Poll Reveals Many Republicans Want Religious Freedom Only For Christians
Our Irregular Times writer Jim has noted examples of Republican presidential candidates and voters deciding that religious liberty in the United States ought to be granted only to Christians, not to other Americans. This week, the existence of this attitude was confirmed by a survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
88 percent of Republican respondents to the poll said that it is important to protect the religious liberty of Christians, but only 60 of these same respondents said that protecting the religious liberty of Muslims or atheists is important. That means that 28 percent of Republican respondents supported religious liberty for Christians but not for Muslims and atheists. Add the 12 percent of Republican respondents who indicated that it isn’t important to protect the religious liberty of anybody, and you’ve got a large majority of the GOP that harbors animosity to religious freedom.
The sort of religious liberty these Republicans support is akin to the philosophy of aesthetic choice offered by Henry Ford, who told customers that they could buy a Model T in any color, “as long as it’s black”. Religious liberty that applies only to members of one religion is not religious liberty at all.
To be fair, we should point out that it’s not just Republicans who have a bad attitude toward religious liberty. The same poll shows that 16 percent of Democrats believe that while it’s important for Christians to have religious liberty, protecting religious liberty for Muslims and atheists doesn’t matter.