Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Evangelicals and Romney: I Was Wrong

Posted By on Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 6:05 AM

Back in March, as I wrote here on Pith, I was pretty sure that Evangelical Republicans wouldn't turn out to vote for Romney:

How, exactly, did the Republican elite think that was going to play out? Personally, I am all for religious tolerance, but I just don't see how they thought they could pass Romney off as a Christian. "I'm a Christian, I just don't believe in the Trinity" is a 2,000-year-old heresy. Every time some religious group tries to claim both of those things — that they're Christian and that they don't believe in the Trinity — they are dismissed from Christianity. It's an old theological debate, but one in which the non-Trinitarians have been repeated losers.

And when you come into a region where people believe the United States is a Christian nation, and you want people to vote for someone who belongs to a group that doesn't sound Christian, you have to expect trouble.

But there was no trouble. In fact, according to the New York Times, Evangelicals voted for Romney in the same proportion as Mormons.

For the Christian right in this election, fervor and turnout were not the problem, many organizers said in interviews. White evangelicals made up 26 percent of the electorate — 3 percent more than in 2004, when they helped to propel President George W. Bush to re-election. During the Republican primaries, some commentators said that Mr. Romney’s Mormon faith would drive away evangelicals, many of whom consider his church a heretical cult.

And yet, in the end, evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Romney — even matching the presidential vote of Mormons: 78 percent for Mr. Romney and 21 percent for Mr. Obama, according to exit polls by Edison Research.

So, there you go. I was wrong. Bad for me, but I think good for America. We used to shell Mormons in order to persecute them for their religious beliefs. Now we vote for them for president. That's a nice change.

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