Monday, November 08, 2004

Why we can't give up on white evangelicals:

The Archpundit comments that conservative white evangelicals are a lost cause. I may agree to some extent, but the reason that we can't give up on them is because they are the fastest growing churches. If we give up on conservative evangelicals, we will lose. Their numbers are growing faster than ours. He's also bothered because Democrats lost "a significant chunk of overservant Latinos." My guess: 37% percent (pdf) of Latinos identify themselves as born-again (both Catholics and Protestants). I think James Dobson had a Spanish version of his periodical long before major politicians were practicing their Spanish on audiences, and he ran ads this year urging Hispanics to "Vote por Sus Valores". The evangelical community is continuing to expand its influence beyond the traditional white Protestant. We can work all we want to change the media's message, but we are going to have to deal with this at its core--the conservative churches themselves. (Of course, I have no great plan how--only fledging ideas.) And it as has been pointed out to me, I have been too quick to refer to evangelicals as white only. According to one poll, at least 57% of African-Americans consider themselves "born-again," yet 88% of African-Americans voted for Kerry. Although this columnist expresses concern that African-American voters will be ignored while the search to reach white evangelicals reaches full-force, it's my hope that the dialogue over the interplay between religion and politics involves all religions and all races. A final comment, in case you ever wonder why conservative churches are the fastest growing, compare the website, particularly the weekly events, of an evangelical church with the website of a mainline church and think about it from a marketing perspective. Which set of events lends itself best to bringing new people in?