GOP’s "Christian Nation" Platform

It seems the Texas GOP is living up to it’s nation-within-a-nation reputation once again by approving a plank in it’s platform stating that “the United States of America is a Christian nation.” Cathy Young of Reason Online has written an excellent piece on the subject entitled, GOP’s “Chrisitan Nation”: New excuses for a bad idea. The talking point reasoning used to justify this position is that 82% of American’s are Chrisitan and therefore it only makes sense to call the nation a Chrisitan nation. On Hannity & Colmes guest host Mike Gallagher said on the subject,

“If a neighborhood had 82 percent of the population that was Italian or a town had 82 percent of the population that was Polish, we’d call those communities Italian or Polish towns.”

Young’s retort to this position was simple,

“If we’re going by the numbers, why not have a party platform asserting that the United States is “a white nation”? After all, 77 percent of Americans are white.”

I agree with her positions completely. The adoption of this statement effectively says to the 18 percent of Americans that are not Christian (of which I am one) that they are second class citizens. I just don’t see how taking this position can possibly have any positive effect other than to stroke the ego’s of Bush’s Christian fundamentalist base. Besides, what ever happened to the separation of church and state? I think Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackburn said it best in the 1992 Lee v. Weisman ruling,

“When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion it conveys a message of exclusion to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs. A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some.”

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