The GOP, Changing Demographics and the Church

by | Nov 8, 2012 | 2 comments

The Republicans learned a lesson the hard way. Mitt Romney’s loss showed, among other things, that the GOP is out of touch with the realities of the changing demographics of the American people.As a whole, we are more Black, more Hispanic, more Asian, more single and younger than ever before. One commentator said, “The GOP has to find a new way to tell their story to reach these changing constituencies, or they lose their power to shape the American landscape.”
An eerie reminder of what mainline churches face.
The popular wisdom is that President Obama was re-elected not only because of his grassroots campaign, but because his message and policies resonated with the young, the working and middle classes, singles, persons of color and ethnic groups.
As mainline Protestants age, a majority of whom are white, the church has to find new ways to tell our story to reach our neighbors. We too must continue to embrace the changing demographics of the American people. And the technologies they choose.
Previously, Twitter hadn’t figured into presidential politics all that much. Until now. But on Tuesday, President Obama Tuesday night’s tweet, Four More Years has become the most popular of all time, racking up almost half a million re-tweets within 2 hours.
How are you using Twitter to communicate with your people?
Diversity has taken center stage in our nation. Consider this. As a nation, we chose between a biracial president and a Mormon. Did you ever think that would happen? Marriage equality bills passed by popular vote in three states. More women were elected to Congress. New Hampshire now has an all female delegation. The first openly gay member of Congress was elected. As well as the first Hindu Representative and the first Buddhist Senator. America is changing.
The church must too.
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2 Comments

  1. rebmoti

    Hm, I understand the point you’re trying to make but I’m not sure I agree with the analogy. Republicans are famous for vilifying those not like them, and also for their “closed-loop” thinking which makes them think they’re winning (and that climate change isn’t real, etc.) Whatever you can say about MLPs, they try to be inclusive (whether they are effective or not is a different story) and they are self-reflective, even to a fault.

  2. Rebekah Simon-Peter

    Agreed Reb Moti on the self-reflective nature of MLP leadership. Yet there still persists the belief that we can make it as we are, or we don’t need to change. While that comes from a different space than the GOP leadership’s trend toward vilification or closed loop thinking, it’s still problematic.

    In the church, misunderstanding how the generations differ in relation to church is an issue. Boomers “came back” to church when they had kids or other milestone markers in their lives. But Gen Xers and Millenials are much less inclined to do so. Especially if they were never introduced to the practice of church attendance to begin with.

    The other issue is fear of change which is prevalent in smaller churches and small communities. And of course the fear of “other.”

    Thanks for reading, and for your comment!