Although there have always been contingents of Americans intent on imposing religion on the population, members of the government and politicians were aware that doing so is contrary to the wishes of the Founding Fathers and patently unconstitutional. In 1980s when Americans elected a B-actor as president in large part with assistance of evangelical fanatics, he instantly gave religious fundamentalists an opening in government that Republicans have perpetuated leading to the current danger of theocracy to the nation.
Since most Americans and the preponderance of politicians and judges are terrified of openly opposing evangelical fanaticism threatening America’s fragile secular democracy, it appeared that it would be no time at all before the voting population flocked to the polls to elect an evangelical freak as president. Although George W. Bush did not win the election in 2000, the conservative Supreme Court appointed him as president and Americans got a glimpse of what happens when a religious fanatic is in the White House. Now, according to a new survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, it appears that Americans learned their lesson and are very uncomfortable at the prospect of another evangelical president.
There has not been any good news over the past few years when a new survey’s results are released, but the latest survey revealed some good news about the American people. Their opposition to an evangelical president was just one aspect of the good news, and it is very good news indeed. It turns out that not only are Americans not the least bit enamored at the prospect of an evangelical fanatic as president, they are, by a large majority (61%), much more supportive of a gay or lesbian occupying the White House than a religious Republican seeking to rule according to Christianity. The survey’s results were not only bad news for the likes of perennial presidential candidate, former Arkansas governor, and Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee, it does not bode well for any of the Republicans throwing their hats in the ring.
Republicans should be concerned about the survey’s results not because there are any gays or lesbians seeking the Democratic nomination, but because every Republican who has declared their intent to seek the nomination, as well as those expected to announce they are running, are anti-gay rights and evangelical fundamentalists with varying levels of religious fanaticism dictating their politics. In fact, it is part and parcel of the Republican Party brand to be closely aligned with the religious right and opposed to not only LGBT equal rights, but women’s rights as well because they are biblical candidates even though they are loathe admitting it.
For example, nearly every Republican who has announced they are running, and those who are yet to enter the fray, are openly opposed to marriage equality and support a Constitutional amendment prohibiting gays from marrying the person they love. They are all also, like all Republicans in Congress and state legislatures, religiously opposed to women’s reproductive rights going so far as to support absurd ‘personhood’ laws to criminalize abortion and contraception regardless that both positions are extremely unpopular with mainstream America; including the majority of voters in extremely religious Republican states. Personhood and anti-contraception laws, like bans on same-sex marriage, are, however, very popular with most Republican politicians, the religious right, conservative Supreme Court, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The good news is those groups are in the minority as the survey’s results clearly reveal.
Obviously, the new survey reveals that overall there has been steady growth in support for LGBT Americans’ equal rights and it is truly astonishing that over 6 out-of-ten Americans are more comfortable with a gay president than a religious fanatic. However, and this is sad, their support is likely not solely predicated on the belief that gay rights are a civil rights issue, or embrace the idea that the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equality before the law extends to all Americans. It is anecdotally more likely that more Americans discovered they have someone in their immediate or extended family, close circle of friends, or workplace acquaintances that are members of the LGBT community. However, why Americans support equal rights for gays, or that they are comfortable with a gay or lesbian president, is not as important as finally acknowledging that no American warrants being singled out for discrimination or denied their constitutional rights. What is important is that more Americans find it difficult to demonize, or support politicians and the religious who demean, a member of any demographic whether or not there is a personal connection or familial relationship.
It is also likely that the survey’s results reflect the premise that a majority of Americans are just sick to death of hearing daily that evangelical fanatics and their Republican facilitators are seeking various judicial and legislative means to impose religious tyranny on certain members of the population and realize it is just a matter of time before they or a family member becomes the target of Christian fanaticism. That too is a good sign that more Americans understand that historically any religious fundamentalists are a danger to everyone.
Maybe Americans are not as stupid or as full of hate for other Americans as evangelical fanatics including every Republican running for president. It is also evident that they recognize the clear and present danger of any evangelical in a position of power; including the current crop of Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for president because their politics inform they are all evangelical fanatics. One generally despairs at the results of recent surveys and polls, but that is not the case this time and the best news is that it appears that Americans have turned a corner and are supportive of an LGBT person running for the nation’s highest office against Republicans who are all evangelical fanatics.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.