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Religion is now the primary American divide

Scripture can bring us together

Bill Connor
Courtesy of Bill Connor

Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, the already widening chasm between the political left and right in America has grown to historic proportions. As I have note previously, during the pandemic Progressives began recommending that fellow liberals socially ostracize conservative friends or family. That has only increased.  After Joe Biden was announced the Electoral College winner, Progressive celebrities immediately threatened “accountability” projects against conservatives. Polling since January shows that Liberal Americans believe the greatest threat to America is from the “extreme” political right, while conservatives view China, immigration, and COVID as the top concerns. Though the divisions appear to be over political and economic differences, the primary divide in America is actually due to religion. This division shows no signs of slowing down, and threatens the unity of the nation if not reversed through Scripture.  Let me explain.

Over the past 30 years, political Liberals are leaving religious affiliation and cutting ties with religious institutions, which explains the national religious divide.  The number of religious conservatives has remained basically static during this period. From 1990 to today, the number of Liberals who never attend Church has more than tripled. Astoundingly, from 1991 to 2018, Liberals who claim to believe in the existence of God has dropped from 53% to only 36%, and continues to plummet each year. This trend is much worse among the younger cohorts of Liberals.

The non-religious nature of the new Left goes beyond the sheer numbers of Liberals leaving religious institutions. Liberals show an increasingly negative view of religion to the welfare of society.  According to 2018 Pew Research polls, Liberals who believe churches and religious organizations contribute to society in a positive manner dropped from 49 percent in 2010 to only 33 percent in 2018. According to a Voter Study Group poll in 2016, only 11 percent of people who are very liberal say that being Christian is at least fairly important to what it means to be American (this compares with 69 percent identifying as very conservative).  The prevailing view now among Liberals is that religion is more of a danger to what they value in society, and that religion is likely to hinder positive advancement of society.

These alarming trends are expected to grow. The prevailing non-religious ethos among liberals perpetuates further secularization and the demonization of the religious through group pressure. As far back as 2012, the Democratic Party removed any mention of “God” in national convention platform documents. In 2020, Democratic leaders omitted “under God” in the pledge at the convention. Democrats in Congress recently lambasted a Republican Congressman for quoting Scripture in his arguments against the “equality” bill forcing biological men into women’s sports and forcing doctors to perform abortions.  Democratic Congressman Jerry Nadler condemned any scriptural argument and said “God’s will is no concern of this Congress”. 

Non-religious liberals are also statistically more likely than moderates or conservatives to marry the non-religious and therefore nurture Liberal families that are less likely to pray or send their children to Sunday school. From “Research shows that formative religious experience as a child plays a crucial role in structuring an adult’s religious beliefs and identity. It’s no coincidence then that the youngest liberals — who never lived in a political world before the Christian right — are also the most secular…….As more liberals become nonreligious, the Democratic Party’s base is growing more secular, complicating the party’s efforts at reaching more religious voters.”

Previously, religious political Liberals could help others on the political left understand how extreme progressive ideology conflicts with religious values. For example, Jesus Christ defines marriage as being between one man and one woman in Matthew 19. This conflicts with Progressive values of gay marriage being the same as traditional marriage. Similarly, scripture like Psalm 139:13 states God “knitted me together in my mother’s womb”, giving scriptural authority against abortion. This goes against the Progressive value of the right to abortion. The religious are not motivated by “hate” or “extremism” in opposing extremes of the Progressive LGBTQ+ agenda, but sincere fidelity to God. Religious Liberals could help with bridging the conflicts, but they are becoming increasingly scarce. Today’s Liberals generally don’t know Scripture, or only know what other Liberals claim about Scripture. This results in sincere Progressive assertions of “hate” and “extremism” against those who hold Biblical views of gender roles, sexual relations, and life. It also allows for demands that “hateful” religious people be kept from public life.

It’s important for conservative believers to understand this dynamic and go on the offensive to reverse it. The Left demands that Scripture be kept from public life to solidify their numbers and control, like how Liberal Democrat Nadler’s comment of God’s will having “no place” in Congress.  From the beginning of the United States and through all the tough periods of the nation, Scripture has held a primary place to most Americans. Even Liberal icon Martin Luther King Jr. constantly quoted Scripture as his authority for non-violent civil disobedience that integrated American life.  Americans on the Left need to hear and see Scripture whether or not they object. Let Scripture bring us back together as one nation under God.

Bill Connor, a retired 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.

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