Evangelicalism and Its Electoral Discontents

The Aquila Report | 12/6/2018 | Staff
princia (Posted by) Level 3
The third problem facing those who would explain the religious politics of “Evangelicalism” is that the politics of born-again Protestants are more obviously shaped by local and national, rather than international or even religious, agendas. Evangelicals do not speak with one political voice or advance a universal political agenda.

A new interest in Evangelicals on the part of political scientists and media commentators has been one of the most striking consequences of the recent rise of populist politics in Europe and the Americas. The results of the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump, as well as the more recent appointment of Scott Morrison as the Australian Prime Minister and the election of Brazil’s new President, Jair Bolsonaro, have prompted analysts and journalists to consider voting communities whose political preferences and electoral behavior may have contributed to what they represent as the sudden populist, and often distinctively rightward, turn.

Manner - Jimmy - Carter - Critics - Right

And so, in a manner unseen since the later 1970s, when both Jimmy Carter and his critics in the Christian Right were identified with an emerging Evangelical movement, newspapers and other media outlets have been trying to explain to their audiences who Evangelicals are, and why they tend to vote as they do. But there are a number of problems with this approach.

The first problem is that “Evangelicalism” does not exist as unitary movement. As the American historian D. G. Hart has demonstrated, in Deconstructing Evangelicalism (2004), born-again Protestants are not united by any shared theological commitment. In fact, the most recent survey of theological and ethical opinion among Evangelicals, released only this past month, indicates that many of these believers openly question the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Aquila Report
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