A huge and mostly overlooked development: the collapse of the "evangelical" voting bloc

I *almost *feel sorry for these evangelical leaders. The first shock is to learn that many of their “flock” support a man they find repulsive. Then comes the deepening realization that the millions of evangelical supporters they thought they had out there are maybe just using that term without being “on the team” in any meaningful way.

I’m just happy I’m not the only one who has noticed. Though I do note that no one on my Facebook wall seems to support Trump. Not even that one lady who was supporting him earlier. Then again, I’m in Arkansas, one of the states that almost didn’t go for Trump.

So it seems my evangelical friends and acquaintances are not representative. No wonder I’ve always had trouble understanding the Christian Right.

[A huge and mostly overlooked development: the collapse of the “evangelical” voting bloc/QUOTE]

From your mouth to god’s ears.

I would bet that the people we know IRL who we think of as evangelicals really would be the people those pastors would count also. But they were counting on poll numbers showing all these millions of others were on their side. What I’d bet is that a lot of the people padding out those poll numbers, no one who actually knows these people would ever think of them as “evangelicals”.

Someone like Pew needs to try to figure out the true number, by not asking about labels but instead asking a whole bunch of questions about lifestyle, and in doing so they should try to avoid asking things that are easy for people to suss out the “good” answer (like how often they go to church).

My take: The political religious right was all along a “cultural” phenomenon. Jerry Falwell and the 70s/80s Televangelists were fundamentalist, yes, but their movement’s political alignment with the right wing was more a function not of the gospel but of anticommunism and reaction to the post-1960s Culture War. I postulate that Falwell and Falwell Jr. both were/are first interested in socking it to the liberal intellectuals and refighting the 1960s so *their *side was right all along, and *then *telling people that if they are for that sociopolitically, they should really look into also following their brand of evangelicalism.

I mean, what, if anything, is particularly* doctrinally Christian* about Supply-Side Economics or union-busting or Neocon foreign intervention or nativist nationalism or guns? But you package them side by side with being against teaching evolution, against gay rights, against abortion, against the centralized state, call it all “Traditional Family Values” and you’ve got yourself some power within the Republican Party/Conservative Movement, as long as you are a credible constituency which requires keeping the flock behind you. Then you seem bigger than you really are because the socioeconomic-conservative politicians will run on platforms and try to enact legislation that include your *sociocultural *agenda as if it were that of the whole movement.

But many of the footsoldiers of their movement are now really more urgently interested in seeing results at restoring what they see as the “right” social order both domestic and international, after 40 years of being offered up as a bloc of voters to elect a GOP that did little to achieve that. So if there’s a leader that offers a platform of America Kicking Ass ***and ***who will not make you sit through sermons (even let you drink and gamble at the resort), well…

Points taken. But I always thought it was bound up with a really regressive and repressive sexual morality. Drumpf massively upends that supposition (although his crowd probably wouldn’t be so okay with a female candidate who was on her third marriage and had talked crudely about marital affairs so often).

It’s another thing that’s falling apart for them. You can only spin tales for so long. This is the best thing that could happen in this best of all possible worlds.

Maybe it’s the same mistake the Republican Establishment already made with the base…they thought they wanted lower taxes on the rich, and austerity. They were wrong. They thought they wanted Jesus stuff…maybe they’re wrong again.

Maybe the Republican base just really, really likes the racist stuff.

An article that came up in another thread. Maybe what evangelicals really want is authoritarianism and racist stuff is the manifestation of that tendency when they feel threatened, just as strict religious observation appeals to that same tendency.

The point being that Evangelicals are less motivated by “Jesus stuff” than by being more likely to have authoritarian personality types and especially when under perceived threat. And Trump is a classic authoritarian leader.

One of the most interesting things about this election is Trump’s ability to thrive in the primaries while defying both theo-con and neo-con orthodoxy. I thought defending Planned Parenthood and attacking the Iraq war would hurt him but it hasn’t to any significant degree.

Of course Trump only has a third of the primary vote. The remaining two thirds is probably still quite orthodox and it’s an open question whether he will be able to win enough of them over the next couple of months in the face of the fairly brutal attacks on him from conservatives.

There is also the question whether Trump is a one-off and whether a future candidate will be able to replicate his strategy successfully. If Trump wins the nomination and loses the general, the party may well return to normal in the future.

I’m not quite sure whether this is just a rhetorical question or not.

But there is considerable Biblical support for an anti-union stance as unions are now–not as they were historically, when they actually did good work in fighting for safe work conditions and so forth.

There are numerous verses that warn against greed and covetousness. One of the more interesting ones is Luke 3:14 (talking about John the Baptist)–
“And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.”
(emphasis added)

There is also a certain amount of Biblical support for capitalism. II Thessalonians 3:10–
“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

It also says And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Supporting tax breaks for the rich make it harder for them to enter inot the kingdom of God. That seems really cruel to me.

And you know, looked at the right way, the Sermon on the Mount is very much like one of those motivational lectures attended by regional sales managers out at the Holiday Inn on Highway 9!

And that part about how the rich guy wouldn’t help the poor guy Lazarus, and then the rich guy went to Hell and says “Hey, Lazarus, fetch me some water”. Now thats upper class sarcasm, because he knew that there was no way a wretch like Lazarus was gonna get past Security.


It’s definitely interesting to read that and realize they basically had the same televangelist huckster types back then (just without the “tele” part). And even though Jesus specifically warns against them, they still do awesome today, waving around the very same Bible with that warning in it.

So, I checked Sojourner, to see what Jim Wallis (an Evangelical who’s been on the Daily Show & got along just great with Jon Stewart) was up to. Guess the subject of the lead article!

In the early days of the Republic, Baptists were advocates of separation of Church & State, since they had often suffered in Colonies with Established Churches. Some early Abolitionists came from these splinter sects. In the next century, the Southern Baptists broke away to defend slavery & disunion. In the last century, the Religious Right was hatched as a political force. But not all Evangelicals really fit.

Jim Wallis is not following Ted Cruz, either–and My Jr Senator is the Anointed “Evangelical” Candidate. Wallis’s latest book is America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America.

SkackerInc I place the “repressive sexual morality” angle in the category of re-litigating the 50s/60s/70s culture war being conveniently coincident with Evangelical doctrine.

Right – Flyer, that just shows what we already know, that if you look for it, you can find scriptural backing for just about any policy position. But the greater point was: are those politico-economic policies, as a package – because remember, it was sold to the faithful as a package – considered per se a religious agenda?

Q 13: Do you go to church?

Q 14: Will you go to church this Sunday?

Q 15: Would you go to church this Sunday if NASCAR was on?

Q 16: Would you go to church this Sunday if it started at 7 am?

Q 17: Would you go to church this Sunday if the Steelers game started at 9 am?

Q 18: Would you slap your kids if they refused to go to church this Sunday?

Q 19: Would you slap your kids if they wanted to go to church this Sunday,
just so they could come out to your friends during “Time For Sharing”?

Q20: Has all this thinking made your brain hurt?

False dichotomy, and excluded middle.
There’s a world of difference between a rich person and the average wage-earner.

I really wish I knew just what it is here on this board that leads people to believe that a snarky answer is an acceptable response to a serious post. Sometimes I wonder why I bother trying.

These things were religious positions first, and then after the events of the 60’s, faithful church-goers responded to politicians who reached out to them.

The anti-union stance is relatively new – remember, unions did good things at first. But then they got greedy, and Christians turned away from them.


Unions certainly reflect the rest of society, but.

Do you think that the seat of greed is the Unions? Really?

In a country with a Halliburton board Vice president, Bechtel, Blackwater, not to mention the corrupt governments all over the world, vacuuming workers of their treasure? Most Christians have never minded greed in the slightest.