A few weeks ago the Public Religion Research Institute released a religion news survey.
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.