- It is little wonder why the established left (major media, whiterpeople, etc) despises Evangelicals and affords Mormons nothing of the exalted status given to other minority groups--these two groups tend to vote Republican. And their members are the only ones who do so out of the fourteen religious affiliations Pew profiled. The percentage of an affiliation's members who are either Republican or lean Republican compared to the number of its members who are either Democratic or lean Democratic (if 9 members are Republicans and 10 are Democrats, it's displayed as 90%):
|Religious affiliation||Rep / Dem|
The more multicultural we become, the better off the Democratic party becomes. The understanding of the US as a Christian nation is antithetical to Democratic electoral dominance.
Aside from their theological beliefs and the minority that accepts polygamy as a legitimate family structure, Mormons epitomize the American conservative ideal: Married, firmly middle class baby makers whose communities are characterized by relative equality, both economically and educationally.
- It can be shown that the characterization of Mormons as solidly middle class is appropriate from the report. Looking first at the economic situation using the broad definition encompassing households with annual incomes between $30,000 and $100,000 as George Will does, the percentage of each affiliation's members who are middle class:
Hindus and Jews are at the bottom because they are so highly represented in the $100k-plus category (43% and 46%, respectively).
Similarly, to gauge middling educational attainment, the percentage of each affiliation's members who've at least graduated high school and gone on to attempt some college and at most have received a bachelor's degree but have not completed post-graduate work:
|Religious affiliation||HS, no PG|
Again, Hindus and Jews do not typify the middle class because they sail above it, with high post-graduate representation (48% and 35%, respectively).
- Whenever I find myself in casual conversation with a Witness, I usually make some comment about how remarkable Witnesses were in Nazi Germany, essentially being the only group persecuted who voluntarily chose to be so. It earns a few innocuous PC points (the only kind I'll take!) and provides an opportunity for the Witness to talk about his religious beliefs, something he's usually more than happy to do. I don't find that eagerness surprising, as the lives of Witnesses are in my experience more religiously-directed than members of any other affiliation.
Understanding that Witnesses tend to be poorer, less educated, and less white (only 48% are according to the report, and other sources put it around 40%) than the nation as a whole, this religious focus nevertheless comes at the expense of secular engagement. Jehovah's Witnesses are really out there. When asked about their party affiliation ("Independent" was an option in addition to Republican or Democrat), 61% of Witnesses refused to answer or said they didn't know. No other group comes close to that figure. Muslims, at 16%, are a very distant second in their level of disengagement.
- A good friend carries with him the slogan "I'm forever a conservative before a Republican". I strive to be an objectivist before either. What does the report tell us about the relationship between political affiliation and political ideology? The percentage of an affiliation's members who are either conservative or very conservative compared to the number of its members who are either Republican or lean Republican (if 9 members are conservative and 10 are Republicans, it's displayed as 90%):
|Religious affiliation||Con / Rep|
Blacks are clearly the most likely to consider themselves politically conservative while still consistently voting Democratic. Members of historically black churches are as likely to consider themselves conservative (35%) as they are to consider themselves moderate (36%) and nearly twice as likely to consider themselves conservative as they are to consider themselves liberal (21%).
This trend is almost exactly reversed among Jews, who embody the sentiments of whiterpeople better than any other affiliation does. They are as likely to be liberal (38%) as they are to be moderate (39%), and twice as likely to be liberal as they are to be conservative (21%). This despite the fact that black church members are more likely to vote Democratic (78%) than Jews are (65%).
There was a time I thought the potential for blacks moving closer to the Republican party existed. I knew from the guys I played basketball with that stark gender distinctions, a premium on monetary success and male masculinity, and (extended) family orientation (ie, family reunions lasting several days) are all held in high regard in the black community. When focused on it, blacks tend to be merciless in ridiculing whiterpeople social causes like vegetarianism, opposition to dog fighting (that one can really set them on fire), and pussy Prius cars. Environmentalism is viewed as borderline racism (that is, it is perceived as anti-black). Not surprisingly, members of historically blacks churches are the most likely of all fourteen groups to say that stricter environmental laws cost too many jobs and hurt the economy rather than being worth the cost (Jews are the least likely to hold that opinion). I've also been told on multiple occasions that fags go to Dave Matthews Band concerts.
But black tribalism, the pull of government handouts (black church members are the most likely of the fourteen to support a bigger government that provides more services), and the belief that Republicans are out to get them precludes any shifting. So does the racial alignment of politics in the South. Even though Democratic-voting whiterpeople are objects of derision more than middle class suburban and rural whites are, Republicans are seen as the oppressive white party.
Notice that this conservative-but-not-Republican phenomenon is second and third highest, respectively, among Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslims. Muslims are the second blackest group profiled and Witnesses are the third blackest.
This really works out well for Obama. In contrast to black leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, Obama has the highbrow attributes whiterpeople love. Blacks on the street would prefer someone more 'authentic' than Obama if the option existed, but since it doesn't, being (half) black is good enough. He is able to get both the black vote through racial solidarity and the whiterpeople vote through leftist politics.
- Relative economic equality is arguably the second most important determinant of happiness next to physical health. A perceived lack of equality creates an urge to force greater equality.
This is borne out even at the relgious level. As measured by the percentage of an affiliation's members who annually either make less than $30,000 or more than $100,000, the correlation between income inequality and support for a bigger government providing more services is .48. Even if some members of the more disparate groups aren't fond of redistributionist government policies, they tend to vote against politicians who claim they aren't, either. The correlation between income inequality and voting Republican is an inverse .57. Nothing new there.
Libertarians who flippantly dismiss concerns about economic inequality or even embrace it in arguments over trade, immigration, the Federal minimum wage, and the like are engaging in acts of political self-immolation. Economic inequality increases support for so many of the things they oppose. In the words of Randall Parker:
I continue to be amazed at libertarians who favor the immigration of people who will vote for highly anti-libertarian policies.We should strive for as much parity as is possible without having to resort to forced redistribution. Our immigration policies should increase the size of the high IQ, professional class so they are able to come up with better product designs and ways of doing things while keeping one another's earnings in check. They should also restrict the size of the lower IQ, less skilled working classes to keep their wages from being depressed due to a surplus of supply. The tax structure should encourage the wealthy to have more children and the poor to have fewer. Spreading the wealth of the affluent across several children while concentrating the limited means of the poor across as few as possible is an easy way to reduce the wealth gap from the get-go.
- Support for abortion and distaste for children go hand in hand. The relationship between pro-choice sentiments (always legal or mostly legal) and children at home is an inverse .63.
Those affiliations most hostile to abortion are also the affiliations whose members are most likely to have children of their own. Go figure!
- Also from the no-surprise department, Mormons are the least likely to have never been married (12%). Members of black churches are the most likely to have never been (34%).
- One of the most intriguing ideas bandied about by Steve Sailer (and that's saying a lot) concerns what he calls a return to patriarchy. Conservatives are having more children than liberals are, and thus will have a greater influence in the future than they do today. The phenomenon isn't just at work among whites in the US, but also at the national level, with the liberal West only able to muster a couple of countries with total fertility rates at or above replenishment--the US and Israel (and in both places, those of European ancestry are not the driving force behind the fertility).
Arthur Brooks claimed that this trend bodes well for Republicans going forward. Half Sigma proved Brooks wrong, showing that Democrats actually have slightly more children on average than Republicans do. White Republicans have more children than white Democrats do, but Hispanics are the most fertile racial/ethnic group in the country, and they vote Democratic by a margin of almost 2 to 1. Blacks are the second most fertile group, and they vote Democratic by a margin of more than 9 to 1. Brooks would've been wiser to have said conservatives have more children than liberals do.
We see the same thing when looking at religious groups in the US. The correlation between the percentage of an affiliation considering itself liberal and the average number of children it has living at home is an inverse .56. Conservative affiliations are having the kids, liberal affiliations are not. Yet the relationship between supporting Democrats (rather than being liberal) and having children at home falls outside of statistical significance even at only 80% confidence.
Why? It's not Democrats per se, but liberals who aren't making babies. Affiliations that vote heavily Democratic but who are not heavily liberal, like members of historically black churches and Muslims, are having more kids than most of the other groups, while liberal (and Democratic) affiliations like Jews and "other Christians" are having fewer.
The future looks good for the Democratic party, but it will shift in the direction of greater emphasis on wealth transfers and special benefits for 'disadvantaged' groups at the expense of whiterpeople social causes like environmental protection and the development of sustainable energy sources.
- Who does the most procreating? The survey only inquired about the number of children under the age of 18 living at home, not total fertility. Those with four or more kids under the roof are grouped into a single 4+ category. Following is a fecundity index computed by taking the percentage of an affiliation with X number of children and multiplying it by X, then adding each of these figures up and multiplying by 100 for an index total. So a group where 5% of the members have one kid, 10% have two, 2% have three, and 1% have four or more comes to 35 (5*1+10*2+2*3+1*4). I assumed that those with four or more kids had exactly four for lack of a way to be any more precise:
|Religious affiliation||Fecundity index|
Mormons get it done. Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Lutherans--the "mainline Protestants--are near the bottom. Pentecostals, Baptists, and Adventists--the Evangelicals--are more middling, while Catholics (in large part due to the Hispanic contingent) sustain the stereotype about having lots of kids.
- Finally, it is curious that Mainline Protestants are outnumbered by Evangelicals (Protestants) nearly 2-to-3. They are a the mainstream minority among Protestants, apparently. "Evangelical" has always struck me as an imprecise term. I guess it insinuates an even stronger focus on the Gospels as well as greater emphasis in "spreading the good news" than non-Evangelical Protestantism or Catholicism, but definitionally the lines are blurred. Respondents who identified themselves as belonging to the Evangelical Church of America (ELCA), of which I am part, for example, are classified not as Evangelicals but as Mainline Protestants, while members of the Missouri Synod (the second largest Lutheran group in the US) are counted as Evangelicals and not Mainline Protestants.
The easiest way to separate the two for the purposes of the Pew report is to think of mainline Protestants as those outside the broad South (including Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and parts of Ohio and Illinois) and Evangelicals as heavily concentrated there.
If interested, please also see my post on the first report of the series.