Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 20 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/7/20

GOP Albatross

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   2 comments
Author 514931
Message James A. Haught
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

This piece was reprinted by OpEdNews with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

(Daylight Atheism 1/6/20)

Every schoolchild knows that the Ancient Mariner was forced to wear a dead albatross around his neck.

I think America's Republican Party wears a dying albatross: white evangelicals who are both the GOP's life-support system and also a curse upon Republicans.

The conservative party couldn't survive without hidebound born-again whites yet those fundamentalists taint the GOP by forcing it to adhere to their narrow-minded agenda: hating gays, hating abortion, hating Hollywood sex, hating evolution, hating the separation of church and state, hating Muslims, hating foreigners and minorities, hating sex education, hating secularism, etc.

However, white evangelicals are shrinking relentlessly as religion dies in America, so the future of the right-wing party is bleak.

Currently, such believers are the heart of the GOP, giving it at least three-fourths of their vote. In contrast, young Americans who say their religion is "none"--a group that is swelling rapidly--hold strong progressive views and generally support the Democratic Party. Most of them are repelled by the religious right.

"More Bad News for the Survival of the Republican Party" was the caption of a Washington Post column by Jennifer Rubin. She outlined how the nation's share of white evangelicals is dropping rapidly in the 21st century. Some surveys find them as low as 13 percent of the adult populace. Rubin began:

"Republicans have made a demographic bet: By artificially inflating the white percentage of the electorate (by throwing up barriers for poor and nonwhite Americans to vote) and driving white Christian turnout sky-high with a combination of cultural resentment and xenophobia, they figure they can extend the lifespan of their increasingly rural, male, non-college-educated base. After a while, however, you run out of white evangelicals. That is precisely what is happening at an unexpectedly speedy pace."

Regarding the collapse of religion, she added:

"Considering how reliant they are on white Christians evangelicals in particular Republicans are unlikely to survive outside deep-red confines when they lose 12 points in the pool of the most reliable Republican voters. Republicans have created a zero-sum game wherein the increasingly racist and radical appeals to white Christians needed to drive high turnout alienates a substantial segment of the growing nonwhite and/or unaffiliated electorate. They are doubling down on a diminishing pool of voters as they crank up fierce opposition among the fastest-growing segments (millennials, nonwhites) of the electorate. Soon, the math becomes impossible outside of highly gerrymandered congressional districts and rock-ribbed conservative states."

In other words, the GOP possibly seems doomed because it cannot live without bigoted white born-agains yet those Puritans are slip-sliding away, year after year. If her forecast is correct, Republicans may be dragged from power as their fundamentalist base recedes.

A year ago, a Pew survey found that one-third of young adults raised in white evangelical households quit the faith. Religion scholar Diana Butler Bass said: "The percentage of white evangelicals is declining... a shrinking demographic." So many have left hidebound religion that they've created an online movement called "Exvangelicals."

Newsweek reported:

"Only 10 percent of Americans under 30 identify as white evangelicals. The exodus of youth is so swift that demographers now predict that evangelicals will likely cease being a major political force in presidential elections by 2024."

Robert Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute echoed:

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Well Said 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

James A. Haught Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

James A. Haught is editor emeritus of West Virginia's largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette-Mail.  Mr. Haught has won two dozen national news writing awards. He has written 12 books and hundreds of magazine essays and blog posts. Around 450 of his essays are online. He is a senior editor of Free Inquiry magazine, a weekly blogger at Daylight Atheism, (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Megachurch Mess

Feeding 7.7 Billion

Religion-Tinged Politics

deadly labor struggles

The Dreams that Stuff is Made Of

Coal Mine Wars

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: