Engaging Culture

The Election’s Impact on Religious Media

As the election shifts some of the political and cultural battle lines to the left side of the fence, Arthur Brooks, writing in the Wall Street Journal makes some interesting points about their view toward religion. From time to time, you’ll hear me talking about this being a “Post-Secular Culture.” Here’s why:

“Consider the effect of religious faith, which endures as the most important cultural fault line. On the whole, America is fundamentally religious, with 85% of people expressing allegiance to an organized faith and a third attending a house of worship weekly. Secularism is an exotic taste — except on the political left. According to the General Social Survey, liberals are a third less likely than the rest of the population to worship regularly, and less than half as likely as conservatives. The percentage of self-described liberals who say they have “no religion” has more than doubled since the early ’70s.

This cultural trend represents a growing political liability for the left. Only about one in four Americans currently say they believe that the Democratic Party is friendly toward religion, according to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. The practical impact of this belief is nicely described by author Stephen Carter in his book, “The Dissent of the Governed.” He describes two black evangelical women who change their affiliations from liberal political groups to conservative Christian organizations, explaining that “they preferred a place that honored their faith and disdained their politics over a place that honored their politics and disdained their faith.” These women are part of a real trend among religious Americans: According to the National Election Surveys, religious Democrats are more likely than any other group to change their party affiliation. Between 2000 and 2002, they were nearly four times more likely to do so than secular Republicans.”

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