Why Are Churches Becoming Less Patriotic?

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The church in America has gone through a series of disturbing trends over the past few decades. Many have embraced the destructive form of wokeness that has become all too prevalent in our society. But now, it appears progressive hatred of America has begun to have an influence on the country’s religious institutions. A recent survey conducted by Lifeway Research revealed that patriotism in the church has seen a remarkable decline over the past six years. The question is: What caused this decrease and what can be done to fix it?

Author Aaron Earls explained the findings of the study in a piece for Lifeway Research, which polled 1,000 Protestant pastors to understand how they would be incorporating patriotic elements into their services during the Independence Day weekend. He wrote:

Most pastors (56%) say it’s important to incorporate patriotic elements into worship services the week of July 4th to celebrate America, including 27% who strongly agree, according to a Lifeway Research study of 1,000 U.S. Protestant pastors. Two in 5 pastors (42%) disagree, and 2% aren’t sure.

These findings represent a small decrease from a 2016 Lifeway Research study, when 61% of pastors felt such worship service elements were important.

A five-percent drop might seem small in the grand scheme of things, but when one looks at the data overall, it does not paint a favorable picture.

“While not a date on the Christian calendar, most Protestant churches adjust their worship services to acknowledge the birth of the United States each July,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “For most churches, it isn’t just tradition. The majority of pastors agree it’s important to incorporate it into the worship experience.”

Interesting, but not surprising, is the finding that pastors without a college degree (70 percent) or bachelor’s degree (67 percent) are more likely to include patriotic themes in their services. Those with a master’s (46 percent) or doctoral degree (50 percent) were less likely to celebrate America.

Additionally, younger pastors between the ages of 18 to 44 were most likely (65 percent) to believe those patriotic elements did not need to be included in the worship service.

Still, the vast majority of respondents indicated that they treat services held on Independence Day weekend differently from others, incorporating pro-America themes. Only 15 percent indicated services on this weekend are no different than others throughout the rest of the year.

From the report:

Most pastors say the Fourth of July changes involve honoring veterans and their families as well as patriotic music. A majority say they recognize those with family currently serving in the armed forces (59%), include special music honoring America (58%), recognize living veterans (56%) or recognize families who have lost loved ones in service to our country (54%).

Three in 10 pastors say they include other special ceremonies to honor America, and 14% make other changes to the service.

“Changes to July 4th church services today are similar to those described by pastors in 2016 with significant emphasis on people who have served in the military,” McConnell explained. “The biggest change is fewer churches including special music related to America (58% compared to 66% in 2016).”

Another noteworthy data point involved the flying of the American flag in the church year-round. From the report:

Apart from any patriotic holidays, two-thirds of U.S. Protestant pastors see nothing wrong with flying the U.S. flag in their church all year long. Lifeway Research found 67% say it’s appropriate for a church to display the American flag in worship services throughout the year. Another 28% disagree, and 5% aren’t sure.

The share of those in favor of year-round flag flying in services is down slightly from the 74% who supported such displays in the 2016 Lifeway Research study.

So, what happened here? Why is the American church less patriotic than it was six years ago?

There are likely a variety of reasons, but I’d suggest the primary motivator is the prevalence of wokeist thought in American society. Wokeism, which is a religion in and of itself, has been allowed to spread its anti-American ideology without much of a challenge. When you have pastors preaching pro-abortion talking points from the pulpit and promoting elements of critical race theory, it is no wonder that authentic American Christianity has lost influence in the culture.

Churches have been promoting CRT under the guise of pushing for racial reconciliation. Stephanie Spellers, in a piece for The Episcopal Church, wrote: “And yet … if you listen closely, you may discover the “CRT” so many critics decry doesn’t sound that scary or problematic. If anything, I’ve found it sounds like what I understand about following Jesus. All of which makes me wonder if perhaps CRT isn’t critical race theory but actually Christian race theory.”

The foundational element of American progressivism is that America is an evil, racist, and oppressive nation. Adherents of wokeism insist that the country was evil from its inception and remains evil at its core. Their objective is to undermine any positive aspects of the United States as a way of convincing the public that it is not worth conserving. In this way, they wish to tear down the country and its principles, and rebuild it in the image of their Marxist paradise.

American patriotism, in general, has seen a disturbing decline. A recent Fox News poll revealed that the percentage of people who take pride in our country dropped by 12 points from 2017 and 30 points from 2011. Today, we are seeing the progressive left engaged in a “F*ck the 4th” campaign designed to further malign the U.S. If non-leftists are unable to form a coherent answer to this movement, it won’t be much longer before they manage to whittle away what is left of the pride Americans used to have in their country.


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