Thursday, June 16, 2016

America - A Nation of Immigrants - The Real Story


Part 1. - Who are we?

I feel comfortable writing about America a nation of immigrants because I have spent over 50 years trying to help the indigenous Native Americans like the Hopi nation, who are the only people in our country who are not immigrants.

With the presidential election preparing to go into high gear and with both sides demonstrating a propensity toward distorting the record rather than telling the truth, I figured I could be a sort of voice in the wilderness explaining what most Americans think about immigrants.

I wrote this article for the benefit of those outside of America forced to turn to the news media for truth about the election and the consequences.  Briefly, it really does not matter whether Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or some other mysterious white knight wins the presidency.

Back when our Forefathers fought a war of independence against the most powerful empire in the world, the British, we were already debating the shape of things to come, in order to assure our freedom, and protect us from the threat of becoming an empire and exercising such control over a free people.

There are a few things I believe were of significant influence on the Founding Fathers, more than we like to acknowledge.  First, I accept that Divine Providence guided them in their deliberations and debate.  Second, the colonists of that time were far more educated than most people believe.  Third, they employed either oracles or psychics to see far into the future.

I believe the record since our Declaration of Independence 240 years ago is testament to the truth in what I say.  It would have taken the Hand of God to guide a bunch of farmers, aristocrats, religious fanatics, and outcasts from throughout the world with minimal money and certainly no army, to victory over the greatest empire in world history.

As for education, many Americans were self-taught while those with resources made extensive use of tutors.  Innovation, initiative, and creativity were necessary characteristics of those attempting to tame a wild land and create a civilization in a foreign world.

Now oracles, mediums, and psychics must have been available to help draft the framework of a Constitution that protected and preserved the United States through all the radical changes in world culture, religion, economy, war, and technology that would come in the not too distant future generations.

Beyond the foresight, the founding documents also had to correct the flaws in the system that existed at the time, such as slavery, in order to guarantee freedom and equality to everyone.  The goal of the Constitution was to provide a pathway to achieve the lofty promises contained in the document whether they existed at the time or not.

Three key items immediately come to mind in terms of lofty promises.  Of course, there was slavery, women's rights, and there was religious freedom.  At the time, slavery was legal, women had no rights, and religious freedom was non-existent though there were attempts to institute it in places like Maryland with little success.

The Constitution also had to make it clear that America would always be a nation of immigrants like no other nation in the world.  Just think of the incredible growth that took place in America.  In 1776, there were about 10 million people.  Only forty years later, in 1816, there were 41 million people, four times as many.  During the next millennial, by 1916, we grew to 102 million and one millennial later we have reached 325 million people, from 10 million to 325 million in just 240 years.

Today we have three million indigenous peoples, plus two million more indigenous of mixed race, so five million indigenous residents.  That means 98.5% of the population in America are immigrants or ancestors of immigrants.

The roots of Americans are vast.  Here is the diversity of Americans as of 2010 represented by the ancestral ethnic mix as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

American Ethnic Mix 2010
1.      49,206,934 Germans 
2.      41,284,752 Black or African Americans
3.      35,523,082 Irish
4.      31,789,483 Mexican 
5.      26,923,091 English 
6.      19,911,467 Americans
7.      17,558,598 Italian
8.      9,739,653 Polish
9.      9,136,092 French (except Basque)
10.  5,706,263 Scottish
11.  5,102,858 Scotch-Irish
12.  4,920,336 American Indian or Alaska Native
13.  4,810,511 Dutch
14.  4,607,774 Puerto Rican
15.  4,557,539 Norwegian
16.  4,211,644 Swedish
17.  3,245,080 Chinese (except Taiwanese) 
18.  3,060,143 Russian
19.  2,781,904 Asian Indian
20.  2,625,306 West Indian (except Hispanic groups)
21.  2,549,545 Filipino
22.  2,087,970 French Canadian
23.  1,888,383 Welsh
24.  1,764,374 Cuban
25.  1,733,778 Salvadoran
26.  1,620,637 Arab
27.  1,576,032 Vietnamese
28.  1,573,608 Czech
29.  1,511,926 Hungarian
30.  1,423,139 Portuguese
31.  1,422,567 Korean
32.  1,420,962 Danish
33.  1,414,551 Dominican (Dominican Republic)
34.  1,319,188 Greek

This is the percentage distribution of the top fifteen.


Here is the diversity of Americans represented by their religious denomination beliefs.

Denomination name
  1. The Roman Catholic Church
  1. Southern Baptist Convention
  1. United Methodist Church, The
  1. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The
  1. Church of God in Christ, The
  1. National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc
  1. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  1. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc
  1. Assemblies of God
  1. Presbyterian Church (USA)
  1. African Methodist Episcopal Church
  1. National Missionary Baptist Convention of America
  1. Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod (LCMS),
  1. Episcopal Church
  1. Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc Churches of Christ
  1. Churches of Christ
  1. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  1. African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
  1. American Baptist Churches in the USA
  1. Jehovah's Witnesses Baptist Bible Fellowship International
  1. Church of God
  1. Christian Churches and Churches of Christ
  1. Seventh-day Adventist Church
  1. United Church of Christ
  1. The Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc

NOTE: Includes the self-reported membership of religious bodies with 650,000 or more as reported to the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. Groups may be excluded if they do not supply information. The data are not standardized so comparisons between groups are difficult. The definition of "church member" is determined by the religious body.
Source: 2012 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, National Council of Churches.

This is a more detailed breakdown of the same religious information.


Explore religious groups in the U.S. by tradition, family and denomination


Finally, here is an article discussing the Pew research polling on the political preference of the various religious denominations in the last (2012) presidential election.

February 23, 2016

U.S. religious groups and their political leanings

Mormons are the most heavily Republican-leaning religious group in the U.S., while a pair of major historically black Protestant denominations – the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and the National Baptist Convention – are two of the most reliably Democratic groups, according to data from Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study.

Seven-in-ten U.S. Mormons identify with the Republican Party or say they lean toward the GOP, compared with 19% who identify as or lean Democratic – a difference of 51 percentage points. That’s the biggest gap in favor of the GOP out of 30 religious groups we analyzed, which include Protestant denominations, other religious groups and three categories of people who are religiously unaffiliated.

At the other end of the spectrum, an overwhelming majority of members of the AME Church (92%) identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, while just 4% say they favor the Republican Party (an 88-point gap). Similarly, 87% of members of the National Baptist Convention and 75% of members of the Church of God in Christ (another historically black denomination) identify as Democrats.

These patterns largely reflect data from exit polls during the 2012 general election. In that year, 95% of black Protestants said they voted for Democrat Barack Obama, while 78% of Mormons said they voted for Republican Mitt Romney, who also is a Mormon.

White evangelical Protestants also voted heavily Republican in 2012 (79% for Romney), which mirrors the leanings of many of the largest evangelical denominations. Members of the Church of the Nazarene are overwhelmingly likely to favor the GOP (63% Republican vs. 24% Democrat), as are the Southern Baptist Convention (64% vs. 26%) and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (59% vs. 27%), among other evangelical churches. (In our survey, members of these groups can be of any race or ethnicity, while exit polls report totals for white evangelicals in particular.)

Catholics are divided politically in our survey, just as they were in the 2012 election. While 37% say they favor the GOP, 44% identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party (and 19% say they do not lean either way). In the 2012 election, 50% of Catholics said they voted for Obama, while 48% voted for Romney.

Members of mainline Protestant churches look similar to Catholics in this regard. For example, 44% of members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) identify as or lean Republican in the survey, compared with 47% who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning. United Methodists and Anglicans are slightly more likely than other mainline groups to say they are Republicans, while members of the United Church of Christ are more likely to be Democrats.
About seven-in-ten religiously unaffiliated voters (70%) and Jews (69%) voted for Obama in 2012. A similar share of Jews in our survey (64%) say they are Democrats, while all three subsets of religious “nones” (atheists, agnostics and those who say their religion is “nothing in particular”) lean in that direction as well.

Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are taught to remain politically neutral and abstain from voting, stand out for their overwhelming identification as independents who do not lean toward either party. Three-quarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses put themselves in that category.


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