A Depressing Amount Of People Believe This About Christianity & Americans

One of the strangest and most commonplace rhetorical fallacies is the "no true Scotsman." Here's how it goes. You say, "All Scotsmen believe the sky is blue."

"Well," your Scottish friend replies. "I don't believe the sky is blue."

"You aren't really a Scotsman."

Got it? It's basically a form of goalpost moving, with a heaping helping of identity politics. And a new Pew Research Center poll shows that 32 percent of Americans engage in it as a matter of course. That's the amount of people that believe you need to be Christian to be a "Real American." That's just about equal to the number of people that don't think religion is important, which is 31 percent of those surveyed.

"Perhaps not surprisingly, the link between religion and nationality is of greatest consequence to those for whom religion plays a very important role in daily life," Pew writes. "Among this group, 51% say it is very important to be Christian in order to be truly American. For those respondents who say religion for them is only somewhat important, not too important or not important at all, just 11% say Christian identity is very important to being American."
Of course, we all know that America was founded by a group of Protestants that thought England in the 1600s was just too darn sexy for them. So they sought religious freedom, as surely as our Founding Fathers sought freedom from taxation. Those same founding fathers found it important to emphasize that all religions were welcome here. George Washington took time to write a letter to the Jewish people of Rhode Island guaranteeing them rights and safety. Thomas Jefferson specifically protected Muslims in a piece of legislation he considered important enough to put on his grave.

Think about that. These men were so craven that they considered it appropriate to own human beings as property. And they still thought it important enough to defend religious freedom from encroachment.

Consider, for a moment, what kind of person you'd have to be to try to exclude other religions from American society. Good thing that's not, like, currently happening or anything.

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