The Pew Research Center reports among its major findings in 2019 a dramatic drop in Americans identifying as Christian.
In 2019, 65% of Americans identified as Christian, down from 77% in 2009. The percentage who identify as religiously unaffiliated — that is, atheist, agnostic or "nothing in particular" — stood at 26% in 2019, compared with 17% a decade ago.
I think this shift reflects less belief in God, rather than what God Americans choose to worship.
Take, for instance, Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren.
There does not appear to be a single aspect of human existence for which she doesn't have her own answer. Warren thinks she's God, and a shockingly high number of Americans seem ready to line up and worship her.
Warren knows what is just and unjust, how much wealth is too much for any particular individual and how much is not enough. And she feels totally empowered to take from one and give to the other to make the world what it is supposed to be.
Needless to say, in her exalted, divine wisdom, she is ready to deliver the last word on sexual identity, marriage, family and, of course, life and death.
I'm focusing on Elizabeth Warren because she is the most unabashedly outspoken and detailed in her views representing the American left. But she is really the American left itself.
At a recent Democratic debate, Warren said: "I believe abortion rights are human rights. I believe they are also economic rights."
I wonder when candidates make these declarations why the moderators never ask, "How do you know that?" It would give Warren the opportunity to clarify by saying, "I know because I am God."
Warren said that abortion is a "hard decision" but "the one entity that should not be in the middle of that decision is the government."
This appears to be the only area in all of American life where Warren does not believe the government should be involved.
The Wall Street Journal recently surveyed "60-some policy papers" from Warren's campaign, which show that no details of the life of every American will escape government dictate.
There is the wealth tax; the "Medicare for All" tax; the corporate surtax; higher capital gains taxes; higher income taxes on "the wealthiest individuals and giant corporations"; the overturning of "right to work laws" to shore up unions; the end of federal funding for charter schools; the vast expansion of government management of our currency, our jobs and our industry; a $3 trillion Green New Deal; the break-up of the big high tech companies, etc., etc.
Let me make a few distinctions between the God of my beautiful leather Bible that I read every day and the self-anointed God Almighty Elizabeth Warren.
The God I worship made man in His image and gave free choice and personal responsibility. My God made man a free, responsible, creative agent.
My God issued a commandment against envy. What others have is not our business. Our business is conducting our own affairs and building our own life. We must care about those in need, but individuals make this decision, not government or a self appointed God-politician.
There is also a commandment against theft. In the universe created by my God, there is private property, and there is sin and punishment in stealing what belongs to others.
Politicians who think they are God, mobilizing power by inspiring sinful envy of what others have legally achieved and then using political power to legalize theft to steal the property of some in order to redistribute to others, is not only not Christian but also not American.
In the universe created by my God, life is sacred, as is property. This provides the basis for a free and prosperous country.
As we enter the new year and continue rebuilding our great country, I pray for a rebirth of American Christianity.
Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and author of the new book "Necessary Noise: How Donald Trump Inflames the Culture War and Why This is Good News for America," available now at starparker.com
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore