More and more people are leaving organized religion. Even the Billy Graham Evangelical Association admits, "No religious group is growing as fast as those who claim no religion at all."
Religious lobbyist groups have increased fivefold in the last 40 years, according to a study by the Pew Forum, and spend about $390 million a year on efforts to influence national public policy (see the chart that breaks down the millions of dollars spent by various religious groups on a federal level).
The Christian right, with its brand of anti-evolution, anti-abortion, anti-contraceptives, "pro-life," anti-gay, anti-liberal, Christian nationalist biblical worldview has become a powerful voice in Republican politics. The American Family Association, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Conference of Catholic Bishops and many others are very visible in politics and the media. Pulitizer Prize winning journalist and theologian Chris Hedges characterized the religious right as fascists, and Frank Schaeffer, formerly a leader in the Christian fundamentalist movement, says that there are "scores of younger former evangelicals diving headlong out of the right wing evangelical churches" who are spiritually hungry but turned off by right wing hate. Mainline Christians, he says, should reach out to this group.
In our poll this week, we ask if the Christian right has led you to question or abandon your faith.
Your identity will remain anonymous if you vote in the poll. While the polling software tracks IPs to void double-voting, your personal identity is not revealed. Comments are always welcome, especially if you don't agree with any of the answers in the survey or wish to clarify your vote. The poll is not scientific, but represents a gauge of what our readers think.
This week's poll will remain open until 7:00 A.M. Pacific time on Sunday, March 25, 2012. Thanks for sharing your opinion!
Has the Christian right led you to question or abandon your faith?
- I have researched the claims of the Christian right and/or read the Bible because of them, and am now atheist/agnostic or a freethinker (freethought includes Deism, pantheism, etc) (40%, 51 Votes)
- The Christian right has strengthened my atheism. There is no god. (20%, 25 Votes)
- As a theistic freethinker, the rhetoric of the Christian right has only strengthened my view that revealed texts are flawed and irrational. (18%, 23 Votes)
- Because of the Christian right, I am now "spiritual but not religious." (8%, 10 Votes)
- The Christian right's version of Christianity does not speak for all of us -- I have joined or am looking for a more compassionate Christian church. (7%, 9 Votes)
- I have left organized religion because of the Christian right, but still consider myself to be Christian. (5%, 6 Votes)
- What you call 'the Christian right' is not hateful, but speaks the Word of God. They have strengthened my faith. (3%, 4 Votes)
Total Voters: 128