One of the key cornerstones of the American experience is our country’s centuries-long devotion to religious freedom, a concept embraced by an overwhelming number of Americans, according to a new poll released by Summit.org, a worldview ministry that is aimed at high school and college students.
Regarding the poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports, Summit President Jeff Myers said: “This research affirms that the American people overwhelmingly support the continued protection of the Constitutional right of freedom of religion, and oppose policies requiring churches and faith-based charities and organizations to compromise their deeply-held religious beliefs…Yet, leaders in Washington, DC are aggressively pushing forward on legislative measures such as the mislabeled Equality Act, which specifically strips away religious freedom protections. In an era of hyper-partisanship, freedom of religion retains broad, bi-partisan support among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.”
One of the key findings, according to a Summit press release, is: “82% of Americans say freedom of religion is important to a healthy American society, only 9% say it is not important.” Of that 82%, 67% say it is “very important.”
Another key point is this: “Only 20% of Americans say churches and faith-based charities should be required by law to hire people who oppose their religious beliefs.” Of the remaining 80%, half of Americans oppose the statement and 30% are not sure.
The breakdown along party lines shows bi-partisan support for those core findings.
Our nation was founded on the principles of, as the Pledge of Allegiance says, “liberty and justice for all.” The Declaration of Independence recognized God-given rights. Our national motto is not, “E Pluribus Unum,” but “In God We Trust.” So, it’s really tough and irresponsible to separate our nation from our religious founding, consistent with Judeo-Christian principles. But, there are those who are trying to do that and undercutting the foundational principles that have served us extremely well for 245 years.
Some, however, are standing for those principles. For instance, take Don Carey, a member of the City Council in Chesapeake, Virginia. CBNNews.com reports that Carey recommended that a decal stating, “In God We Trust” be placed on all city vehicles; Carey said “that the objective is to ‘rebuild a healthy patriotism that can unify people.’”
Recently, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the proposal.Carey says: “If you look around, you can see that the state of our country, the state of our city is crumbling from a social fabric standpoint. There is a lot of rhetoric that is divisive both in speaking of the foundation of America, the ontological existence of America nowadays and I think it’s important that we have something that rather than divides us… unites us…”
Carey also, according to CBN, “…noted that ‘In God We Trust’ was authorized to be the nation’s motto dating to the 1950s and has continued to be reaffirmed.” He stated, “…I think it’s good that we continue to push forth In God We Trust as a unifying banner for us to coalesce around particularly in a world that has grown ever more divisive, and I hate to say oftentimes by individuals in the political sphere.”
I believe that the legality of robust practice of faith is healthy for a society and the practice of the Christian faith offers the one true hope for a world that is suffering from discouragement, division, and even hopelessness. If the Church is fruitful, it has a significant impact. We need godly wisdom and an expression of Biblical principles in our world today. As Christ’s representatives, we have the power to live in a manner consistent with God’s Word.
We can make sure that we are taking advantage of the freedoms of being Americans by taking to heart the declaration of Paul that “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” We do not have to be intimidated about sharing and living our faith, and even though there have been examples where the government oversteps its bounds, we can continue to have confidence that we can be who we are in Christ in and to our culture.
Out of chaos comes a desire to control, and I can assure you, America will certainly not prosper if we abandon the firm Constitutional principles and lean in toward socialism or cultural Marxism. We are called the “United” States of America, and what unites us is a common bond, based on the timeless beliefs that are centered on the worth of the individual and the freedom to live our lives without unnecessary entanglement.
We have to make sure that we are not embracing ideologies or worldviews that run counter to the principles of Scripture. We should be devoted to enjoying our freedom in Christ in a land that respects our beliefs and allows us to worship freely and to abide by His directives.