The NY Times recently posted this article regarding evangelical support for President Obama’s proposed immigration reform policy. As the piece notes, it is very unusual to see evangelicals, who are overwhelmingly conservative and Republican, agree with Obama on anything. Their support is welcome in that it may help get reform passed, but it is very intriguing to me that their end is to increase their religious and social conservative base:
Hispanic storefront churches are popping up in strip malls, and Spanish-speaking congregations are renting space in other churches. Some pastors, like Mr. Hybels, lead churches that include growing numbers of Hispanics. Several evangelical leaders said they were convinced that Hispanics are the key to growth not only for the evangelical movement, but also for the social conservative movement
While it is true that Hispanics tend to be socially conservative, they still vote Democratic in larger numbers. Unlike lower-income, White Christians, Hispanics tend to vote based less on their social beliefs than their economic and educational ones. Evangelicals vote Republican way more than do Hispanics, even though Hispanics are mostly Catholic and Catholicism shares many similarities with Evangelicalism on social issues like pre-marital sex, abortion and gay rights.
But I can definitely see a future in which that changes as the evangelical movement continues to grow and attract more Hispanic members (whose increase in population here will facilitate this), and carry plenty of political clout. Maybe a religious war between Catholics and Evangelics looms in which the former seeks to maintain its grip over a population while the latter attempts to expand its base by tapping into the same growing population. That would be fun to watch!
Until it destroys us all. I kid. Sort of.