Michael Gerson Didn’t Do His Homework

In the Washington Post, columnist Michael Gerson observes that while we’re still a country that takes religious seriously, the “Nones” are indeed on the rise and most of us vote Democratic. That leads him to draw this conclusion:

But the main tension is emerging between the parties. Religious conservatives remain the largest constituency within the Republican Party. So America is moving in the direction of having one secular party and one religious party, bringing polarization to a new level of intensity. This is movement in the direction of Europe, which has been cursed by the conflict between anticlerical parties and religious parties. For America, this could be a dangerous source of social division, with each side viewing the other as theocrats or pagans. There is no contempt like the contempt of the true believer or the militant skeptic.

Let’s put aside the nonsensical/falsely-dichotomized “militant skeptic” comment for a moment… Gerson makes a mistake that many pundits are making. He assumes that the Democratic party is the party of the non-religious while the Republican Party is the home of the hyper-religious.

He’s half right and half wrong. It’s true that the GOP is the home of GOD (at least as far as rabid believers go)… but the Democratic party does not have a comparable atheist base. Remember what happened last September when the DNC released the party platform?

Faith. Lots of it.

At the same time, the platform contained no explicit mention of “God” so there was an awkward vote moderated by Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to put the phrase “God-given potential” back into the platform:

The point being: The Democrats are plenty faithful. They’re not the party of godlessness. At best, they’re the party that supports church/state separation. The Democrats have a base consisting of non-theists, Jews, liberal Christians, and ethnic minorities of various faiths. For better or worse, there is still religion in the Democratic party. But unlike the Republicans, the Democrats aren’t necessarily going to try and legislate based on what someone’s religious text says. (Ideally, anyway. The Democrats do plenty to piss off atheists. Just not as much as Republicans do.)

Then, Gerson takes his hypothesis a step further and really goes off the deep end:

Those cheering the trend of religious disaffiliation should consider some broader social consequences. The rise of the nones is symptomatic of the decline of many forms of belonging. According to Pew, all of the recent growth in the nones has come among those who are not married. This indicates a group of people distrustful of institutions, with marriage being the most basic of institutions. The unaffiliated donate less to charity than do the affiliated. They participate in fewer volunteer organizations. Individualism can easily become atomization. Whatever else you may think of the communitarian creeds, they help create community.

Again, it’s just not true. The Nones enjoy community as much as religious people do… but in a different format. While Christians may congregate in churches, Nones may congregate online or in smaller groups.

About the marriage thing. Gerson is presumably referring to a Pew study from 2012 (PDF) that said 39% of the Nones are married compared to 51% of the general public. But remember that many of the Nones are younger in general… and we’re also less likely to *have* to get married at a young age. I mean, if you have no qualms about being in a serious relationship, having sex, or co-habitating, then it makes sense there’s no urgency to get married. Once you get past the age of 30, the numbers get much closer (54% of Nones are married compared to 61% of theists).

Finally, the charity and volunteering… this is just grasping at straws. Of course religious people do more of both. No one doubts that. But the reason for that, I’d argue, is that churches have a better infrastructure to allow for those things to happen. If you’re a Christian and you want to give to charity (not just tithe) and volunteer, your church likely has all sorts of opportunities for you to do so. If you’re an atheist… not so much. But groups like Foundation Beyond Belief are working to change that, something Gerson ignores entirely.

Gerson is just taking cheap swipes at non-religious people without doing his research. He’s being lazy and working off of his prejudices instead of the evidence. He should know better.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Rain

    The rise of the nones is symptomatic of the decline of many forms of belonging. According to Pew, all of the recent growth in the nones has come among those who are not married. This indicates a group of people distrustful of institutions, with marriage being the most basic of institutions.

    Where’s the part about the lack of evidence, and it’s a bunch a malarkey? Does Michael Gerson factor any of that in there? Lack of evidence and a bunch of malarkey are probably completely irrelevant to why there are “nones”. /sarcasm

  • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Thomas J. Lawson

    Ugh, stop calling them Nones now. They’re 50 shades of Deists.

  • The Captain

    You’re right about what he said that was wrong, but I’d like to point out that Gerson didn’t say these things by “mistake’ or because he did not “do his homework”, he said those things on purpose because he’s not a reporter he’s an opinion writer and frankly a propagandist for the conservative/religious right.

    Gerson have defended the catholic church from criticism in many of his column, and attacks “secularist” all the time. So he’s not misunderstanding the democrats and the “nones” on the left, he’s trying to paint them as the scary secular enemy coming to take away your religion and destroy the american way of life.

    Gerson’s goal is to get votes for republicans, not write a fair story, so treating his words as just being misinformed is the wrong criticism. He’s just a lying conservative with theocratic tendencies.

    • 3lemenope

      I agree. Many people deserve the benefit of the doubt, but Gerson is one of the people for whom no doubt should be wasted.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

        i don’t read anyone at the WaPo. their standards are so low, so many of their columnists so sloppy and ideologically motivated, it’s hard to take anything they put out seriously.

      • Houndentenor

        No they shouldn’t. Everything should be read with some degree of skepticism. Even if you agree with the conclusion, you should take a look at the facts used to draw that conclusion. Lately I’ve been bombarded on facebook by forwards of things that are downright untrue. Usually it’s conservatives that do that, but lately they seem to be coming from liberal friends. We have to be skeptical of everything we read because too many people lie and too many others are too lazy to check to see if what they are passing along is actually true.

        • 3lemenope

          The only doubt I’m talking about is the one where I (or another reader) assume given no additional info that when an author is in error, it is because of a lack of care or ignorance, rather than mendacity, that is the root cause.

          Gerson doesn’t get this benefit for a few reasons, not least he cannot plausibly claim to be ignorant of what he would have to be in order for it to be a result of ignorance, and this isn’t exactly the first time with him.

    • Houndentenor

      That’s revolting no matter who is doing it or why. Opinion pieces use facts to back up the conclusion/opinion and made up “facts” are not acceptable. How did we get to this point that people can do this and not get fired?

  • Castilliano

    Re: Charity
    When one looks at non-church donations, “nones” do give more to charity. Estimates on percentage of church donations that make it to the needy range in the low 10-15% (due to undisclosed records, we’re unsure). Standard charities (religious or not) are in the 80-90+% range (disclosed, so we’re very sure). After ‘church donations’ are factored out, “nones” donate more to the needy. The religious donate (?) more to the upkeep of their institutions, who then pass on a meager share to the needy.
    Just shows another religious drain on humanity’s goodwill.

    • jflcroft

      Do you have a source for this? This is not consistent with the data I’ve seen, which suggests that, even factoring out donations to churches, the religious give significantly more than the secular to charity.

      • Castilliano

        I believe it was on this website within the last several months, right after that major survey re: red states vs. blue states and charity.
        Conservative states topped liberal across the board until donations to churches were excluded, then it flipped almost 180.
        (Based on $%)
        I admit I may be associating conservatism too strongly with Christianity, but I don’t mind the liberal Christians so much. They’re more civil. :)

        I wouldn’t mind seeing your sources either.
        I’d be surprised by ‘significantly’ more donations, but if that’s what it reasonably concludes…

  • http://twitter.com/Eyeohpee I.O.P.

    Which European country has parties divided on religious grounds? That statement really confused me, since at least in the UK there’s no split….

    • 3lemenope

      Sometimes people get confused by the party names. Like Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party, which may at one time had something to do with Christianity but these days is really just a big tent third-way Clinton-Blair center-right party more concerned with market economics and trade than much else. As I said above, I don’t think Gerson can credibly claim ignorance, but I’ve known others who were confused by nomenclature issues.

      • Quintin van Zuijlen

        There are three Cristian political parties in the Netherlands, two whose C’s might as well stand for centrist, and one completely bat shit crazy GOP copy cat.

  • Kelley

    The Democratic Party, in general, is a “rainbow” party consisting of a much more diverse group…age, race, culture, gender. The GOP membership relys on “older white males” with deep, rigid ideology and religious beliefs. The GOP is obviously more religious and less tolerant than the Dems. I belong to the Nones group and the Democratic Party. I am an older white female. I don’t feel a need to “fit in” like members of the GOP. Those in the Democratic Party who are religious have shown that their faith embraces others in our “rainbow” party too.

  • TheOnlyKarsh

    VOTE LIBERTARIAN!!!

    Karsh

    • RowanVT

      Yeah, no. Not voting for the party of massive naivete. “People will be nicer to each other if we remove these laws saying they can’t discriminate!” … “There’s nothing wrong with monopolies!”

      • Puzzled

        Karsh seems to have forgotten that the need for God is inborn – so far too many atheists root around for a replacement and wind up with the State.

        • dandaman

          The need for understanding is inborn, some of us actually give it some thought and wind up being rational, which completely fills your so called “in-born need for god”. The state, what the hell are you talking about, North Korea?

          • WallofSleep

            I suspect it’s that silly, old saw: Atheism = Communism.

        • RobMcCune

          Right, because people who have filled their “need for god” never advocate for theocracy.

        • WallofSleep

          I have no inborn need for any kind of fairy tale to be true, nor am I rooting around for something to replace that which I do not need. I’m just not superstitious, it’s that simple.

        • TheOnlyKarsh

          I didn’t forget it. Just trying to show that there is another path, and that involves no need for a nanny god or a public tit.

          Karsh

        • Baby_Raptor

          Got any proof for that? Because, like many other religious claims, it doesn’t play out in reality.

      • Puzzled

        Monopolies bad, right? So monopolies on security, on law, on justice, the second tier of most important services…those monopolies must be bad too, right?

        • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

          One major difference is that law and justice usually involve moderating what one person must supply to another’s demand, rather than itself acting as a buyer or a seller.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

          in a representative democracy, like we are supposed to have, that is called “civilization” and through a series of participatory actions we all get to determine what forms of security, law, etc., we enjoy. we elect representatives to craft our laws, support advocacy organizations, select and promote an independent judiciary… hardly a “monopoly.” if you don’t like the way the security forces or schools are run, it’s your right to get involved in making them change, any time you want.

          and your other comment is so laughable i won’t even bother to respond.

        • The Captain

          Ahh I’m not sure if you know what the word “democracy” means.

      • TheOnlyKarsh

        I always find it ironic that those that would advocate for theft by force attempt to cast Libertarians in an immoral light.

        Karsh

        • WallofSleep

          He didn’t say “immoral”, he said “naive”.

          • TheOnlyKarsh

            I was referring to his allusion that people who favor free choice would discriminate if not forced to do otherwise. I also find it rather ironic that he he advocated for the use of force in order to force people to behave as he deems is correct. Some people are good and some are bad, passing behavior and thought crime laws doesn’t change that.

            Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t make them naive either.

            Karsh

            • WallofSleep

              Reductio ad absurdum: Laws against murder are laws passed to force people to behave in a way that society deems is correct, and as such these laws are in direct conflict with people who favor free choice.

              • TheOnlyKarsh

                Strawman: Not an argument that I or Libertarians make. The difference being that murder deprives another of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

                Karsh

                • WallofSleep

                  Incorrect. It is not a strawman argument but a reduction to absurdity. In order for it to be a proper strawman argument I would first have to assert that it is a position that you hold, which I did not, and then begin to tear down or deconstruct that position to discredit you, which I did not.

                  Instead, I took what appears to be your philosophy and reduced it to the absurd, which quite frankly is what it is. Absurd.

                • TheOnlyKarsh

                  So, let me get this straight. You use an absurd argument in an attempt to show how correct your point is? I think all you’ve done is look absurd.

                  Again, equating my stance with a stance against laws against murder is not only absurd it’s an argument that wasn’t made, implied or even miscommunicated.

                  Me thinks the you’ve been looking in the mirror far to long when making accusations of naivete. As I encounter with most people who castigate the Libertarians you understand nothing about Libertarians or the Libertarian philosophy. When confronted with an unknown and opposing argument you’re reduced name calling and accusations.

                  Karsh

                • WallofSleep

                  “So, let me get this straight.”

                  You didn’t. You appear to have a problem with reading comprehension. Please google the phrases “Reductio ad absurdum” and “strawman arguement”.

                  And for the record, Libertarianism is not unknown to me, and I neither called you any names nor leveled any acusations at you. Heh, talk about a strawman.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      actually that’s another thing gearson gets wrong. there are quite a few non-believers on the right, and quite a few of them lean to the (idiotic) libertarian right. there are vocal gay, atheist, and pot smoking conservatives who are so in part because they reject the association of religion and the right as the default mode of conservatism.

      • TheOnlyKarsh

        Because of course anyone who doesn’t agree with you must be an idiot.

        Karsh

    • The Captain

      Unfortunately for the libertarian party I may be against religious laws, but I’m also against social darwinism so they don’t get my vote.

    • Baby_Raptor

      No thank you. The Libertarians don’t treat me any better than the Republicans do, they’re just a microcosm less assholic about it. The Democrats continue to be the only party that see me as a human being, not a walking baby maker or an unholy abomination or a hell-bound heathen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.allosso Dan Allosso

    “Oh, the NONES. They’re just another flavor of Democrats.” Can’t think of a more effective way to trivialize secular humanism than to make it a SUBSET of political affiliation.

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    If the hypothesis were sound, trust would be disproportionately concentrated among the religious; however, the GSS-2012 indicates that the decline in trust of others is generational, nigh-uniformly between the strongly religious, not very religious, and unaffiliated.

  • TSeeker

    The ‘Nones’ phenomenon is, to me and many, a disturbing trend. These are not people abandoning religion They are leaving established religious traditions for a hodgepodge potpourri of beliefs based on whatever makes them feel warm and fuzzy at the moment. The same trend of ‘Nones’ goes along with the trends Pew Research finds of so called ‘atheists’ who pray every day, or believe in a personal god. Yeah, really. The number of atheists who pray has grown. What does that even mean? If I’m gleefully going to claim someone in my own ‘camp of thought’, I want it to be someone who has given thought to the subject, not someone who, if pressed, couldn’t string together a coherent though on the topic if they had to. The Nones is not a promising trend, unless atheism is not about rational thought or reason at all, and it’s just about winning arguments, getting numbers, and accepting any argument as long as it’s not a traditional one. That can’t bode anything but ill for the future, if a future of reasoned conclusions and rational thought is what we are wanting.

    • 3lemenope

      I don’t live in a camp. I live in an apartment building. There, it is easily delineated who lives there and who doesn’t, so I don’t have to go through this harrowing process of claiming them.

      And why does an amorphous, heterogeneous group of “nones” spell disaster for the future, exactly? People have always played fast and loose with their own metaphysical predilections; only now, they aren’t required to fit into prepared boxes.

      • TSeeker

        If we are a nation of juror number sevens, who don’t care what Truth is as long as we make it to the game, probably not much. But it’s sad to see the defenders of atheism, the great and glorious search for the truth, say they don’t care what anyone says or thinks, as long as it gives all these traditional religions we hate a black eye. Something tells me the newer generations of atheists are far less concerned with the truth than we used to be when we were told atheism was nothing but the consequence of a bold, determined quest for the Truth. If that word even means that much, which based on the comments, apparently it doesn’t.

        • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

          People who aren’t willing to identify with any religious organization are at least without one important obstacle to getting to the truth. They are also generally allies in church-state battles. Why are you claiming that being interested in the trend or even identifying with other non-religious people means that we’re ignoring false positions?

    • A3Kr0n

      And all these “nones” are collecting down the road from me in their non-denominational church that will be featuring fun, egg hunts, and a HOT AIR BALLOON tomorrow. Also, their huge sign looks like some straight from the Vegas strip.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      i disagree. what most of us object to about religion is the desire of believers to use their particular creed to shape society for all of us, while not leaving people with different beliefs the same rights and freedoms.

      people who aren’t affiliated but entertain some sort of personal metaphysics are also people who are not, for the most part, supporting, funding or giving influence to organized religious groups trying to restrict freedom. they aren’t supporting missionary activities, building more churches, or fattening census and poll numbers which scare politicians away from reason.

      even the firm atheists here can’t all agree on exactly what atheism should be defined as, and i believe diversity strengthens our community. i welcome the fuzzy nones, as well as the intellectually strict ones. i’ll worry about them more when i see an anti-gay or racist group of nones lobbying to take away my rights. haven’t seen that yet, nor do i worry i will.

      • 3lemenope

        This can’t be up-voted enough. There is a very disturbing trend, from my perspective anyway, of atheists wanting to or actually trying to set ourselves up as somehow superior people, somehow inherently more clear-thinking, ethical, intelligent, and just plain better than everyone who doesn’t share our metaphysical outlook. I see little-to-no evidence of superiority and plenty of self-deception on that score, and it leads directly to the sneering at the “fuzzy nones” that one often sees.

        Most of the damage that religion has done and does relies upon it being an organized activity. When it ceases to be organized, most of those harms fall away into the noise.

      • TSeeker

        And yet, those who seek to limit religion in the name of non religion are, from the POV of the religious, guilty of the same thing. Look, I have the same opinions about the whole modern ‘evangelistic atheist’ movement. For decades, way back when I was first formulating my own philosophies destined to exclude religious thought, the big rage was ‘it’s evil to evangelize, evangelize, evangelize!’ And now, what are atheists saying we should do? What was once said to be evil by its very nature. To say there is a problem with religions influencing society is to basically say anyone with religions we dislike have no business being an influence in society, unless they check their own foundational beliefs at the door. I want religious people to bring their beliefs, their ideals, and their presuppositions to the table. Because one, it’s easier to dialogue. And two, I’m not stupid enough to think that if I establish a precedent of eliminating the ‘wrong’ beliefs from society, we’ll stop only at the wrong ‘religious’ beliefs.

        Plus, you don’t deal with my point. What you seem to be saying is you don’t care how lazy, crack potted, or vapid a perspective is, as long as it’s not a traditionally established religion. Basically, you’ll take any half baked lazy viewpoint, as long as it isn’t the ones you really hate, which you hope to cut off from all public influence. Which is the very thing we say religious people were wrong for doing for all those eons.

        • dandaman

          Filling someone in on the EVIDENCE for evolution and a secular world view is not being an “evangelistic atheist”, we’re just trying to fix the omissions of the media and public school systems that have been oppressed by the god-full and mindless. Remember any evidence being mentioned the last time some pinhead rang your doorbell Sunday morning?

        • Nox

          What do you mean by “seeking to limit religion”?

          Evangelization is not inherently evil. If someone thinks they are in possession of an important truth they should try to inform the world about it. It is evangelization of bad ideas that is the problem. Since it would be a horrible idea to suppress anyone’s ability to express their beliefs, the best solution is to challenge bad ideas. That way each individual can have the freedom to make an informed choice in their own beliefs.

      • dandaman

        While Atheists should be open to pluralism, I find it hard to accept people who care so little about reality, natural history, geology, etc., that they never really give much thought to our existence, evolution or our history on earth. This is intellectual laziness and a lack of curiosity that weakens the atheistic view of the universe as just another belief with no real foundation, when it is actually the only evidence-based belief system IMHO.

      • TSeeker

        By the way, I missed this the first time, but I was taken by your statement that ‘even the firm atheists here can’t all agree on exactly what atheism should defined as, and I believe diversity strengthens our community.’ One of the most popular (and I believe weakest) assaults on religion is the idea that the plethora of religious belief is somehow a slam dunk smack down of religion. How about Thor!? Huh? Huh? How about all those other religions! Heck, Christians (or so I was just told on another thread) have all kinds of disagreements on what Christianity is, thereby showing it must be false! So atheism is therefore false as well? What you say is true, atheism is not something clearly defined, and clearly is seen differently by different people. Though atheists who pray and believe in personal gods push the limit of definition Words no longer mean anything if an atheist believes in a personal god. At the point atheists accept that, atheism becomes simply the latest metaphysical hat in the ring, spewing hatred against certain other beliefs, while allowing the most ludicrous and asinine viewpoints as long as it is part of The New Faith. That is my biggest fear. Careless, thoughtless, lazy atheists, who seem to think that adding to a stat is the only thing that matters, as 3lemenope says below, just to claim some unearned intellectual or moral superiority. That is, by doing all the things that critics of religion have historically criticized religion for fostering.

        • Nox

          Then you completely misunderstood the argument you are trying to respond to here.

          It isn’t that people believe in many different gods so all gods must be wrong because of this. It is that people believe in many different gods (which by definition could not all exist) so god belief is entirely arbitrary and can easily be based on imaginary beings.

          The point of bringing up Thor is that you already believe Thor is made up. When a god besides yours has no evidence for them and strong evidence against them, you have no trouble concluding they do not exist. When your god has no evidence for them and strong evidence against them, you have trouble reaching this conclusion. But your skepticism of Thor shows you are capable of skepticism (at least selective skepticism).

          It is silly to look for a uniform god in atheism. It is not a double standard. We are talking about belief systems which if true would have radically different ramifications.

          You are suggesting an all powerful overseer. One who speaks to people but apparently fails to deliver his message to most or gives many conflicting messages to different people. If there were one god it should have put all the imitators out of business a long time ago.

          Yet all these imitators are still around. With no real god showing itself to be the one real god, all the gods are tied at no evidence. In the continued lack of any evidence for any god, christians will continue to believe they are right and muslims are wrong, and muslims will continue to believe they are right and christians are wrong. It is easy enough for christians to see the plot holes in islam, and easy enough for muslims to see the plot holes in christianity, but no one sees the beam in their own eye. If either of those gods were real it could step in and permanently clear up this confusion. Yet no god does.

          On the other side of the coin, by not proposing an all powerful overseer, atheists are not describing a universe where we should expect everyone to agree on some preset dogma.

          There is no atheist canon. Some things can be extrapolated from a lack of gods, but there is no dogma we are all required to believe. And no reason we should all believe all the same things. There is however a christian canon. A fixed text which is supposed to be the source text for any variant of christianity. And from this one fixed text christians have extrapolated hundreds of mutually exclusive gods. No one can agree on what scripture says, and once again no god steps in to clear up the confusion.

          Thor doesn’t make your god nonexistent. Thor makes your god nonspecial. Disagreements among christians don’t prove no god is real. They prove christians aren’t getting their instructions from any real god.

      • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

        I agree. The nones needs sufficient numbers beyond a certain threshold before it can become socially acceptible to be nones. At that point, we can all (nones and religious) bring our ideas to the table as equal players and as a community decide on the best course of action for the society. If the Noens are too small in number, bullying and peer-pressure will keep them silent and they will remain under-represented in public discourse. The “evangelical” atheists are a neccesary stepping stone to increase the public’s awareness of atheists and to slowly get the general public to recognize (and accept) that there are actually people out there who are functioning quite well living outside of religious belief and these people should not be forced to remain silent or stay “in the closet”.

  • A3Kr0n

    In other words, to live a healthy well-adjusted life you must believe in bullshit.
    Makes Sense To Me!

  • C Peterson

    Let’s put aside the nonsensical/falsely-dichotomized “militant skeptic” comment for a moment…

    Actually, the way he used the term made perfect sense. What he left unsaid, however, is that for every “militant skeptic” (James Randi comes to mind) there are thousands of “true believers”. A more interesting question that follows from this is whether all extremists hold the same sort of contempt for those whom they disagree with. My impression is that they don’t- that your typical “militant skeptic” is much less likely to attack a “true believer” than vice versa.

    • 3lemenope

      In what sense is Randi “militant”?

      • C Peterson

        He’s an activist. I consider “activist” and “militant” to be essentially synonymous.

        Anybody who writes books, goes on lecture tours, and actively challenges the beliefs of others is militant in my lexicon.

        • 3lemenope

          I tend to think this defines “militant” down to uselessness. Not to mention I’ve met many an activist (in assorted areas) who would be difficult to describe as militant.

          • C Peterson

            Like I said, I don’t really see much difference. I generally prefer the term “activist”, but I’m not going to consider it incorrect to use “militant”, as long as the person it’s applied to is passionate and public in their actions.

  • SeekerLancer

    It endlessly amuses me, all of these journalists and columnists who think they know everything about the secular movement but they never actually spent a minute to research it and just run off their own preconceptions.

  • Glasofruix

    which has been cursed by the conflict between anticlerical parties and religious parties

    Huh?

  • Houndentenor

    Very wrong. I know tons of liberal Christians. All those churches with the “social gospel”, for example. There are also plenty of right wing nontheists. All those Objectivists. they may keep their mouths shut around their religious friends but not everyone on the right is a social conservative or religious. Both parties int he US are coalitions of groups that in most democracies would be separate parties (that formed coalition governments together). I think it’s a mistake to assume that there aren’t Democrats who’d love a liberal theocracy and Republicans who’d love a more secular government. They just aren’t dominant in their own party.

  • Rain

    Religious conservatives remain the largest constituency within the Republican Party.

    He forgot to say “in my fairy tale lala land”. Religious conservatives remain the largest constituency within the Republican Party in my fairy tale lala land.

  • fsm

    I do not agree that Xtians give more to charity since I don’t consider paying their dues to multibillion dollar corporations to be charity.

  • Stev84

    Marriage is not an “institution”. I’m so sick of that phrase

  • T Richardson

    I will say that I tend to vote more Republicans. It is a challenge of course, but I choose to fight the religious/social aspect in the community instead of the legislature. I can’t abide by the fiscal free for all that the majority of the Democrats seem to desire. I’m quite sure there are many more like me. If they, like me, would also let the GOP know that we exist, we can take back the party from the nuts.


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