Only a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic, a groundbreaking poll was published highlighting the shocking pace of decline of Christianity in America. The Pew research poll included the following alarming statistics:
- In the last 10 ten years, the percentage of Americans identifying as Christian has dropped from 77% to only 65%
- During that same time, the percentage of those unaffiliated with religion skyrocketed from 17% to 26%
- Protestant Christian Americans plummeted from over half of Americans (51%) to only 43% by 2019
- The percentage of atheists doubled during that period from 2% to 4%
As would be expected, the younger age cohorts, and particularly the Millennials, saw the steepest decline. Coinciding with the decline in Christianity has come the burgeoning support for socialism over capitalism by the Millennial age cohort, with over half supporting socialism over capitalism. The consequences of this upheaval explain much of what we are witnessing in society, and this should motivate Christians to reassert themselves in American life. Let me explain.
Most have witnessed the increasing and continuing anarchy and anti-police rioting (note: This is not to diminish the presence of those truly peaceful protesters, whom we support in their right of assembly) in major urban areas like Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, and others, to a level of violence not seen previously.
This anarchy has brought tens of billions of dollars of destruction in both private and public property, accompanied by rhetoric of ending the system of property rights and capitalism in America. A leading protest organizer in Portland went so far as to call for not only the abolition of police, but the "abolition of America" to the cheers of crowds.
The head of the greater New York BLM threatened to "burn down this system" in a Fox News interview. BLM activist Ariel Atkins supported "100%" the looting of private businesses in Chicago as an alleged form of reparations. The rhetoric and corresponding actions appear incomprehensible to many quietly watching throughout America, and yet continues virtually unabated.
In addition to the destruction of property and violence, which acts as a clear repudiation to Christian teachings followed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., those involved have made direct attacks against the Christian church. Most are aware of the well-publicized Bible-burning demonstration in Portland. What has not received as much coverage are the many other attacks against the Christian church, including its sacred symbols.
Catholic Action League Executive Director C.J. Doyle wrote: “Given that there were four attacks on Catholic churches nationwide over a 48-hour period, from July 10 to July 12, suspicion, obviously, turns toward the left-wing extremists who have been toppling statues of Saint Junipero Serra and attempting to remove a statue of Saint Louis.”
Christians praying in front of the statue of a Christian saint in St. Louis were subject to potential hearing loss by protesters disrupting prayers with air horns. Air horns blown near the ears of the women and men praying. The examples of anti-Christian radicalism abound, while calls for moving to socialism become more strident.
We should not be surprised at the increasing anarchy and corresponding calls for socialism, as Christianity plummets. Most of our founding fathers spoke about the prerequisite of religion among the American people in order for the constitutional system to work.
John Adams put it perfectly: "This Constitution was made for a moral and religious people, it is wholly unsuited to the governance of any other."
Famed Christian biographer Eric Metaxas had this to say about the connection of Christianity and anarchy within a historical context: “I think a lot of the nastiness that’s being directed at these statues, it really has to do with something deeper. ... You saw this with the French Revolution. There was a hatred at the bottom of it of God, of any kind of authority, and these people are drunk with the idea that they can somehow be an authority themselves, they can seize power. ... you go right for God, you go right for the Virgin Mary, my goodness, you go for churches.”
Metaxas provided this warning for Christian leaders: “Any Christian leader who doesn’t understand that this is a Marxist, violent organization — this has nothing to do anymore with George Floyd, they’ve hijacked this, and they want to burn down everything that has been built by good people over centuries, most of whom, of course, were Christians.”
It's important to remember that the forefather of socialism, Karl Marx, claimed religion was the "opiate of the people" and that the future worldwide communism must take the place of religion. The Soviet Union persecuted Christians, as does Communist China to this day.
Marx claimed his primary goal in life was to "dethrone God, and destroy capitalism," as they go together. Marx also attacked the biblical "nuclear family" as a hindrance to socialism, and so it's not a coincidence that a goal of BLM is to "disrupt the nuclear family."
Pastor Marc Little has warned, “we are witnessing a Marxist takeover ... fighting a new religion disguised as racial justice ... (this is) the unveiling of what has been percolating against the church ... Make no mistake: The body of Christ is the target of the Marxists, for it cannot succeed when morality stands in the way.”
Peaceful protesters have every right to peacefully assemble for their cause under the First Amendment to our Constitution. I acknowledge that many are not aware of the ulterior Marxist and anti-Christian motives of those involved in the mayhem. Regardless, anarchy and calls to upend the American republican system (to move to socialism) could not occur without the massive decline in Christianity in America. It is time Christians come together, pray together and act to move America to that nation Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about in his famous treatise "Democracy in America": "There is no nation on Earth in which the Christian religion holds greater sway over the souls of men than in America". May that become the Christian future of America.
Bill Connor, an Army Infantry colonel, author and Orangeburg attorney, has deployed multiple times to the Middle East. Connor was the senior U.S. military adviser to Afghan forces in Helmand Province, where he received the Bronze Star. A Citadel graduate with a JD from USC, he is also a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Army War College, earning his master of strategic studies. He is the author of the book Articles from War.