The Right Gets Spooked By the Specter of Nonbelievers

In his Inauguration Address, President Obama acknowledged that “we are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers.”  I didn’t think much of it at the time, but apparently it was the first time that atheists had been explicitly acknowledged in an Inauguration speech.

And it has seemingly spooked the Religious Right, or at least its media arms, so much so that they felt it necessary to seek out quotes from movement leaders that would remind everyone that, though nonbelievers exist, they are a small minority and that this is still a Christian nation.

As OneNewsNow put it, “America’s ‘melting pot’ dominated by Christians“::

[Al] Mohler says while the nation has diverse religious beliefs, Christianity is by far the most popular.

“I just found it also interesting that in that representation, you have Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus — and the reality is that Christians vastly outnumber [other religious adherents], beyond almost mathematical focus what you’re talking about,” he points out. “But we do believe in religious liberty. This is the land where this can be said in a way that is different than can be said in most nations of the world throughout human history.”

And OneNewsNow was not alone in feeling it necessary to make this point clear:

“It struck me as accurate,” [Richard] Land told “We are a nation of Christians and Jews, and Muslims and Hindus, and Baha’i and agnostics and atheists – although proportionally the vast majority of Americans claim some kind of affiliation with a Christian faith.”

Dr. Elmer Towns, dean of the Liberty University School of Religion … added: “If Obama is setting an agenda of tolerance, let’s make sure that the tolerance extends to the majority as well as the minority.

“The Baptists have an old saying – “Let the minority have their say, let the majority have their way.’”

I don’t really have anything insightful to add to this, other than to note that just seems rather odd that because of the mere mention of non-believers, right-wing media outlets like OneNewsNow and CNS thought it necessary to produce articles reminding everyone that the majority of Americans consider themselves to be Christians.