Salon Magazine has accused the Republican Party of being out of touch with “post-Christian America,” warning the GOP that if it doesn’t renege on its alliance with Christianity, it will soon become irrelevant.
Ted Cruz’s failure to get the GOP nomination, Matthew Sheffield proclaims in Salon, “is a perfect window into trends that will set the pace of American politics for decades to come: Americans are moving away from Christianity, including people most likely to vote Republican.”
To back up his claims, Sheffield cites the 2014 Pew Research study finding that 23 percent of Americans say they’re “unaffiliated” with any religious tradition, up from 20 percent just three years earlier.
The trend away from religion, and Christianity in particular, Sheffield argues, is the real cause of Republicans’ woes and their failure to win the last two elections.
“The likely reason why Republicans have declined in popularity among the non-religious is GOP’s long habit of identifying itself as a Christian party,” he states. “The later attempt to add in a “Judeo-” prefix has done little to stop the bleeding.”
While the statistics showing a rise in the religiously unaffiliated are undoubtedly sobering to people of faith, Sheffield fails to mention that the very same Pew study showed that over 70 percent of Americans continue to identify as Christian. That means that to an overwhelming majority of Americans, God matters.
And while Sheffield rightly notes that atheists overwhelmingly vote Democrat, he comes up with the unlikely conclusion that Republicans should slough off their historical friendliness with religion in order to keep up with social trends. In other words, Republicans should repeat the Democrats’ mistakes of alienating the pro-life community, religious believers, and traditional families in the hopes of pandering to the relatively small group of religiously unaffiliated. Continue Reading