Charles C. Haynes
Originally published 08/08/2013
Charles C. Haynes is senior scholar at the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center and director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum in Washington.Culture warriors, pseudo historians and opportunistic politicians have spent the last several decades peddling the myth that America was founded as a “Christian nation.”The propaganda appears to be working. A majority of the American people (51 percent) believes that the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation, according to the State of the First Amendment survey released last month by the First Amendment Center.Because language about a Christian America has long been a staple of Religious Right rhetoric, it’s not surprising that acceptance of this patently false interpretation of the Constitution is strongest among evangelicals (71 percent) and conservatives (67 percent).But even many non-evangelical Christians (47 percent) and liberals (33 percent) appear to believe the fiction of a constitutionally mandated Christian America is historical fact.Forgive me for being snippy, but read the Constitution....
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