Saturday, November 27, 2010

Survey finding considered to be disturbing

I find the findings of this survey that Peter Smith wrote about in today's Courier-Journal to be very disturbing. As a Jewish citizen that considers myself PROUD to be an American, I'm disturbed that Jewish-Americans are considered to be not American enough. I'm patriotic. There's not a single federal holiday in which I don't where a flag shirt...well except for the end of December or beginning of the year. Those are federal holidays for different reasons.
A new report finds a rise in people identifying being Christian as important to being “truly American.”

It's not nearly as important as various secular reasons people list, such as being a citizen or speaking English, which have almost unanimous support. But between the last two times Americans were asked about this — in 1996 and 2004 — people were more likely to identify Christianity as a factor even though the percentage of American Christians actually declined slightly between those years.

Overall, 49 percent of Americans said being Christian is very important, and nearly two-thirds said it's at least fairly important.

And while many in predominately white Christian groups identify being Christian with being truly American, black Protestants do so at higher levels. And there are strong hints that immigrant Christians do, too, even though supporters of a Christian America are more likely to want greater controls on immigration.

Researchers at Purdue University in Indiana speculate that Christians' declining share of the population — along with such things as 9/11, the Iraq War and disputes over immigration — have fueled a stronger desire among Christians to identify their faith with their patriotism.

Christians themselves, as expected, accounted for most of those who identify being American with being Christian, according to the researchers' newly published report in the journal “Sociology of Religion.” They analyzed results from polls conducted in 1996 and 2004 for the Chicago-based National Opinion Research Center, whose General Social Survey tracks long-term trends in American society.

Also as expected, the vast majority of non-Christians said being Christian is not an important part of American identity.

Proclamations of a Christian America have a “dispiriting impact on those it implicitly marginalizes,” said the report by Purdue researchers Jeremy Brooke Straughn and Scott L. Feld.

“Religious boundaries of national identity can have major political consequences, even rivaling those of race and national origin,” they wrote.
I guess these folks don't watch Jon Stewart. He's not American enough for them.

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