Thursday, January 19, 2012

The End of the Christian Right?

Michael Kazin:
Is the Christian Right still a power in American politics? The lavish coverage which its partisans and their favorite issues have received during the current Republican campaign certainly leave that impression. Yet all this attention is akin to the dazzling glow of a setting sun. In fact, the Christian Right is a fading force in American life, one which has little chance of achieving its cherished goals.
[W]hatever their influence on the Republican primary, the Christian Right is fighting a losing battle with the rest of the country—above all, when it comes to abortion and same-sex marriage, the issues they care most about.
Put simply, the Christian Right is getting old. According to the largest and most recent study we have of American religion and politics, by Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell, almost twice as many people 18 to 29 confess to no faith at all as adhere to evangelical Protestantism. Young people who have attended college, a growing percentage of the population, are more secular still. ... To their surprise, Putnam and Campbell discovered that conservative preachers infrequently discuss polarizing issues from the pulpit. Sermons about hunger and poverty far outnumber those about homosexuality or abortion.

I think this is a little too rosy, given their still powerful influence over the Republican party, but one can hope.  In particular, the alliance with the Mormons and Catholic hierarchy on gay issues props them up.  Do YOU think their power is waning?  


Erp said...

No, not yet.

I think there numbers may be declining but those that remain are the true believers who will go to the public meetings, write the letters, donate money.

Counterlight said...

I'll believe it when I see it. On the religious vs, secular issue, Israel's very bitter divisions may well be our future.