Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

The Truth about Conservatives 4

In chp 6 of Greeley and Houk’s The Truth about Conservative Christians [CCs] we are given a social portrait of CCs. Here’s the stereotype: CCs are “rubes” — Southern, uneducated gun owners who live in trailer parks or far from the city (p. 91). What’s the truth? Or, what do the stats show?
Geography: only 51% of Cons Prots [CPs] live in the South; 57% of AfrAms Cons Prots.
AfrAm denominations have 59% women; CPs are about 50-50 (in spite of recent worries that males are dropping out of the church).
Stable marriages are ranked this way: Jews, Catholics and then CPs. But, CP women are more fertile than Mainline women.
CPs are less educated and less likely to be professionals and their income is less than most.
1/3d smoke; only 50% say they drink but more admit to drinking too much on occasion than most. CPs are more likely to watch PBS than others; they don’t enjoy operatic or classical music as much; they enjoy fishing and hunting and watching car races more than most; there is a higher percentage who own guns.
They cheer for the Cubs and not the Yankees — I just thought I’d kick it up a notch.

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posted April 3, 2007 at 7:02 am

Well, I’ve never owned a gun, but I have lived in a trailer park, and I am (ahem) quite fertile.
The PBS thing is an interesting stat. I mean, they don’t show NASCAR on that there channel, do they?

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posted April 3, 2007 at 7:23 am

Words – » Blogs in Review 4/3/07

[…] Scot McKnight ( continues his series on the Truth about Conservatives with part four discussing chapter 6 of Greeley and Houk’s book. He also continues with part two of his series Love in the key of Delight, looking at Song of Songs 1:2-4. […]

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John Frye

posted April 3, 2007 at 10:08 am

I, too, am a Confederate Flag-waving, chewing tobacco spitting, NASCAR lovin’, grits eatin’ CP. And I am proud of it! PBS is for sissies. :)

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Elizabeth Chapin

posted April 3, 2007 at 10:46 am

Sounds like you are describing Mid-Westerners, not CPs 😉
And what is it with men and guns and car racing?
Stereotyping is such a fun thing to do…

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John Frye

posted April 3, 2007 at 6:58 pm

comment #3 as totally tongue-in-cheek :)
I got the jitters that some readers might believe it!

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Ted Gossard

posted April 4, 2007 at 7:55 pm

Ah John, we know you better than that!!!

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Doug Allen

posted April 5, 2007 at 11:10 am

My wife and I are from northern NY and Ohio, but lived in Colorado the past 18 years. We have retired to SC, the Bible belt and land of white CPs! When we moved to Colorado Springs area in 1988 from upstate NY, I was a registered Republican, but the Republicans there were not at all like NY Republicans (can you say Rockefeller or even Giuliani). In Colorado Springs, National headquarters of Focus On the Family and many other conservative Christian groups, the religious right practically controls the Republican Party. The Colorado Springs Republican party seemed obsessed with homosexuality and “English only” issues. I was a teacher and know some biology teachers in the area who were threatened by parents for teaching evolution and others who were threatened for allowing students to discuss sexuality. I quickly became an independent, but finding I could not vote in the primaries, enrolled as a Democrat for the first time in my life. Actually, Colorado has more independents, around 38% than Republicans or Democrats despite the handicap of not being able to vote in the primaries. Outside of Colorado Springs area, many Republicans have a libertarian bias. Here in SC where the voting is almost 60% Republican to 40% Democratic, I plan to register unaffiliated because you can do so and vote in either the Republican or Democratic primaries.
Because of the culture shock here, my wife and I are joining a church for the first time, the Spartanburg Unitarian Church where both pastors seem to be Christians, and last Sunday’s sermon was from Gospel of Mark. Church membership, judging from the discussion groups we’ve attended, include atheists, agnostics, Buddhists and Christians, some of the latter, women who have spoken of spousal abuse they suffered, and their Baptist or other pastors telling them to endure it. I have read that in this land of CPs where there is a Baptist church on almost every corner or hilltop, the rates of church membership, divorce, spouse abuse, murder, incest, child molestation, etc. are higher than in other parts of the country. I have not yet been able to check the facts, but if true, it makes me wonder about the psychological impact of the CP message which remains “fire and brimstone” in many of the churches from what I hear and read. There are billboard messages signed GOD, huge crosses-some blood red- in both some church and some individual’s yards- and 10 commandment signs in many yards. On the positive side (yes, I consider some of the above negatively), race relations here seem similar to the rest of the country- so unlike my first visit to the south as a college sophomore in 1960. It was partly that visit that made me sure I would not be a Christian. I remember the church signs then saying “Everyone welcome” just like they do here today! Too bad if you were black then or gay now. I joined NAACP and CORE after returning home in 1960. Also positive here, the mainline churches (the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches in Spartanburg have two of the most beautiful architectural structures inside and out), and the Baptists, evangelical churches and Unitarian church work together on such things as Meals on Wheels called Mobile Meals in this area. My wife and I pick up the meals at a local Baptist church.
Doug Allen a follower of Jesus whose experience with white CPs has profoundly affected me politically and religiously

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