Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I live in Colorado Springs. "Evangelical groups with headquarters at Colorado Springs include Compassion International, Focus on the Family, the International Bible Society, The Navigators, Young Life and Youth with a Mission. At one time Colorado Springs was counted to be the national headquarters for 81 different religious organizations..."
by asdf on Sun Jul 16th, 2006 at 09:11:57 AM EST
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No wonder I couldn't remember!

Seriously, though, with your neighbors, do you think those numbers are in any way inflated?

by Matt in NYC on Sun Jul 16th, 2006 at 10:46:40 AM EST
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Yes, I think they're seriously inflated. There is simply no way that more than 10% of the population (I would guess more like 2%) supports government policies based on an impending rapture event. I can't back that up with statistics, but I don't personally know ANYBODY who thinks that way, and I know a lot of extremely conservative and activist Christians. For example, a friend of mine, who led a multi-year Bible study group at the New Life Church, simply writes that off as something that will happen sometime in the future, but not soon enough to worry about. It's simply not taken as a practical day-to-day issue, just like about 99,000 other religious points.

My view is that America is a pretty conservative country, a pretty religious country, and obviously a big and rich and powerful country. The right wing politicians have done a good job recently of coordinating with the religious right on topics of common interest, but it's something that takes considerable ongoing work. For example:

  • Getting the religious right to be quiet during the 2000 and 2004 elections, in order to not scare off votes from moderates.
  • The administration's weak support for an anti-abortion bill even though that is a (the?) primary issue for the religious right.
  • Making use of church as a political get-together, which can backfire if the church doesn't agree with you.
  • "Creation Care" as an example of where the interests of the big evangelical churches may diverge from that of other big business supporters of the political right.
  • Immigration, where churches tend to take moderate positions.
  • Etc.

It's a very complicated situation, obviously, and right now the big right-wing churches and right-wing politicians have managed to pull together a winning combination. On the other hand, there are plenty of ways that a well-organized left could disrupt that combination. Note that the current Democrats do not constitute a well-organized anything, left or right.
by asdf on Sun Jul 16th, 2006 at 12:44:38 PM EST
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