WHERE'S THE ANGRY GOD?
This column in the Chicago Tribune asks a good question: If all the gay people are getting married in California, why is God punishing the Midwest with awful weather? Or did the goofy televangelists get in wrong before? That is, was Hurricane Katrina not really punishment for the sins of New Orleans (where I just spent four days -- more on that later)?
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VOTING PATTERNS OF PEOPLE OF FAITH CHANGING
The conventional wisdom about presidential politics in recent elections is that people who identify themselves as conservative or evangelical Christians mostly vote for the Republican candidate. Further, Democrats have had trouble even knowing how to talk about religion without seeming to be engaged in a subject about which they knew precious little.
Well, the picture always was more complicated than that, but a new survey designed by some folks at Calvin College suggests that this whole picture may be changing for the 2008 election. For a Calvin press release about this, click here.
As the release notes, one of the most intriguing results, at least to me, is the change in members of Mainline Christian churches (the Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc.). These folks historically have voted pretty reliably Republican. But now they are more lined up behind the Democrats.
I tend to be skeptical of all political polling and all of these kinds of surveys for many reasons, but they can sometimes provide a snapshot of how things may be, and they may help us understand more clearly what is happening in races that are dynamic and complex.
At the very least, they help to remind us that reality is much more complex than our prejudices, stereotypes and assumptions.
To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.
Today's religious holiday: Sacred Heart of Jesus (Catholic Christianity)