The Christian Science Monitor

In Trump era, what does it mean to be an 'Evangelical'?

For political pollsters and journalists, the term “white Evangelical Protestant” has been one of most handy demographic labels out there.

White Americans who say that they are “born again” or who self-identify as “evangelical Christian” have for decades voted consistently and overwhelmingly Republican. As a group, too, they reveal some of the most crystal-clear political positions of any subgroup out there. Making up around 25 percent of the population, white Evangelicals are the most worried about the threats posed by immigrants, by far. They are the most suspicious of Islam, by far. They are the most resistant to same-sex marriage, by far.

Which makes it very “useful as a category of analysis in sociology and political science,” notes John Schmalzbauer, a professor of religious studies at Missouri State University in Springfield. “The fact that 81 percent of people in a religious category voted for a single candidate suggests that it is

A religious or cultural label?Impact of cultural anxieties and threats to power

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