Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Here is the terrifying question. Would a Mitt Romney presidency encourage people to leave their Protestant congregations, and fill up Mormon chapels?


Does the religion of the US president even influence how many people join that religion? Have people left their pentecostal congregations in droves to become Methodists since George W. Bush's election?Did the Quaker congregations swell in number during the Nixon years?

Okay okay. A lot of people don't like George W. Bush. And Nixon went down in flames. But Reagan won big at the polls. Did people bail out of their Baptist congregations to become Presbyterian during the Reagan administration?

How about during the Clinton administration, or the Carter years? Did people leave their Presbyterian congregations and join Baptist congregations?

I don't even recall that it was an issue during the 2004 campaign. If John Kerry would have been elected would people have flocked to the Catholic church? Is that what happened when John F. Kennedy was elected? Were Evangelicals worried back then that Catholicism would somehow gain a fresh new appeal and Protestants would switch and become Catholic? I wasn't around back then but I thought the concern was that the Pope would decide on policy issues. Was that just the concern that was articulated, when the real concern was that people would go Catholic? I suspect that it was a concern during the JFK campaign.

But it was no longer a concern with John Kerry. I certainly don't remember any hand wringing about this subject in 2004.

Was it a concern?
All of the above denominations are mainstream, fairly well accepted American religious traditions. Catholics accept baptisms of most of the above denominations (Catholics don't recognize Mormon baptisms). But what about religions that fall firmly outside mainstream Christianity? If Al Gore had won the election in 2000 with Joe Lieberman as a running mate would Americans have left their religious traditions to become Jewish?



At Tuesday, 03 October, 2006, Blogger Kevin Davis Jr. said...

Great post!

Good job!


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