Sunday, November 18, 2012

The GOP's White Christian Strategy - A Growing Death Wish

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As noted many, many times on this blog, the descent of the Republican Party into something foul and ugly tracks directly with the Party's selling of its soul to the far right white Christian crowd who can be best defined by who they hate - which is virtually everyone other than themselves.  As a new Public Religion Research Institute study shows, the GOP's and the Romney/Ryan's reliance on aging white far right Christians has dire future consequences for the Party.  And even more troubling for those who would like to see the GOP return to sanity and decency is the difficulty that will be involved in wrenching the party back from the Christofascists in the nearer term.  A piece Mark Silk, Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College, in Religion News Service analyzes the GOP future.  Here are highlights:

Republicans should be more worried about appealing to Nones than to Latinos. That's the message of PRRI'S stunning new graphic showing how the respective religious coalitions of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on election day relates to the religious demography of age groups in the U.S.

It's hard to argue with the headline: "The End of the White Christian Strategy." White Christians--evangelicals, mainliners, and Catholics--made up fully seventy-five of Romney's coalition but only 38 percent of Obama's. It's the age distribution, however, that tells the deeper story.

Romney's coalition most closely matches the over-65 crowd, only older. It's whiter and less religiously diverse than seniors are. Call it your great-grandfather's Oldsmobile.

By contrast, Obama's coalition fits snugly in between the youth cohort of 18-to-29-year-old Millennials and the 30-49-year-old Gen-Xers. It's unsurprisingly overrepresented among African-Americans and a little light on evangelicals and "other Christians," but generally presents a fair picture of where America's religious layout is headed in the coming decades.

What's most striking is how evangelicals and Nones change places through the four age cohorts. From old to young, the evangelicals go 30-25-18-9, while the Nones go 9-14-19-32. Romney's coalition was composed of 37 percent evangelicals and eight percent Nones. Obama's coalition had 9 percent evangelicals and 23 percent Nones.

If I were a Republican, that would scare the hell out of me.

One comment on the piece summed things up well:

This election was the Republicans’ last stand, before being swamped by demographics. And there really is no way they can appeal to the Nones, America’s fastest growing “religious group” who are completely out of sympathy with the social conservatism Republicans have been playing for the past 3 decades. The only hook is Libertarianism—and only a minority want to go with that.

And to be honest, I’d rather see the end of religion if that’s the only way to get what I understand as a good society—the society promoted by secular leftists.

It is the far right Christians who ultimately will kill Christianity in America.  They have made the brand stand for hate, bigotry, selfishness and pretty much everything Christ purportedly opposed.  Will the GOP get the message?  Not likely, in my opinion.

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