Thursday, June 19, 2008

Evangelicals and Barack Obama

There is apparently a political campaign for President of the United States going on. I've been so busy that I've had a hard time noticing. One of the great challenges for those of us who don't have ten hours per day to scour every possible news source is that the news sources we do scour tend to contradict one another.

Here, for instance, is a recent article from ABC News that notes the inroads that Barack Obama is making among evangelical voters, and which claims that Obama has significantly narrowed the historically large gap between Republicans and Democrats among evangelical voters.

It reads, in part:

Obama's evangelical supporters, like Obama himself, view Christianity in a similar light, interpreting the Bible literally but concentrating on its message of social justice. Older voters, he said, will never stop thinking about abortion and gay marriage as key issues, but young people might.

"There is a broadening of the agenda among younger evangelicals. Young people are tired of the homosexual issue. They have class and sit in the commons of their colleges and have open discussions with gay people. They know the things they hear on conservative radio about gays aren't true," he said.

Younger evangelicals are also increasingly convinced that helping people out of poverty is a way toward reducing the number of abortions. Obama, like his former contender Sen. Hillary Clinton, D- N.Y., has pushed an agenda to reduce the number of abortions by lifting women out of poverty, Campolo said.

And here, from the same day, is an article from USA Today called "McCain Enjoying Usual Republican Margin Among Highly Religious Voters" that reads, in part:

A strong bias towards the GOP candidate among highly religious Americans is in essence the starting point for any modern American presidential campaign. My review of the data suggests that McCain so far is no exception. He has very big margins over Obama among highly religious voters across the board. McCain actually appears to be doing a little better among this group than did George W. Bush in 2000, although he’s doing a little worse than Geroge W. Bush did in 2004.

To summarize, and to quote another political pundit, John Lennon:

All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

I apologize for the hit-and-run nature of this post. I really don't have time to engage in a protracted political discussion with you, not do I particularly want to. My mind is already made up, and yours probably is too, so let's not waste our time. My primary point here is that the objective data sure is screwy, isn't it? It's all lies, damned lies, and statistics.


Anonymous said...


Karen said...

okay some people in my family (who shall not be named, but you don't know them anyway) still aren't entirely sure that he's not muslim, so apparently then, not to be trusted. OMG.

joshua, that link is awesome.

St. Izzy said...

I think an attempt at nuance between the two stories would have to begin with the difference between "Evangelical" and "Highly Religious."

former moderately religious evangelical

St. Izzy said...

BTW, the bit at elasticheart is by Christopher Beam and appeared at