Barack Obama: My Spiritual Journey
It is a truism that we Americans are a religious people. According to the most recent surveys, 95% of Americans believe in God, more than two-thirds belong to a church, 37% call themselves committed Christians, and substantially more people believe in angels than believe in evolution. Nor is religion confined to places of worship. Books proclaiming the end of days sell millions of copies, Christian music fills the Billboard charts, and new megachurches seem to spring up daily, providing everything from day care to singles mixers to yoga and Pilates classes. Our President routinely remarks on how Christ changed his heart, and football players point to the heavens after every touchdown, as if God were calling plays from the celestial sidelines.
Today, white evangelical Christians (along with conservative Catholics) are the heart and soul of the Republican Party’s grassroots base — a core following continually mobilized by a network of pulpits and media outlets that technology has only amplified. It is their issues — abortion, gay marriage, prayer in schools, intelligent design, Terri Schiavo, the posting of the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, home schooling, voucher plans, and the makeup of the Supreme Court — that often dominate the headlines and serve as one of the major fault lines in American politics. The single biggest gap in party affiliation among white Americans is not between men and women, or between those who reside in so-called red states and those who reside in blue states, but between those who attend church regularly and those who don’t. Democrats, meanwhile, are scrambling to “get religion,” even as a core segment of our constituency remains stubbornly secular in orientation, and fears — rightly, no doubt — that the agenda of an assertively Christian nation may not make room for them or their life choices.
The full piece is a bit lengthy, but worth reading if such things interests you.