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13 September 2010

Random Thoughts on the Subcultural Identity of Evangelcials

Can 26% of the population (an unchallenged plurality) be embattled in any real sense or are such feelings rooted in self-benefiting delusion?

I got an idea on how to test this listening to Jim Martin, a former Georgia legislator, speak earlier this week as part of our campus Constitution Week celebration. He noted that late-18th century Baptists were vocal proponents of the Bill of Rights because they feared that the Church of England would be adopted by the fledgling United States as its official religion. Today, as Evangelicals, (Southern) Baptists are often proponents for the (re)insertion of religion into the political process. Could church-state opinions serve as a proxy for perceptions of cultural embattledness? In other words, does feeling that one's religious beliefs are in contention with mainstream culture predict believing in a limited or nonexistent separation between church and state?

Is there an ironic, inverse relationship between opinions about the role of religion in politics and an actual challenge to one's religion? Since Southern Baptists today (as Evangelicals) are relatively powerful, does this explain their abandonment of the Second Amendment?

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