Poll Finds ‘Christian Nation’ Notion Catching—Thank the Far Right’s Marketing Effort

USA Today reports on a new poll from the First Amendment Center, showing that a disheartening 55 percent of Americans believe that “The Constitution establishes a Christian nation.” For this we can no doubt thank, in part, the efforts of pseudo-historian David Barton and other religious-right activists who have made “Christian nation” a catchphrase, meant by them to signify that the separation of church and state is a “myth.”

Just today, in fact, Roy Moore rebuked those who consider the Constitution to be “a ‘secular’ document.” Moore is scheduled to question Republican candidates for president at the Values Voter Debate on Monday, and he added, “The recognition of the sovereignty of God is an essential prerequisite for liberty. … If presidential candidates do not clearly understand that God is the source of liberty, they will not protect those liberties from intrusive bureaucracy.”

Moore, the former chief justice of Alabama, has his own version of the First Amendment: He lost his position on the state’s Supreme Court and became a right-wing hero for refusing an order to remove a two-ton Ten Commandments monument from the courthouse, placed there to instruct petitioners that the Bible formed the “foundation” of U.S. law. He also called on Congress to prevent the first Muslim member from assuming office, and when a Hindu chaplain gave a guest convocation in the U.S. Senate, Moore asserted, “Our senators must acknowledge that one, true God in Whom America has trusted.”