Thursday, November 06, 2008

The evangelical vote

The Church Times blog provided a useful summary of the online comments from a Christian point of view with regard to the US election. An interesting follow-on link was the analysis of the evangelical vote, based on CNN exit polling. The summary concludes that about 1 in 4 self-declared evangelicals voted Obama. There is also an interactive Google map for fuller details. I suspect African American evangelicals were rather more positive about Obama!

What is interesting is that in the US, evangelicals have tended to line up with the political right (with notable exceptions like Jim Wallis). Yet in a previous era, evangelicals were often at the vanguard of radical political and economic reform, if not aligned with the 'left' as we would now put it. Abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire and the social reforms regarding factory working conditions, education, etc are Victorian examples from the UK.

Maybe evangelicalism needs to look again at whether it's going to define itself as the people who say 'no' or find renewed energy for a positive agenda for addressing the very real social, political, environmental and other needs in the world today.

1 comment:

dmk said...

It would be interesting to know the turnout for Christian groups. The recieved wisdom is that Bush, Reagan etc. managed to mobilise the 'Christian right' (ugh!), so I wonder if fewer Robertsonites voted this time, since they didn't have one of their own to vote for?