By Daniel Donner | 7 October 2015
From the party that’s constantly hollering about Freedumz!, this is hypocrisy at its worst. Nationwide, more than a third of Republicans say that Islam should be illegal in the United States, according to a new PPP poll provided exclusively to Daily Kos Elections. Nearly half—a 44 percent plurality—say Christianity should be our official religion.
So what about that pesky freedom of religion guaranteed by the Constitution? You know, that whole “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof?” Well, PPP asked about that too. And guess what? Just one in 20 Republicans admit to wanting to actually eliminate freedom of religion, even though so many of them had just espoused positions that would do exactly that!
Since we already know they don’t want freedom of religion for all people, we must interpret this to mean they only want freedom of religion for some people—presumably themselves, at least. This dangerous attitude—freedom for me, but not for thee—is exactly what the Constitution should be used to guard against. It is, in a nutshell, un-American, and yet, as history sadly shows, all too American, indeed.
Lest you think this is solely confined to Republicans, smaller numbers of both Democrats and independents also admitted to wanting to outlaw Islam (15 percent of Democrats, 20 percent of independents) and make Christianity our official religion (28 and 24 percent, respectively).
Overall, for all respondents, the share that supports freedom of religion in deed, not just in word, barely clears the halfway mark: Just 53 percent of voters oppose making Christianity the official religion of the United States, and only 56 percent think Islam should be legal. We’re lucky the First Amendment was enshrined into our founding principles so long ago, because quite a lot of people—but especially Republicans—are eager to chuck it.
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