I’m not surprised by the findings in the Washington Post article, You have to be Christian to truly be American? Many people in the U.S. say so. I’ve never underestimated the ignorance of the average American so thirty-two percent of Americans believing that you must be Christian to be an American only confirms my observations.
I know that being a Christian can’t be a requirement for being an American. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says otherwise, along with my knowledge of American history and the writings of the founding fathers. There is also one example that disproves American equals Christian — I’m an American and I am not a Christian. There other many other Americans who are not Christians, among them Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, pagans, Satanists, and countless others who do not wear the Christian label. The First Amendment grants me freedom of religion which means I can choose to not be a Christian. Article Six of the Constitution also states that there shall be no religious test for public office.
The same article claimed that 70% of Americans believe that being American means speaking English. A national language has never been established either by law or by custom. There is absolutely no requirement to speak English in the United States.
I’ve given thought to brushing up on my Spanish and German, and learning Tagalog just so that when I’m speaking one of these languages and someone tells me that I’m in America and that I need to speak English, I can respond with: “Yes, we are in America. The First Amendment grants me freedom of speech which means I can speak any language I choose.”