Winning the culture wars by outbreeding your foes? Good luck ….

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Erick Erickson, the host of this week’s RedState gathering here in Atlanta, was asked whether the culture wars are now over and the outcome pretty much settled, a notion that he defiantly rejected:

“I don’t think the culture war is over primarily because the people who appear to be the victors right now are the least likely to procreate. So we will eventually breed them out of existence demographically. So the culture war continues, and will continue.

“And I don’t mean to be flippant by that statement. But if you look at the demographic trends in this country, over the next 50 years the country will be filled with young Christian Hispanic families who listen to country music. Demographically, they’re our people.”

I confess that I find the concept of a breeding program as a means of winning a long-term political argument rather … amusing. Erickson puts a lot of faith in the idea that culturally conservative parents will produce reliably conservative, cookie-cutter offspring much like themselves, and that will be enough to stem the tide. But nothing in the data or human nature suggests that is true.

For instance, the most recent Fox News poll reports that among Americans aged 55 and older, Barack Obama remains a pretty unpopular figure. Fifty-three percent of older Americans still disapprove of the president’s job performance, while just 41 percent approve.

But what about their grown children? Do Americans 35 and younger believe as their parents do? Are they mere echoes of those who raised them?

youngjobThey are not. Among younger Americans, Obama’s job approval rating is almost twice as high as his disapproval rating, which is pretty remarkable. Those younger Americans look at the world differently than their parents do, and they clearly reach different conclusions. (The trend is even more pronounced among Latino Americans. In the 2014 midterms, Democrats outdrew Republicans 68 percent to 28 percent among Latinos under 30).

Now let’s look at generational attitudes toward same-sex marriage, the single most polarizing issue of recent culture wars. Even now, older Americans tend to oppose the idea, but their grown children have used the minds that the good Lord gave them, so to speak, and have come to a very different conclusion:

 

Finally, it’s important to point out that Erickson made his comments in Nashville at an event sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. If it’s realistic to expect that Southern Baptists and other culturally conservative groups will “breed (opponents) out of existence demographically,” as Erickson claims to believe, then the SBC will have to play a central role in that effort.

And how’s it going so far?

  • Last year, by the SBC’s own count, the number of baptisms performed by its churches fell for the third consecutive year.
  • Since 2003, the population of the United States has grown by more than 30 million. In that same time frame, SBC membership has declined by 800,000.
  • Last year alone, membership in the SBC fell by more than 236,000, the largest single decline since 1881.
  • SBC membership is now at its lowest level since 1993, with every sign that it will continue to fall.
SBC Annual Church Profile (1950 – 2012)

SBC Annual Church Profile (1950 – 2012)

Erickson bases his argument on the belief that Southern Baptists and other like-minded groups tend to have larger families, and I think that’s probably true.  But if we accept that proposition, how then do you explain the SBC’s ongoing decline in membership? If more people are being born into the denomination, yet the denomination is shrinking, doesn’t that suggest that young people are rejecting it and looking elsewhere?

And doesn’t that suggest that message and relevance play much larger roles than “breeding success,” to borrow Erickson’s coarse concept? I understand that’s a difficult question, not least because it suggests that making more babies won’t be enough, that change will be required in a group for whom change is anathema. But I don’t know what other conclusion to draw.

Russell Moore, the head of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and the man who asked Erickson the culture war question, understands that reality. He now argues that with its insistence on fighting the culture war, and in its close identification with the Republican Party and partisan politics, the Southern Baptist denomination lost its way. It became too much of the world, so to speak, and is paying the price.

“There was a larger mentality that came along with the last generation of evangelical political activism that assumed that we represent the real America in ways that turned out not only not to be true, but turned out to be damaging to the larger mission of the church,” as Moore told The Atlantic in a recent interview.

At the very least, Moore’s approach reflects a necessary introspection and a willingness to rethink. As he writes in his new book, “The loudest voices against the hounding and intimidation of gay and lesbian persons around the world should be from the wing of the church most committed to a biblical Christian sexual ethic.”

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568 comments
LeninTime
LeninTime

@Wena Mow Masipa How 

In light of the USSRs history, I think that view is a tad naïve.

**
So you must then be of the view that the herculean effort of the Soviet people in defeating the Nazis is nothing to get excited about?

YouLibs
YouLibs

Gun-free zone hypocrisy sheets


Cogito Ergo Erras
Cogito Ergo Erras

Alright, guys...out for the day. Just remember not to mix it up with (or about, in my case) teenage interns. ;-)

Renteroo
Renteroo

@Penses

I notice you're a big fan of the 'cut and run.' Oh well.

Paul42
Paul42

@Wena Mow Masipa How

Yeah, I just came on and answered way below where he was all befuddled as to why we attacked Afghanistan if they didn't attack us on 9-11.

Seriously......  he asked that......

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Wena Mow Masipa How 

But to answer your question, yes, I do believe that the overwhelming force of the Soviet war effort was made with no need for additional state compulsion. Especially when you consider the key role played by guerrilla units in the Soviet cause.

TomMiddleton
TomMiddleton

If “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” is part of the body of truth that came from “the truth, the light, and the way” known as Jesus, and it is, then the first thing Baptists ought to do is reaffirm the whole of what he taught, not just the incomplete part that they like.

And since this complete version would include the Golden Rule and the one about seeking God first as the two most important commandments, I'm pretty sure the Republican Party would go away for good or become something vastly different than it is now or wish it had.

straker
straker

feeble - 'you'd be eating sauerkraut"


Once we developed the atom bomb in 1945, no country could have stood against us.


Amazing you don't seem to realize this.

THEFEEBLELIBERAL
THEFEEBLELIBERAL

@straker


not intended to be a factual statement


lol


because with all our nukes now


NO COUNTRY STANDS AGAINST US


the vietcong say what


sorry says charlie

straker
straker

Nick - "site"


Go to google


Type in "Barrier troops Red Army"

Paul42
Paul42

@td1234

Just as a point of interest, any ideas on how much it would cost to build that wall and operate the monitoring for all 2,000 miles?  

Yep, 2,000 miles.

And how we'd pay for it?

TomMiddleton
TomMiddleton

@td1234 

Oh fine, td, turn us into Israel, never at peace, always at war, and becoming more hated almost by the hour due to its inability to "love others as themselves."

Paul42
Paul42

@THEFEEBLELIBERAL

I think it's conservatives as they're the ones pushing it.

(td will likely take exception to you calling him a lib)

THEFEEBLELIBERAL
THEFEEBLELIBERAL

ignorant americans


the soviets lost over 27,000,000 people in WWII


americans lost just over 400,000


if the soviet union had not weakened and destroyed the vast majority of the nazi machine


you'd all be eating sauerkraut  and sausage and watching soccer right now


the soviets broke the nazi's back and then the allies came in to help mop up


they fought to live

Menace
Menace

@THEFEEBLELIBERAL  I like sauerkraut and soccer, but, I far prefer our form of government.  And you are very correct - the Soviets, helped by Lend Lease, had a far greater impact on the war than the other Allies.  WWII wouldn't have won without them.  Makes the undefeated in two world wars T-shirts pretty ridiculous.

breckenridge
breckenridge

 "So long as the bosses pretend to pay us, we will pretend to work."Common saying among Russian workers, 1950s to 1980s.

straker
straker

Lenin -"astonishing bravery"


Most Soviet armies had men at the back with orders to shoot anyone who would not fight.


So, it was fight, and maybe be killed, or fall back, and face certain death.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@straker 

"Most Soviet armies had men at the back with orders to shoot anyone who would not fight."

Cite?

THEFEEBLELIBERAL
THEFEEBLELIBERAL

@Nick_Danger @straker



anybody that knows the history of the soviets vs the nazi's know that General Zhukov won by attrition and used that tactic throughout the war.


having to ask someone to cite that shows ignorance of the war

td1234
td1234

@Nick_Danger The problem is that you do not either learn or believe when you are given facts supported by evidence. 


Although, I will admit you are pretty nice about asking.  

Renteroo
Renteroo



Mark 12:31.


Why is it that certain of our resident avowed Christians have such a hard time putting this ethos into practice?


Cherokee51
Cherokee51

@Wena Mow Masipa How 

Dirty little secret - many evangelical Christians are very selective about which scriptures they actually pay attention to.

And that's part of the reason why the SBC numbers are falling.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Paul42 

Much as Stalin was hated, feared, despised, Soviets fought bravely, under horrendous conditions, giving their all.  They didn't do it for Stalin.  They did it because they were attacked and were fighting for the Motherland

**
Good points. 

It's important to remember that there were a variety of reasons for the astonishing bravery and courage of the Soviet people in fighting off a genocidal menace the scale of the Nazis. But of course, at bottom just knowing that bands of murderous maniacs are moving your way, going through villages, locking all its residents in barns and setting them afire, with you their eventual target, must be an awfully strong motivator. 

But a less valiant people might not have fought, but instead capitulated in hopes of saving their own hide. 

But not the people of Stalingrad. Not the people of Moscow. 

And one major reason for that was without a doubt the socialist program that they were fighting to defend.


Cogito Ergo Erras
Cogito Ergo Erras

@LeninTime 

Care to offer some documentary evidence as to what motivated them to fight, there LT? Sorry, I am just having a hard time believing you know why they fought.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@breckenridge 

Do you really have to ask me that question? 
The very asking of it suggests banality.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Penses @LeninTime 

It's not necessary to provide documentary evidence every time someone makes a claim in a setting such as this on a matter of historical interpretation.

The history of the Soviet Union during the Second World War is not a little researched topic and there are many volumes on the topic showing the actions I describe.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@LeninTime @breckenridge 

Well it's just that Stalin and Hitler were among the top 3 biggest monsters of the 20th Century, I would include Pol Pot in that group as well.  They were all terrible human beings, dirtbags of epic proportion.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@breckenridge 

I don't subscribe to the kill count approach to measuring the most evil dictators.

Cupofjoe
Cupofjoe

A tax on the wealthy to pay for it.

Classic loser mentality- identify a problem and have others fix it.  You have obviously accomplished nothing in your miserable life to date and the calendar is not your friend-

THEFEEBLELIBERAL
THEFEEBLELIBERAL

THE SCORPIONS are going to have to rename their hit song


"here i am, rocked you like a super storm!"


(CNN)The United States hasn't been hit by a major hurricane in the past nine years, and it seems like thatluck might continue.


lol

Renteroo
Renteroo

@THEFEEBLELIBERAL

Now you're hoping for a major hurricane, IRYW?  You're one sick, sick puppy.

PS: Sandy, Hurricane. Lookitup.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Wow. This Erickson guy is seriously looney tunes.


Note to social conservatives: Erickson is lying when he says the culture wars are not over..  They are indeed done, and guess what? YOU LOST.  And rightly so since your goal was always to undermine the US Constitution and legislate religion.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Question: What kind of a weirdo carried around, for sixteen years, the notion that Monica Lewinski was a teenager when she had that sad White House dalliance with Clinton that we all got to learn about in pornographic detail?

Answer below!

Cogito Ergo Erras
Cogito Ergo Erras

@Visual_Cortex 

Ahh...VC is upset I rubbed his face in the fact that he was citing BuzzFeed as a source. And now, wants to turn a mistaken impression into a personal attack. Why? Well, because he ain't gonna win any arguments using his noggin.


Paul42
Paul42

@Visual_Cortex

The kind that....

Look it up.  I already answered.  Now answer what I asked you after you didn't answer what I might have asked before I answered that question you didn't ask..

Renteroo
Renteroo

@Penses @Visual_Cortex

Mr. Penses,

Personal attacks aren't the exclusive preserve of Mr. Cortex.  Mirror, mirror, on the wall...

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Penses @Visual_Cortex

Dude. you really think your Buzzfeed whinge hurt?

Seriously? I'm gonna care because you attacked a source? Like I have some emotional attachment to flippin' Buzzfeed?

(longtime readers might suss that, AFAIK, I've never even linked to them in the past.)

And I'll mention once again, I learned of the story thanks to the wise fella at WNYC who interviewed one of the authors--here's a link to that.

http://www.wnyc.org/story/depraved-conditions-thousands-foreign-workers-us/

...can't wait to hear how the nation's oldest public radio station is a suspect news source.

Cogito Ergo Erras
Cogito Ergo Erras

@Nick_Danger

Well, if you really want to. I haven't much gone after you today, but...I sure wish you'd get some fight in you.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Penses @Visual_Cortex

[sorry, can't verify that WNYC is THE oldest public radio station as I stated above, but it has been on the air since July 8, 1924, apparently. So among the oldest, for sure.]

Cogito Ergo Erras
Cogito Ergo Erras

@Visual_Cortex 

I didn't personally attack your source, dummy. I cited FACTUAL evidence of REPEATED problems with their journalism - which you have YET to address. I said I rubbed your face in the fact that you cited them uncritically. And your hysteria to defend them kind of proves my point. I have no problem accepting that the FNC, for instance, has had problems of their own. As has CBS and NBC. But plagiarism is a whole different level of malfeasance. If you don't know that, then you are none too smart.