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No surprise: A third of Democrats are “religiously unaffiliated”

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“Inherit the Wind” is the 1960 film, starring Spencer Tracy and Fredric March, that recreated the infamous 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial.

The movie vividly depicts the stupidity, savagery and dangers of Christian evangelicals in America; Tracy (who was nominated for an Academy Award) gives a powerful performance as an eminently sane man disgusted with this cult’s insanity.

Alas, they’re still with us, these wacko evangelicals, befouling our democracy and attempting to impose their version of a religious theocracy on America. These evangelicals constitute Trump’s strongest, most reliable base (ironic, since he, himself, is undoubtedly agnostic if not atheist). I have been keeping a wary eye on evangelicals for nearly 40 years, ever since I realized the clear and present threat they pose.

Republicans, and especially the evangelicals, always love to portray themselves as heaven-sent, and Democrats as ungodly, if not satanic, atheists. They suggest that God (their God, mind you) founded America (not the Founding Fathers) as some kind of divine plan on the road to the Rapture and eventual resurrection of Christ. To me—to rational thinkers everywhere—this is hokum, on the same irrational level as Adam and Eve playing with dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden (which evangelicals also believe). It’s a nice fairy tale, but anyone who actually believes it is in need of an intervention, and not a divine intervention, but a psychological one.

This is why many if not most Democrats do not subscribe to ridiculous religious notions. Democrats believe in common sense, in logical analysis, in rationality—in science, if you will. We think it’s great for people to believe in whatever religious superstitions they want—after all, we are a democracy–but when it comes to actually governing America, we need adults in charge. That’s the real meaning of “the separation of church and state.”

An article in the 538 newsletter points out that the Democratic National Committee has published a resolution acknowledging that one-third of Democrats define themselves as “religiously unaffiliated.” Count me as one of them. The DNC adds that religiously unaffiliated Democrats “advocate for rational public policy based on sound science and universal humanistic values” and are fully welcome in the Democratic Party. This stands in stark contrast to the Republican Party of Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Donald J. Trump, whose litmus test for membership includes scrapping rationality, rejecting science, and making war on humanism.

If you’ve had the opportunity to see “Inherit the Wind,” you know exactly what this is all about. The small-minded, provincial, uneducated, angry and deeply prejudiced “Christians” who persecuted the schoolteacher who tried to instruct his pupils in scientific Darwinism were bad enough in 1925, but they’ve now metastasized into a cancer that’s eating the vitals of our American republic. No wonder educated people increasingly choose to be religiously unaffiliated; we’ve seen the pernicious effects of politicized Christianity on our country.

A few years ago, the Pew Research Center published a chart, “The most and least educated U.S. religious groups,” and guess who the least educated people are? Yes, evangelicals and fundamentalist Christians. The most ignorant of all, by far, are the Church of God and American Baptists, along with the Church of God in Christ and Southern Baptists (which is Mike Huckabee’s religion). Fewer than half these people even have a high school degree! (By contrast, the most highly educated religious groups are Unitarians, Jews and Anglicans.) These extremist Christians, in other words, have barely edged into the twentieth century, when it comes to knowledge. They might as well be living in the 17th century, when their spiritual ancestors were burning witches at the stake. Do we really need these throwbacks in modern America?

When Hillary Clinton used the term “basket of deplorables,” she was entirely correct. These evangelicals truly are deplorable. They say they “hate the sin but love the sinner.” Don’t be fooled. Give them the power, and they’ll be coming after you…and me…and all the Gays…and the “Democrat Liberals” (as Trump calls us)…and the secular humanists…and everyone else Trump sics them on. They’ll put a cross on top of the Washington Monument and establish “Christianity” as the state religion. If you don’t believe me, you haven’t been paying attention.

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