The religion of modern politics: Republicans preach to conservative Protestant base | Arkansas Blog

The religion of modern politics: Republicans preach to conservative Protestant base

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Charles Blow of the New York Times looks askance at a growing gap in the ranks of Republican and Democratic voters. No, not gender or race. Science.

In 2009, the gap between the share of Republicans and Democrats who believed in evolution was just 10 percentage points, 54 percent and 64 percent, respectively.

Last year, that gap widened to a whopping 24 points because as the percentage of Democrats who believed in evolution inched up to 67 percent, the percentage of Republicans believing so plummeted to 43 percent. Now, more Republicans believe that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time” than believe in evolution.

Blow sees this as evidence of Republican use of religious issues to solidify their conservative religious base. He notes that only 27 percent of white evangelical Protestants believe in evolution. This group makes up only 18 percent of the total electorate, but 43 percent of the Republican "staunch conservative" sector. Yes, Fox is their go-to news source.

Fox has helped to ingrain the idea that Republicanism and religiosity are embattled and oppressed, fighting for survival against the forces of secular extremists.

Blow notes that the Republican approach favors treating infidels with enmity rather than empathy. And to brand those who wish to be left alone as intolerant of government-imposed religion.


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