July 4, 2010

White evangelical demographic trends

Fred has a very interesting post on evangelical trends, and it turns out that the numbers of white evangelicals have remained relatively constant over the last several decades. Meaning, as Fred notes, that for all the talk of evangelism, they haven't actually added to their numbers that much. Some of that, undoubtedly, has to do with people like me going out the back door, but the rest have to do with broader demographic changes.

This is interesting to me on several points. First, it suggests that my concerns with the evangelical church are not completely out in left field. I believe without much doubt that the evangelical church has become a defensive institution that cannot tell the difference between their sense of American history and their sense of their evangelical theology. Nothing speaks to that more than the evangelical support for torture. If anyone can honestly defend that as a practice consistent with the teachings of Christ, I will eat my words.

Second, I am concerned about the upcoming election. Recent polls show that Republicans have a huge lead in enthusiasm about the upcoming election. That scares me because so much of that enthusiasm is framed in outright factual errors and unbelievable racism. If you really think that the healthcare bill is a stepping stone to Hitler's version of America--then you are deluded. Absolutely batshit crazy. Having no basis in reality. Same if you look back at Bush's mismanagement of the economy (and everything else) and say that you "miss" him. Seriously. Disagree with Obama all you want. There are reasoned ways to do that. But not with Hitler and Bush.

But this demographic study suggests that Republicans are going to continue to struggle. They may do well in November. The off party usually does. And there is no doubt that the Tea Party idiots and Glenn Beck have poisoned the well with a lot of irrational anger. But the numbers suggest that this will not constitute a trend toward conservatism. Those angry white tea partiers are losing ground. Which is probably why they are angry, of course.



Estrada said...

Has anyone seen the video of Dr. Richard Rubenstein, I think of Harvard, in which he talks about Obama?

Streak said...

Just did a google search. Only thing I saw was some idiot ranting about Obama having "Muslim" sympathies.

Dumb and racist.

That what you are talking about?

Estrada said...

There is no doubt that obama has muslim sympathies. And I think it is because obama is a muslim. He is, without question, anti-Israel, and he is trying to destroy what's left of the USA. He is very dangerous to everyone.

Streak said...

Ah. Do you have any evidence for any of those accusations?

Estrada said...

Obama has bowed to the Saudi Prince. He has made various comments that hint at his embrace of Islam, none of which I can quote exactly, but which reveal his true beliefs. He has said that the call to muslim prayer is one of the most beautiful sounds on earth, which would never be said by a Christian. By his words and his actions, he is definately NOT a Christian, so he must have some other religion. And his background is in islam.

He has insulted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu(sorry if misspelled). He has criticized several things Israel has done, and failed to do the same with many of the muslim countries.

He is supposed to meet this week again with Netanyahu. Let's see if Obama wants to help Israel, or hurt her. I'm guessing the latter.

Streak said...

Oh, Estrada, you need to stop watching Glenn Beck and read something intelligent. In addition, I suspect you are a religious fundamentalist (with more in common with the Muslims you hate than you even realize). And if you think that Obama's insulting Netanyahu is somehow a deal breaker, but have no problem with Netanyahu's snub of Obama, nor the often libelous and insulting things that people like you say about our President--then I am afraid you are seriously deluded.

Stay away from the Tea Partiers, stop reading Christian Nation crap, and turn Fox news off. You might learn something.

Bob said...

From a political perspective, it is also important to note that evangelicals are not a monolithic group. I cannot remember the exact figure, but I remember that something like 30 to 40% of Evangelicals voted for Democrats and a significant proportion supported liberal positions such as abortion rights, stem cell research etc. I can think of one family who fits this mold.

If the number of evangelicals as a proportion of the population is staying static, I don’t necessarily see this as alarming for them. From a perspective of politics IF the proportion of evangelicals who are Republican conservatives grows, I would see this as an alarming trend for us liberals even as the total population of the religion remains static.

Bob said...


So you cannot be a Christian if:

1) You respect other religions like Islam.
2) You disagree with the leader of another country, which is also the Jewish state.

Strange definition of Chritianity you have there. It seems that you don't have enough confidence in your own faith to accept that a fellow Christian can respect other religions and still hold on to their own Christianity.

Streak said...

Bob, your point about evangelicals is a very good one. I get in a place (and need to be called on it) when I refer to evangelicals as if they are all conservative Republicans. To be fair to myself, that is the group I am mostly critical of and speaking about, but it does not accurately describe all evangelicals.

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Estrada said...


Obama, and you, are not Christians because neither of you possess faith, and neither of you believe the Bible.

obama is anti-Israel, and pro-muslim because it fits his theology, which is muslim.

Streak said...

What an idiot. Estrada, I think it is Time for you to go back to the racist tea party sites. We deal in reality here, not fantasy.

Bob said...

"Obama, and you, are not Christians because neither of you possess faith, and neither of you believe the Bible."

How do you know I do not believe the Bible? Your comments also do not demonstrate any knowledge of Obama's belief in the Bible.

It seems if I do not believe in your politically-driven hysterical views, I must not be Christian.