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Am I Not An American?

There’s been a heavy, if not very intelligent, conversation going on at Irregular Times over the last few days, as readers of a website called NiggerMania.com have flooded onto this site, pushing forward the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama is not really an American citizen, and therefore is not legally entitled to the Presidency. Underlying their rather clumsy arguments is the idea that Obama couldn’t possibly be an American, because he’s not completely of European ancestry.

It’s a theme that runs throughout right wing ideology: The belief that there is some kind of cultural core of the American identity, and that people who deviate from that core are not truly American. They express it in terms of coffee – if you drink latte, you’re not a real American. They express it in terms of ethnicity – people descended from non-Europeans are not real Americans. They express it in terms of religion too – only Christians are real Americans.

randy forbesYesterday, speaking before the House of Representatives, Congressman Randy Forbes gave us a taste of that last attitude. He proclaimed, “Without God, there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first, the most basic expression of Americanism.”

Is Randy Forbes right? Is belief in the Christian God the most basic element of being an American? The answer is simple: No.

The United States has never, ever been a culturally homogenous nation. That applies especially to religion. There has never been a time when everyone in the United States believed in the Christian deity. Now, lack of belief in Christianity’s God is stronger than ever. The American Religious Identification Survey found that the strongest and most consistent current trend in religion is the increasing number of Americans living with no religion at all. In every state in the union, the number of Americans who don’t have any religion at all, much less the Christianity of Randy Forbes, has risen strongly over the last three decades.

In many places, non-religious Americans are a substantial minority. In Wyoming, for example, more than one quarter of the population lives without religion. Here’s a translation for you, Congressman Forbes: No religion means no God.

Yet, all those people remain American. Without God, without religion, they continue to live an American way of life, and to lend support to the American government.

Am I wrong about that? Did those people, people like me who live without any belief in God, renounce their American citizenship by refusing to join Randy Forbes in his conspicuous public worship? Are we not Americans?

11 comments to Am I Not An American?

  • Jim

    Someone told me that Randy Forbes is a closet Venezuelan.

  • qs

    Rand Paul says he’s close to announcing this morning on WBKO local news in Kentucky.

    I’m excited. We need a good candidate to go against Obama in 2012 so Rand needs to win his senate seats first probably.

  • Jacob

    “In every state in the union, the number of Americans who don’t have any religion at all, much less the Christianity of Randy Forbes, has risen strongly over the last three decades.”

    Funny how that works. During this exact same period of time we have had exponential growth in almost all areas of crime. We have had substantial increase in divorce rates and we have had a general decline in the quality in family life. Children born out of wed lock are through the roof. really, about everything bad has increased over the past 30 years. I wonder if there might be a link there?

    • Jim

      “Funny how that works. During this exact same period of time we have had exponential growth in almost all areas of crime.”

      No we haven”t.

      “We have had substantial increase in divorce rates”

      No we haven’t.

      “Really, about everything bad has increased over the past 30 years.”

      No, it hasn’t.

    • As you well know, Jacob, Irregular Times already looked into this kind of question, and found that the states in which religion has been abandoned are doing better on average than the states where more people are hanging on to religion. Remember those articles, Jacob?

      • Jacob

        I do remember those articles. But ALL states are doing worse, as a nation and a world in whole the trend is very evident.
        Wait, those articles where not over crimes and divorces… Those articles refuted the prosperity gospel and where over illness and wealth. Do some on crime, Id like to see how that plays out.

  • Doug Thomas

    Here’s a few bumpersticker ideas:

    -Fuck celebrity worship
    -Jesus hung out with 12 men, never married and you preach family values?
    -I think therefore I’m single.
    -If you can’t feed em, don’t breed em.
    -Test your faith. Drive with your eyes close.
    -If marriage isn’t a prison, why do they call it wedlock?
    -Stop worshipping selfish celebrity brats
    -Are you happy or are you married?
    -Not all men are fools. Some are single.
    -Question the media
    -Question celebrity worship

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