- Religious affiliation is in decline in the US.
- This is part of a larger overall decline in social institutions.
- People, for example, are increasingly less likely to vote.
- Ed of Gin and Tacos fame has a really good, recent blog post about how conservatism used to be about maintaining social institutions.
- Just a bit of an aside: longstanding social institutions are worth conserving and defending from change, according to Conservatives, because they are almost by definition longstanding, which means they must be functional (i.e. beneficial). If that strikes you as a tautology, you're not alone. The family, for example, should be maintained in its traditional (read: heteronormative) form because it's been that way for so long, and that must mean it's good for us. Agree or disagree, at least this is an internally consistent political philosophy.
- Thus, in attacking the FBI, the Republican Party today, which defines itself nominally as Conservative, is ironically acting decidedly non-conservatively (though not liberally).
- Moreover, Republicans may be contributing to the acceleration of broad de-institutionalism, which arguably will include the decline of traditional religiosity.
- Since religious conservatives are a big part of the Republican base, the GOP may be shooting itself in the foot.