The last few years have seen a dramatic increase in Christian nationalism, or the belief that the United States was founded as a Christian nation.

According to a Politico article published Sept. 21,  61% of polled Republicans are in favor of declaring the U.S. a Christian nation, despite 43% of Republicans polled saying to do so would be unconstitutional.

And that remaining 57% is what really concerns me, because for a party that is very much for reading the constitution as is and refusing to change it, that percentage shows a very heavy lack of understanding of the concept of Secularism, a founding tenant of the United States.

Braedon Martin, Opinion Page Editor

Allow me to introduce the Establishment Clause, a part of our beloved Bill of Rights, specifically the first amendment that promises the right of freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion and petition. Notice that religion part. According to the First Amendment; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

Once again, read that first part.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”

Huh. Look at that, a part of the founding document of the United States, specifically saying that we can’t declare the country a Christian nation. Or a Muslim nation. Or a Jewish nation, or a Hindu nation!

Oh, wait a second … there isn’t any widespread call for any of that. Just for a Christian nation. Crazy. It’s almost like the alt-right’s rapid descent into fascism isn’t actually that secret. Because they don’t have to hide it. No-one seems to want to do anything about it.

Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.)  and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.)  are somehow able to continue to spread their propaganda almost entirely uninhibited. Due to the fact that those in power, and those who have the ability to stop them, are too scared to actually do anything about it.

I don’t want to come off as anti-Christian, believe whatever makes you feel better at the end of the day, however, like Abraham Lincoln once said,. “My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins.”

Or, to be a little more specific, your right to worship any religion you want, ends when you affect someone else’s right to worship whatever you want.

Now, real quick, I’m gonna list off a few other issues involving the whole freedom of religion thing

1. Abortion – Numerous faiths across the globe support and require reproductive rights, among which is Judaism, which not only requires access to abortions and believes they are morally right, Judaism actually prioritizes the mother in situations where if the pregnancy is not terminated the mother or fetus may die. 2. Prayer in schools – Recently, in the Supreme Court case Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, our current Supreme Court determined that it was entirely alright to lead a prayer on public-school property. Of course, in this case, the prayer was a Christian one. But something tells me if you tried to do something like this except y’know … with maybe a Muslim prayer, the alt-right would absolutely lose their mind about how it was a violation of their First Amendment rights.

In short, realistically speaking, the right doesn’t give a crap about your freedoms unless they can use it to drive up hatred towards some other group. Free speech only matters when leftists want to hold right wing officials or celebrities accountable for the things they say. Freedom of religion only matters if Christians need to defend themselves against an onslaught of those ‘evil religious minorities’. Freedom of the press only applies when Tucker Carlson wants to lie on national television to stir up the alt right into a fervor. Frankly, it’s a joke.

Braedon Martin is a Hutchinson sophomore studying journalism. He is the Collegian’s Opinion Page Editor and Managing Editor for Design.

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