Are Christians discriminated against in a nation that is over 70 percent Christian? The public seems to think so. Here is the question posed to respondents: “In America today, discrimination against Christians has become as big a problem as discrimination against other groups.”
By a margin of 49 percent to 47 percent, the public agrees with this question. White evangelical Protestants were the most likely to agree: 70 percent say that discrimination against Christians has emerged as big a problem as discrimination against others. The majority of non-white Protestants agree, with 55 percent answering affirmatively. Catholics also see anti-Christian bigotry as a big problem, splitting 50 percent to 47 percent. White mainline Protestants are not convinced: their numbers are 46 percent to 50 percent. The unaffiliated clearly stand out from the faithful: only 34 percent agree with this question.
Why would most Americans say that discrimination against Christians is a serious problem? It surely has much to do with the sense that Christians are fair game for unfair treatment, as witnessed in legislation such as the attack on Christian non-profits under the Obama administration. In particular, the Health and Human Service mandate forcing Christian non-profits to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception has set off the alarms. Punishing Christians who object to same-sex marriage is also a genuine concern.
We spend much more of our time at the Catholic League fighting defamation against the Catholic Church than we do fighting discrimination against Catholics. This suggests that the problem is even worse than what the survey indicates: most Americans know that while many demographic groups are treated kindly in the media, education, the entertainment industry, and the artistic community, Christians are fair game for the most obscene commentary and portrayals.
The political and cultural elites are driving this explosion in anti-Christian bigotry.