During the Obama presidency, it seemed that the culture wars were winding down with a near-consensus on gay marriage and the like.Breaking Faith
The culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse.
Though the decline of religion is most evident on the center to left, it has also happened to white Republicans, with the proportion of unaffiliated ones increasing by a nearly factor of 3 since 1990. The overall population's unaffiliated fraction has gone from 6% in 1992 to 22% in 2014, with Millennials at 35%.Secularism is indeed correlated with greater tolerance of gay marriage and pot legalization. But its also making Americas partisan clashes more brutal. And it has contributed to the rise of both Donald Trump and the so-called alt-right movement, whose members see themselves as proponents of white nationalism. As Americans have left organized religion, they havent stopped viewing politics as a struggle between us and them. Many have come to define us and them in even more primal and irreconcilable ways.
Then about how religiously inactive white cultural conservatives tend to do worse than their religiously active counterparts, having more divorces, more addiction, and more financial distress. These people also tend to have a darker view of their social and economic prospects.During the campaign, commentators had a hard time reconciling Trumps apparent ignorance of Christianity and his history of pro-choice and pro-gay-rights statements with his support from evangelicals. But as Notre Dames Geoffrey Layman noted, Trump does best among evangelicals with one key trait: They dont really go to church. A Pew Research Center poll last March found that Trump trailed Ted Cruz by 15 points among Republicans who attended religious services every week. But he led Cruz by a whopping 27 points among those who did not.
Although they are less intolerant of homosexuals, they are more intolerant of blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims. A pattern that is also true of Catholics, mainline Protestants, and evangelical Protestants more generally, and that is also true in at least some parts of Europe.
Why might that be the case? In the US at least, churches are heavily segregated, something that Martin Luther King Jr. famously pointed out back in 1960. This is despite Christianity being a transethnic religion -- and transethnic ever since its beginning as an obscure Jewish sect some 2000 years ago. This being transethnic may help to reduce ethnic bigotry among those involved in their churches. A white conservative Xian may identify with a Hispanic conservative Xian, and vice versa.
However, that did not stop many white Xians from hating black ones, it must be noted, even when they practiced rather similar sorts of Xianity. In fact, some white Xians have disparaged MLK Jr. as a Modernist and thus Not A True Xian.
In An Establishment Conservatives Guide to the Alt-Right, Milo Yiannopoulos's and Allum Bokhari's essay in Breitbart, we find 5 references to "tribe", 7 to "race", 13 to "the west" and "western", and only one to "Christianity".
That is, being transethnic.Its leaders like Christendom, an old-fashioned word for the West. But theyre suspicious of Christianity itself, because it crosses boundaries of blood and soil. As a college student, the alt-right leader Richard Spencer was deeply influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, who famously hated Christianity. Radix, the journal Spencer founded, publishes articles with titles like Why I Am a Pagan. One essay notes that critics of Christianity on the Alternative Right usually blame it for its universalism.
Friedrich Nietzsche had slammed Xianity for promoting an ethnic of wimpiness and meekness and submissiveness -- very unlike what one gets from Religious-Right Republicans.