Now that the Values Voters Summit has ended, it’s time to take note that damning demographics are facing the Religious Right as well as the Republican Party as a whole.
When the coalition of Catholics and what today is referred to as Evangelicals participated in the first presidential election influenced by the Religious Right in 1980, Catholics were 24.7 percent of the U.S. population and Baptists were 32.7 percent (Baptist being the closest denomination in 1980 for what we commonly think of as Southern and rural conservative, white Christians).
A 2010 survey compiled by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies shows Catholics are down to 19.1 percent, Evangelical and conservative Protestants at 14.3 percent, while numerous polls tell us the number of Americans unaffiliated with any denomination keeps growing.
The stats are even more dismal for the solidly-Republican Catholic bishops. Forty percent of U.S. Catholics are Latino and the majority of Latino Catholics support the Democratic Party. For non-Hispanic Catholics, roughly 40 percent still currently identify with or lean towards the Democrats compared to only a little over 20 percent of Evangelicals favoring the Democratic Party.
While I’m not suggesting that the plutocrats are going to entirely stop providing money to and public showcases for their clergy partners, the demographic trends – even if one wanted to quibble about the exact numbers - should be keeping some awake at nights wondering what was it worth for a professed Christian leader to turn his back on Christ.