The Barna Group's recent religious freedom poll is pretty interesting. Evangelicals overwhelmingly support religious freedom and are concerned about its possible demise—yet a majority of them also believe that "traditional Judeo-Christian values should be given preference."
The presidential election revealed that the “God gap” in electoral politics remains as large as ever—and is much larger than the gender gap that was often touted during the campaign. Mark Silk summarizes it: Those who said they attend worship weekly preferred Mitt Romney by 20 points, 59-39. Those who said they attend less frequently went for Obama by 25 points. That compares to a male preference for Romney of seven points and a female preference for Obama of 11. How fervently one practices one’s religion is—apart from race—still the best predictor of how one votes.
About 15 years ago I was a guest at the annual meeting of the Association of Christians Teaching Sociology. In one session a professor reported on a student's project. Taking the Century as a barometer of mainline Protestantism and Christianity Today as a barometer of evangelicalism, his student compared the respective responses to the civil rights movement. The student found that the Century was very hospitable toward the movement and that CT was critical of it. (Full disclosure: At the time of this ACTS meeting, I was working for CT.) Since ACTS is comprised largely of evangelical scholars, there was some hanging of heads in the room. Evangelicals, they agreed, had been on the wrong side of history, not to speak of the wrong side of justice.
The LA Times has an interesting article about evangelical pastors' involvement in political mobilization. Tom Hamburger and Matea Gold don't do enough to prove their now-more-than-ever hook--that pastors whipping votes in Iowa and elsewhere are "part of a growing movement of evangelical pastors who are jumping into the electoral fray as never before"--but it's still an important story to follow as we slog through yet another election season in which the religious right is still not dead.
(RNS) Southern Baptist executive Richard Land was pleased at how religious Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally turned out to be. Bishop Harry Jackson, a black evangelical leader, was pleasantly surprised that the Fox News talk show host said things "some of my close friends could have written." And Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. was among the faith leaders to enlist in Beck's new "Black Robe Regiment."
On a recent trip to Jordan, no one directing my tour group objected to my meeting with Christian evangelicals. But the evangelicals were nervous.