I am reminding myself of this fact: it is a discussion about white evangelical voters. Here is the comment from David French:
The bottom line is that the percentage of white Americans identifying as Evangelical grew from 25 to 29 percent between 2016 and 2020, powered mainly by the fact that 16 percent of Trump supporters who didn’t identify as Evangelical in 2016 started considering themselves Evangelical by 2020.
I am working my way through The Long Loneliness, an autobiography of Dorothy Day. As she was beginning her work in journalism, it was 1917 in New York City. A massive time of upheaval.
She was still not convinced of Christianity, but her work in journalism kept her from attending any meetings of Socialists, though she declared herself a Socialist at the time. In her writing and in her exploration of the tremendous upheaval in her world, Day was insightful in her observations of leaders and ideologies.
N.T. Wright poses this question: “What would happen if we were to take seriously our stated belief that Jesus Christ is already the Lord of the world and that at his name, one day, every knee would bow?”
It will take another 25 years or so to honestly do a decent job on the post mortem, but there are the roots of this fall that are being talked about now. We are entering a time of Babylonian captivity as the white conservative church. The question of our awareness and willingness is another matter altogether.
This week is supposed to begin jury selection for Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged in the murder of George Floyd. It’s been a year since Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. What have we learned?
This piece by David French is something I’ve mulled over for awhile because I’ve read both of Jonathan Haidt’s books mentioned in the piece. I’ve also found it’s not just about trying to talk to conspiracy theorists. Ideologies are so entrenched currently, all the mantra is these days is to show someone else just how wrong they are, and BOOM… they’ll see it my way!
In light of our current crazy political environment I find this quote incredibly insightful:
“The effort to state an absolute fact is simply an attempt to achieve what is humanly impossible; all I can do is give you my interpretation of the facts.” — Ivy Lee, one of the first to practice the new field of public relations in the 1920s. (From These Truths, by Jill LePore, p. 412)
I hate to say it, but that guy got it right 100 years ago. It’s the environment in which we now exist.
David French has a similar journey to mine in his geography. I find this the more I read him. He lived for decades in the Northeast as a conservative Republican. I lived in Minnesota in a very liberal metro area as a conservative white pastor. He moved to TN. I moved to Alabama. He found he was still “homeless” in a way. I have discovered that as well.
In 2008, I will easily confess I did not vote for Barack Obama. Yet, when he was elected, there was something that settled well in my spirit. Not about policy, but about symbols. It didn’t solve anything deep… but WOW! We had finally elected a black man to be president. In that moment, I truly felt gratitude.