Lifeway Research reports that
A growing number of Americans believe religious liberty is on the decline and that the nation’s Christians face growing intolerance. They also say American Christians complain too much.
Those are among the findings of a new study of views about religious liberty from LifeWay Research. Researchers surveyed 1,000 Americans in September 2013 and September 2015 and then compared the results.
Two-thirds (63 percent) say Christians face increasing intolerance, up from half (50 percent) in 2013.
A similar number (60 percent) say religious liberty is on the decline, up from just over half (54 percent) in 2013.
Forty-three percent say American Christians complain too much about how they are treated, up from 34 percent in 2013.
“More Americans worry the U.S. has a hostile environment for religious liberty,” said Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research. “As this perception grows, some approve of it while others speak up against it.”
Religious liberty has become an increasingly contentious issue in American culture—with disputes over birth control, same-sex wedding cakes, headscarves at work, and prisoner’s beards.
The more recent LifeWay Research survey found faith plays a key role in how Americans view the state of religious liberty.
Two-thirds of Christians (64 percent) and those of other faiths (65 percent) say religious liberty is on the decline. Self-identified evangelicals (71 percent) and those who attend worship at least once a week (70 percent) are most likely to agree.
Catholics (56 percent) and non-evangelicals (55 percent) are more skeptical. So are Nones (46 percent).
“Christians are particularly sensitive to what they see as intolerance towards their faith,” said Stetzer. “But they share a common concern with people of other faiths—that religious liberty in general is declining. And this perception is growing rapidly.”
Age also played a role in how Americans view the state of religious liberty.
Less than half (42 percent) of those 18 to 24 say religious liberty is on the decline. By contrast, 6 in 10 (62 percent) of those over 25 see a decline.
LifeWay Research also found non-Christians are less convinced that Christians face intolerance.
Less than half of those from other faiths (43 percent) and Nones (48 percent) agree when asked if intolerance towards Christians has increased.
By contrast, most Christians (70 percent), self-identified evangelicals (82 percent) and Protestants (74 percent) see more intolerance. So do two-thirds (76 percent) of those who attend services once a week or more.
Researchers found some signs that Americans are tired of arguments over religious liberty. A sizable number of Americans believe Christians’ complaints about how they are treated are excessive.
38 percent of Christians
39 percent of Americans of other faiths
59 percent of Nones
53 percent of those who rarely or never attend worship
American Christians face a challenge, as the nation becomes more secular, said Stetzer. Calls for religious liberty may fall on increasingly deaf ears in the future.
“Most people now believe Christians are facing intolerance, however, a surprising large minority perceives Christians to be complainers,” said Stetzer. “Both of those facts will matter as Christians profess and contend for their beliefs without sounding false alarms around faux controversies. It won’t be easy to strike that balance.”
As John McEnroe says,
You can’t be serious.
(Look him up, boys and girls.)
At first glance, this article should be upsetting to the 74% of Americans, including myself, who, as described by the “cool” word of the Millennials, self-identify as Christian Americans.
The fact of the matter is, no matter how some seek to restrict the Religious Liberty of Christian Americans, the death of Christianity in America has been greatly exaggerated.
“Organized Religion”, a term usually spoken in derision by those seeking to somehow impugn the generations-old practice of Christian Americans to be a member of and attend the weekly worship service of the denomination and church building of their choice, is being attacked constantly by Atheists, Liberals, and Progressives (but, I repeat myself) to further degrade the spiritual backbone of the “Shining City Upon a Hill”, as President Ronald Reagan referred to our country.
For what now seems like an eternity, those on the left side of Political Aisle, have focused their attention on “radically changing” America.
They soon realized that they simply could not do it through popular culture and educational indoctrination, inundating America’s children with both overt and subliminal imaging designed to countermand the Traditional American Values that they were being raised with, in normal American Households, out here in “Flyover Country”, otherwise known as America’s Heartland…or “the Red States”.
Modern Liberals soon figured out that the way to program Americans into believing that “all paths lead to God” and that cradle-to-grave Nanny-State Government were the new American Standards for living our daily lives, was to turn Christian American Houses of Worship away from being instructors of the Word of God and a sanctuary in which to worship Our Creator, to, instead, being purveyors of the joys of Popular Culture. Wednesday Night Bible Studies were soon replaced by Yoga Classes and Encounter Groups. Religious Leaders were soon quoting philosophy, instead of the Bible in their Sunday Morning Sermons.
And, instead of taking a stand against those things of the world which were directly opposed to what is found in God’s Word, these “new, enlightened” churches started standing up for the “right” of a woman to have her baby prematurely yanked out of her womb with a set of tongs, standing up for the right of Adam to “marry” Steve, when the Bible states that marriage is between a man and a woman, and standing up for the equality of all faiths, when the Son of God firmly states, in John 14:6, that
I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
So, is Christianity in America going to “fade away”?
Not any time soon.
Being filled with human beings, churches have made a lot of mistakes, However, they have also done a lot of good in the name of the Lord.
For example, the church I attend, houses a Food Pantry, operated in co-operation with other churches in our area, which feeds 2,000 people per month, counseling them, and getting them the assistance that they need.
Churches today have to walk a fine line.
The spiritual battle the influence of American Popular Culture and those seeking the Will of God in their lives, takes all the strength…and prayer, that Christians can muster.
Articles, such as the one which I quoted earlier, are usually written by Liberals, especially those found in a Liberal Publication like USA Today.
Modern Liberals seem to have great difficulty comprehending the role which Our Creator, the God of Abraham, played and plays in this Grand Experiment, known as the United States of America.
Why have Liberals ratcheted up their anti-Christian Vitriol and Negativity since January 21, 2009?
Why are they so focused on removing America’s Christian Heritage?
Well, as is usually my wont, I have been doing some “reckoning” about this.
It seems to this ol’ Southern Boy, living here in the Heartland, that America’s Christian Heritage and the very real fact of His influence in building and shaping America’s growth into the greatest country on the face of God’s Green Earth, not only stifles and interferes with Modern Liberals’ “anything goes”, “share the wealth”, “hive-mind”, “man is his own god” Political Ideology, but the reality of God’s very existence, somewhere deep in their miserable, bitter psyches, scares the mess out of them.
According to a Pew Forum Survey, more than 13 million Americans are self-described atheists and agnostics, comprising less than 6% of the U.S. public.
I have never understood Atheists, especially the so-called activists among them.
Our Constitution provides for Freedom of Religion.
According to the Supreme Court, in their Ruling abolishing School Prayer, Atheism is a religion, which the Americans who embrace this nihilism are free to practice.
So, why the continuous full-blown attack on the Faith which our Founding Fathers wrote so eloquently about, and which has sustained this “shining city on a hill” through times of internal and external strife?
In other words, why are activist Atheists (and Progressives) so intent to either limit or completely eliminate Christianity’s influence on everyday American Life?
Why don’t they attack the political/religious ideology of Islam with the same fervor?
The answer to this question is simple: Cowards will always tell you whom they are afraid of. They will avoid them, like one avoids a child with Chicken Pox.
Additionally, they expect Christians to allow them to take control by “turning the other cheek.”
Evidently, they never read the scriptures which describe Jesus running the “money lenders” out of the temple, overturning tables, and expressing his righteous indignation in a way in which no one could mistake it for anything else.
Or, perhaps, it’s the overwhelming overestimation of their own intelligence, which results from ignoring the influence of the God of Abraham in their life.
So, what drives them in this “Unholy Crusade”?
Bitterness, emptiness, and an unfulfilled longing in their soul which they cannot put a finger on, is the only explanation.
Otherwise, why would they fight so hard against the influence of and worship of Someone they don’t personally believe in?
Until He Comes,