Monday, November 23, 2020

Thank God for Evangelicals

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, and therefore it is proper to give thanks for God’s blessings on America this holiday season. Near the top of my list is the 2020 presidential election. In my estimation God has saved our country from great harm, and I am grateful. Threats to democracy will undoubtedly continue in the months and years ahead, but at least the attacks will not be coming from within the White House.

In particular I would like to thank white evangelicals for electing Joe Biden as president. I am not being facetious. People may be surprised to learn that a small group of evangelicals played a pivotal role in the election. An examination of the election results reveal that the defection of some evangelicals from President Trump made the difference.

White Evangelicals still overwhelmingly voted for President Trump. 75% of them in fact, but that is down 6% from the 2016 percentage of 81%. That six percent made the difference. White Evangelicals made up 26% of the 2020 electorate, which by my calculations means these defectors made a difference of 1.5% in the number of total votes. That was enough to change the results.

For example in the state of Georgia, Biden won by only two-tenths of one percent. In Pennsylvania he won by one half of one percent. In Wisconsin and Arizona the difference was seven tenths of a percent. The margin of victory in Michigan was 2.7%, but in that state only 70% of the evangelical vote went for Trump, down eleven percent.

Although it would take more research and statistical skills than I have to explore the precise difference that these evangelical votes made in each state, it is likely that the overall difference of 1.5% determined who became president. Thank you, evangelicals.

I would also like to thank Jewish voters. More than three-quarters (77%) of them backed Biden. That was up 6% from 2016.  A big thank you to Catholics as well. A majority of Catholics (51%) voted for Biden this time, up 6% compared with the 45% who voted Democrat in 2016. Lastly I give thanks for Muslims, 69% of whom voted for Biden. This was especially important in Michigan, which has a sizable Muslim population.

In short, religious people developed a conscience in 2020. I am especially grateful for that six percent of my Christian sisters and brothers who changed their mind since 2016. I have been praying that God would show Christians that President Trump is not the champion of Christian values that he is made out to be. That is obvious to me, but it is clearly not obvious to most evangelical Christians. Hence my prayers.

In biblical history there have always been a “faithful remnant” that has remained true to God when the majority of people turned aside. For example God destroyed the ten northern tribes of Israel for their disobedience and unfaithfulness. In the 8th century BC, 80% of Israel disappeared from history, leaving two remaining tribes in Judah. The 25% of evangelicals that voted against Trump in 2020 are such a faithful remnant. Well done, good and faithful servants.

It is difficult to be an independent thinking Christian in this polarized and politicized environment. I have a niece who was bullied into voting for Trump this year by her church. She was told that she was going to hell if she voted for Biden. If this happened in my family I can only imagine how many other families faced the same sort of pressure from their churches. I am grateful for those who had the courage to resist their partisan church culture and remain faithful to God’s leading.

There are other people I am grateful for this Thanksgiving. I am grateful for state and local election officials, as well as higher government officials, who stood up for truth and resisted attempts to subvert the election results, even when that meant public criticism or losing their jobs. They are the real heroes in this election. 

On Thanksgiving Day I will hold hands with family around our Thanksgiving table and offer a prayer to God. I will thank God for this country and for all the people who continue to protect and preserve our democracy from enemies within and without. May God bless America.


Abbababba said...

Well said. I want to share this blog post in the hope of getting it media attention. I've not really heard this analysis reported by anyone. I believe it needs to be aired far and wide by news gatherers and pundits. Hope your Thanksgiving day is filled love and good cheer. Peace

Quentin Watson said...

This is the character of much of American so-called Christianity, and why I long ago eschewed any contact with any church. I was tired of being the "voice in the wilderness", and my understanding of the true import of the Gospel led to my being treated more or less as an outcast. I have long felt that the American Church was certainly among those singled out for condemnation in the Revelation of St John the Divine. This wholesale worship of money, power, nationalism, and military fetishism is truly anti-christ.