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Five Ways The Religious Right Imploded In 2012

Nov 13, 2012

1) Evangelicals failed to produce a viable candidate. While Rick Perry looked to be the evangelical darling in the early days of the Republican primary, his various “oops” moments forced evangelical Protestants to flock to Rick Santorum, a conservative Catholic. But while Santorum won the support of many evangelicals, his passionate embrace of evangelical positions on abortion and contraception made him unappealing to many women voters. In the end, the machinery of the Religious Right failed to produce a candidate that fired up conservative Protestants, forcing the Romney campaign to work twice as hard to excite the GOP’s evangelical base.

2) Conservative efforts to shift the Catholic vote flopped. After the Obama administration announced the HHS contraceptive coverage requirement earlier this year, the United States Council of Catholic Bishops launched a “Fortnight for Freedom” campaign criticizing the Obama administration and urging Catholics to cast their votes in support of “religious freedom.” The effort failed miserably: Not only did Obama win the Catholic vote overall in 2012 (50% of Catholics voted for Obama while 48% supported Romney), but Pew Research found that the vast majority of American Catholics (78%) knew little to nothing about the bishop’s expensive campaign. Instead, Catholic voters appeared more supportive of the efforts of Sister Simone Campbell and the Nuns on the Bus who spoke out against Paul Ryan’s budget.

3) Evangelical voter turnout efforts fell short. Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition targeted Ohio this year in an effort to increase evangelical turnout, promising to go “all in” by sending voter guides to churches and launching a “major push” to get evangelicals to the polls through a robust get-out-the-vote effort. But when the results came in on Tuesday, Obama had actually performed better among white evangelicals in Ohio than he did in 2008: White evangelicals in Ohio favored John McCain by a 71%-27% margin in 2008, but favored Romney by a smaller margin – 69%-30% – in 2012. Despite all the energy expended by the Religious Right, their turnout efforts failed to have any marked impact on the most crucial state of the general election.

4) Traditionally evangelical candidates lost en masse because of radical views and bad theology. Conservative Christian and then-Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin caused a stir within the Republican Party when he spoke about “legitimate rape,” but evangelical leaders were quick to come to his aid. But when Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who attends an evangelical church, referred to women impregnated through rape as having been given “a gift from God,” voters across the country – including many evangelicals – began asking questions about this new breed of politician. Ultimately, voters decided that Akin and Mourdock’s radical theology was simply too extreme: They and several like-minded candidates suffered a series of staggering defeats all across the country on Tuesday.

5) The efforts of anti-gay religious leaders didn’t stop voters from supporting marriage equality. When marriage equality amendments were put on the ballot in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington this year, conservative Christian groups moved quickly to try and dissuade people from supporting the freedom to marry. Famed evangelist Billy Graham even launched a massive “Vote Biblical Values” ad campaign, which, among other things, urged voters to oppose candidates who supported marriage equality. Undaunted, pro-marriage equality activists capitalized on groundswells of support among religious groups and ran ads featuring pastors and other religious leaders passionately endorsing same-sex marriage. In the end, Americans voted in favor of marriage equality in three (and probably four) states, dealing a resounding defeat to the anti-gay bastions of the Religious Right.

by Anonymousreply 2311/17/2012

I wish. But these people have no limits to their anger. They are just going to get worse.

by Anonymousreply 111/14/2012

The more they do, the more it could help the Democrats, R1.

by Anonymousreply 211/14/2012

The Daily Show's guest Monday was Huckabee. Stewart questioned him about an ad which I had never seen before. It talked about how one's beliefs would be tested by fire and gave the general impression that if you didn't vote Republican, you would burn in the flames of hell. Huckabee protested that it cited something found in the New Testament about one's beliefs being tested by fire, so it wasn't threatening Democrats with hell. But it looked batshit crazy to me.

by Anonymousreply 311/14/2012

Huckabee is lying as usual, R3

by Anonymousreply 411/14/2012

r1 is right. They truly believe (or WANT to believe, which is even more dangerous) that an imaginary all-powerful sky-man is on their side, just like those who flew planes into the WTC.

They ain't goin' nowhere yet.

by Anonymousreply 511/14/2012

What I dont get is why the Religious Right keeps throwing their support to the Republicans when clearly, the GOP has done almost nothing to advance their agenda. Abortion is still legal, birth control is still legal, getting a divorce is no more difficult, porn is still available, gambling is still popular. Cant these Bible thumpers see they are being played?

by Anonymousreply 611/14/2012

[quote]What I dont get is why the Religious Right keeps throwing their support to the Republicans when clearly, the GOP has done almost nothing to advance their agenda.

For the same reasons Minorities and Gays support the Democrats to the same end.


by Anonymousreply 711/14/2012

[quote]Cant these Bible thumpers see they are being played?

Odd. Almost like religious people are especially gullible or something.

by Anonymousreply 811/14/2012

R6, not to mention that half the Republican Party is full of adulterers & closeted gays.

by Anonymousreply 911/14/2012

R7 Except Democrats actually deliver where the GOP doesn't.

by Anonymousreply 1011/14/2012

[quote]porn is still available,

When Ashcroft was AG, he had attorneys working on porn cases. I did a course with one of them. She said his strategy was to go after the very worst stuff, with particularly vile brutality against women, violence plus graphic sex. It's been a while, so I don't remember all the details.

by Anonymousreply 1111/14/2012

There is this false, nationalistic ego that Americans are more sensible and intelligent than the rest of the world. It is simply, just not true.

You have to accept that a large percentage of Americans, truly are, crazy religious fanatics.

by Anonymousreply 1211/14/2012

Another irony: stats show that porn usage is highest in red states.

by Anonymousreply 1311/14/2012

"There is this false, nationalistic ego that Americans are more sensible and intelligent than the rest of the world."

And nowhere is that more in evidence than people of religion. Their "superior" knowledge and know-it-all attitude comes from their unbridled faith in a book written thousands of years ago by neanderthals who thought the world was flat, the sun revolved around the world and human sacrifice was pleasing to God.

by Anonymousreply 1411/14/2012

But they aren't R12. I lived ten years in the South. They are not religious at all. American Protestant Evangelical Christianity is the biggest fucking sham on the planet. None of these people really believe.

by Anonymousreply 1511/16/2012

Yep, in the South, the accepted social behavior:watch college football, vote Repub, go to some evangelical church. I imagine "they believe" in the church but it as just as much an social activity to prove you are acceptable and normal.

by Anonymousreply 1611/17/2012

The Democrats need to do more over the next 4-year cycle to siphon off some of the religious Christian vote by reminding them that Jesus would not approve of the Republican Party.

by Anonymousreply 1711/17/2012

Yes, R17. If we could get that through their simple skulls. Oh, if we could.

by Anonymousreply 1811/17/2012

r15, how many religious people of any stripe really "believe"?

It is a bulwark against their fears: fear of strangers, fear of change, fear of failure, etc.

It is also used as an excuse to hang on to reactionary social/cultural views, particularly regarding white male privilege.

by Anonymousreply 1911/17/2012

"the United States Council of Catholic Bishops launched a 'Fortnight for Freedom' campaign"

which flopped when they had to explain to everybody what a fortnight was.

by Anonymousreply 2011/17/2012

[quote]White evangelicals in Ohio favored John McCain by a 71%-27% margin in 2008, but favored Romney by a smaller margin – 69%-30% – in 2012.

It's rather remarkable that any white evangelicals voted for Obama, let alone nearly a third of them. What's up with these people that sets them apart from those who voted for Obama? People who mind their own business about religion and not every one else's and/or are smart enough to actually vote in their own interest?

by Anonymousreply 2111/17/2012

I think part of why some Evangelicals voted for Obama was that they really, really distrust Mormons.

So they either sat the election out or threw their vote to the Democrats. It's kind of funny how that little blind spot never occurred to team Romney.

by Anonymousreply 2211/17/2012

"Evangelical voter turnout efforts fell short."

You're right, Lucifer. Simple answer: he's a Mormon.

Evangelicals hate and distrust of the Mormons kept them out of the voting booth.

Another thing I'm sure about is that Hispanic Catholics get very busy reading the bulletin when the priest starts talking about abortion.

by Anonymousreply 2311/17/2012
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