Thursday, February 26, 2015


Political Mayhem Thursday: The continuing political effects of American Evangelicals

Frank Bruni has an intriguing piece in the New York Times, arguing that Evangelical Christians have a political influence on the Republican party that is out of proportion to their numbers:

Another presidential campaign is taking shape, and potential Republican candidates are beginning to speak with extra care — and sometimes with censorious hellfire — about certain social issues. As ever, they’re bowing to a bloc of voters described as Christian conservatives.

But these voters are a minority of Christians. They’re not such representative conservatives.

They have a disproportionate sway over the Republican Party. And because of that, they have an outsize influence on the national debate.

Bruni cites an upcoming data set compiled by the Public Religion Research Institute, which shows that if you take Evangelicals out of the mix, Republicans are split about evenly on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

Bruni doesn't do much to suggest a reason for this, but IPLawGuy once gave me an explanation that made a lot of sense.  A veteran of many Republican campaigns himself, he told me that the Evangelicals were the foot soldiers of a campaign in that party-- the people who knock on doors and lick envelopes, and man the phones.  They are dedicated, organized, and willing to work. I think that makes sense.  To those who would complain about this outsized influence, IPLG would say:  "If you want to make change, get involved in party politics."  I think he was right about that, too.  He was wrong about "White Castle is the best place in St. Louis for breakfast," and "a car lasts longer if you leave the windows open on the highway," but it all evens out in the end.

Huckabee 2016!!!
CTL: Please NO. We do not need the ignorance of First Amendment and related jurisprudence that Huckabee would bring to the Whitehouse. There is a whole two page ad in today's Waco Trib, in fine print, making specious arguments that the U.S. is a "Christian nation". No, it is a country populated in large part by Christians, but many founding documents refer to "God" and "Creator", not "Christ" or "Jesus". And all three of teh Abrahamic religions worship "God", although the preferred term in some languages is different (Cf., French for god is dieu!, Arabic is "allah"!)
Oh, I want to see that ad!
Email me your address and I will put it in the mail this weekend.
Thank you to IPLawGuy and AWF for expressing sensible reason.

May I venture a guess that "Christ" or "Jesus" would require a disclaimer before volunteering to campaign for and support the stated positions of the more zealous American Evangelicals?
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