Walking Away From Church: This is a really interesting point in a really interesting article. Over the last few decades (and someone would say since the 60s), the Republican party has become the “Christian” party in politics.
During the 1980s, the public face of American religion turned sharply right. Political allegiances and religious observance became more closely aligned, and both religion and politics became more polarized. Abortion and homosexuality became more prominent issues on the national political agenda, and activists such as Jerry Falwell and Ralph Reed began looking to expand religious activism into electoral politics. Church attendance gradually became the primary dividing line between Republicans and Democrats in national elections.
This political “God gap” is a recent development. Up until the 1970s, progressive Democrats were common in church pews and many conservative Republicans didn’t attend church.
Another article I read (can’t find it now) proposed that the change occurred in 1964, at the Republican convention. Republicans decided they need to become the Christian party in order to take control of the country. Up until then, Democrats were considered the party of the highly religious.
This has changed so much. To a large portion of the country, to be “Democrat” is almost the same as being “Godless.” Someone even told me once that he didn’t think you could be both Democrat and Christian, which I personally find ridiculous (he was deeply influenced by his stance on abortion, above anything else).
I tend to get heated in political debates, and I often have to remind myself that God doesn’t care about my politics. He doesn’t care about my countries borders or tax policies, either. it’s easy to lose sight of that and think that every political decision in this country has some spiritual ramification.
Our failure to understand that appears to have poisoned a large part of today’s youth against the church. They look at the crap we adults argue about and decide – quite rightly, I fear – that they’ll find their own way spiritually, thank you very much.
Food for thought: if Jesus Christ was walking the Earth today, would He be a Democrat or a Republican?