nationalism — the idea that Christianity is an essential part of American identity and that Christians should run the country — were part of a larger poll of 2,091 participants conducted May 6–16, 2022." - RNS

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Aaron Blumer's picture

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Evangelical or born-again Christians — a category that crossed denominational lines, said Telhami — were most likely to support the idea of the U.S. becoming an officially Christian nation. Among Republicans, more than three-fourths (78%) of those who identified as evangelical or born-again favored declaring the United States officially Christian. Among Democrats, 52% of those who identify as evangelical or born again agreed.

I find these numbers hard to believe... but I wish I found them harder to believe. When you factor in widespread ignorance of our founding principles + widespread theological ignorance among evangelicals + all the politicization--it doesn't seem surprising. But leaders and influencers who know better really need to go after this!

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Bert Perry's picture

One proverb of polling is that how you ask the question matters a lot, and in that light, it matters that the poll is from the University of Maryland, generally no close friend of conservatives.  Hence I have to wonder whether the poll was conducted to "bait" conservatives into answering "yes" to this question for the purpose of making conservatives look idiotic.

While it's certainly true that too many of our fellow conservatives tend to "lead with their chins" in the boxing match that is politics these days, sorry, call me suspicious.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

the only way to "make" the USA a Christian nation would be by Constitutional Amendment. Thus, it would not be "unconstitutional".

dgszweda's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

One proverb of polling is that how you ask the question matters a lot, and in that light, it matters that the poll is from the University of Maryland, generally no close friend of conservatives.  Hence I have to wonder whether the poll was conducted to "bait" conservatives into answering "yes" to this question for the purpose of making conservatives look idiotic.

Here are the questions, 

https://criticalissues.umd.edu/sites/criticalissues.umd.edu/files/Americ...

 

  • Q21. Do you think the U.S. Constitution would or would note allow the U.S. government to declare the United States a Christian nation?
  • Q22. Would you favor or oppose the United States officially declaring the United States to be a Christian nation?

 

 

Mark_Smith's picture

dgszweda wrote:

 

Bert Perry wrote:

 

One proverb of polling is that how you ask the question matters a lot, and in that light, it matters that the poll is from the University of Maryland, generally no close friend of conservatives.  Hence I have to wonder whether the poll was conducted to "bait" conservatives into answering "yes" to this question for the purpose of making conservatives look idiotic.

 

 

Here are the questions, 

https://criticalissues.umd.edu/sites/criticalissues.umd.edu/files/Americ...

 

  • Q21. Do you think the U.S. Constitution would or would note allow the U.S. government to declare the United States a Christian nation?
  • Q22. Would you favor or oppose the United States officially declaring the United States to be a Christian nation?

 

 

Let's say you wanted to "declare" America a Christian nation. How are you going to do it? A bill in Congress? A Supreme Court case? An Executive Order?

There is only one way. A Constitutional Amendment. An amendment changes the Constitution to include whatever is written. Thus, it would be legal and "constitutional." Anything other than an amendment would almost certainly be declared unconsitutional because of the 1st Amendment and the way it and other principles have been interpreted by the Supreme Court.

dgszweda's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

Let's say you wanted to "declare" America a Christian nation. How are you going to do it? A bill in Congress? A Supreme Court case? An Executive Order?

There is only one way. A Constitutional Amendment. An amendment changes the Constitution to include whatever is written. Thus, it would be legal and "constitutional." Anything other than an amendment would almost certainly be declared unconsitutional because of the 1st Amendment and the way it and other principles have been interpreted by the Supreme Court.

There is really no clear way to "declare".  You could do it via Executive Order.  That could be a declaration.  But it has significant limits, and would most likely be challenged in court as to its extent.  I don't see any real way to do it. Outside of a constitutional amendment, everything would be challenged in court and like you said fail, as it would be unconstitutional.  I don't see an admendment making it.

JNoël's picture

A "study" or a "poll" can easily be made to reveal whatever is desired. So, for me, this article is useful only for talking points.

And there is value in that; we can discuss the pros and cons of declaring America a "Christian" nation.

I stand with the founder of my home state on this one: respect no religion. I do not want my government being the standard bearer for any religion. They're guaranteed to get it wrong.

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)