I saw an interesting article on Think Progress called "The Rise Of The Religious Left: Religious Progressives Will Soon Outnumber Conservatives." It's only a few paragraphs and worth reading in its entirely. Here are the key points:
One-in-five Americans are religious progressives, according to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. Using a religious orientation scale that “combines theological, economic, and social outlooks,” researchers argued that while the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans continues to rise, a growing coalition of young, diverse, and politically-active Americans are connecting their faith with progressive values.Think Progress: "The Rise Of The Religious Left: Religious Progressives Will Soon Outnumber Conservatives."
“However, the percentage of religious conservatives shrinks in each successive generation, with religious progressives outnumbering religious conservatives in the Millennial generation.”
According to the survey, 23 percent of people aged 18 to 33 are religious progressives, while 22 percent are nonreligious and 17 percent are religious conservatives. By contrast, only 12 percent of those aged 66 to 88 are religious progressives, whereas 47 percent are said to be religious conservatives.
Religion has long been co-opted by religious conservatives as a vehicle for political gain, but this study hints that the future of faith-based political advocacy could rest with the left-leaning faithful. Religious progressives already make up 28 percent of the Democratic party—this in addition to 42 percent that are religious moderates—a number that only stands to grow as Millennials age and begin to vote in greater numbers.
the study found that although religious liberals are passionate about progressive causes, they aren’t interested in imposing their beliefs on others: only 29 percent of religious progressives believe a person has to believe in God to live a moral life, as compared to 74 percent of religious conservatives
I think this is very important long term. In the 1980s, Republicans appropriated the flag and church/temple to use in political warfare and were successful with it. As the right-wing Christian fundamentalists die off, they are replaced by many who are either unchurched or religiously progressive or moderate.
Just as non-white European voters are growing, so, too, are those who are not devoted to a hateful use of religion to harm others.
There are some who see religion as inherently harmful or as an opiate of the people. It's a point of view. But the reality of current times is many people are religious. I'd rather that those people be more more open to progressive ideas and more tolerant of others. In addition, there is a current in many religions that is supportive of more economic equality and opposes super-exploitation.
It's going to take much work for change. But some of the biggest obstacles are slowly disappearing as the generations change. The younger folks give me hope.