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article imageOp-Ed: Christian conservatives fear their values are under attack

By Q Fulton     May 29, 2015 in Politics
With liberalism and secularism on the rise in America, Christian conservatives find themselves in constant defense of their religious freedom and political philosophy.
According to Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio, Christian values are under attack. This complaint is nothing new coming out of the mouths of Republican politicians. Except, this time, the facts might actually be on their side.
Liberals and independents usually laughed off Republicans claims that suggested Christians' religious freedoms were under attack from the liberal media and secular society. There was a time when 90 percent of American citizens identified as religious, and of that, 80 percent identified as Christians. The theology of the conservative Christian religion was so prominent in society that much of our American politicians and policies were defined by its tenets.
For decades we were a nation that supported the death penalty, was tough on crime, made cuts to welfare, glorified in purity rings, supported the police state, and even initiated Democrats to support the Defense of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. We were a nation of national defense, with an endless cycle of war in Vietnam, The Gulf War, conflicts in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War -- persuaded by the notion it was America’s duty to promote democracy abroad.
Liberals detested this equation, yet conservatives were the King on their throne, with an abundance of Christian support. Seemingly so, society was a persistent population of center-right minded citizens that supported small government, strong national defense, and conservative values in culture.
Then the ‘hope and change’ by Barack Obama took full swing and changed the electorate. Barack Obama’s presidential election would shift support away from Republicans and the Christian right. The days of traditional values eroded, instead, progressive policies arose and cemented themselves into the minds of the citizenry. A more compassionate, inclusive, and open-minded citizenry has taken the reins, thanks in part to the millennium generation.
According to The Pew Research Center, the Christian faith is on the decline in the United States. Between 2007 and 2014 the population of Christian affiliation "fell from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent," while the population of unaffiliated rose to 22.8 percent from 16.1 percent. Upon this revelation, Christian Republicans have been taken over with grief, while atheists celebrate.
In defiance, Christians have placed their representatives in a predicament.
This past March, Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Law in the state of Indiana. Critics of the law revealed it provided a pathway for business owners who were religious, particularly Christians, to discriminate against homosexuals. In the era of inclusion, thus, a backlash ensued.
Tim Cook of Apple announced he would pull future business ventures from the state. Salesforce announced the same. Sports teams announced they would not play in the state. And day-by-day more companies begin to revolt, including Christian owned businesses, like Walmart. The law positioned Mike Pence against the free market for choosing to be in defense of religious America.
The Gallop Poll reports that 60 percent of society supports gay rights, including the right to marry. For Republicans this is a PR nightmare, being they are beholden to the Christian right. Not to be deterred by controversy, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, recently signed a similar law, but unlike Mike Pence, he refuses to add protections for gays, as Pence was forced to do to tame the controversy.
As reported by CNN, Jindal said, "We don't support discrimination in Louisiana and we do support religious liberty," adding, "These two values can be upheld at the same time,” and "Indeed, we celebrate diversity of belief in Louisiana. Diversity of belief and religious liberty are the foundation of our law and Constitution and they should be protected." Concluding, "As long as I'm governor, we will fight to protect religious liberty and not apologize for it." Jindal currently has a 1 percent rating in the Republican presidential primary field.
Christian conservatives are in denial that they have lost the culture war. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio continues to defend the Religious Freedom Law. National Journal quotes Rubio as saying, "Should someone who provides a professional service be punished by the law because they refuse to provide that professional service to a ceremony that they believe is in violation of their faith? I think people have a right to live out their religious faith in their own lives."
It’s not just the culture war they have lost, but judicial powers have evaporated too, (with the exception of the Hobby Lobby decision). There’s been a significant decline in support of the death penalty, and an increase in support to decriminalize marijuana in all states -- and in Washington, Delaware, and DC it’s now legal to smoke and grow the substance.
National defense is no longer an outlier to winning the message either. Americans are exhausted with war, mainly due to the distrust in information. Once, Christians unabashedly supported Israel, both conservatives and liberals. Yet, a few months ago, Republicans were criticized by the media and citizens for trying to interrupt talks with Iran to end their nuclear program. In fact they were labeled as "47 traitors." There was a time this would have never have been contemplated much less emulated.
Before Barack Obama, Americans supported war, wore the badge of religious freedom, were against same-sex rights, and held absolute support for Israel. Now more people identity as liberal and secular, especially on social issues. This has left Christian conservatives and Republicans to ponder, "What happened to our moral and political standing?"
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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