The University of Texas at Austin posted an interesting article in 2008 on race, religion, and political activism called “Politics in the Pews.” Even though it’s basically a promotion for Dr. Eric McDaniel’s book of the same name, the article really is worth a read.
If you find any of this interesting, I would highly recommend Dr. McDaniel and Christopher Ellison’s study on race, religion, and politics titled “God’s Party? Race, Religion, and Partisanship Over Time” (if you can gain access to it). This study offers fascinating insight into race and biblical literalism as well— probably the most interesting information.
I’m guessing you don’t want to buy and read the McDaniel and Ellison article, right?
Here is a summary of the discussion on the connections between biblical literalism, race, and political affiliation:
(Data between 1983 and 2003)
- Over time Anglo literalists have shifted into the Republican Party. (from about 25% to more than 60%)
- Latino literalists show a similar but not as drastic trend towards the Republican party.
- African American literalists “overwhelmingly identify with the Democratic Party and have not changed their support over time.”
- The study argues that this phenomenon is caused by differing interpretations of the faith itself. In the end, the effects of biblical literalism is contingent upon race.
- “Anglo literalism has tended to emphasize theological individualism– personal sin, divine judgement, repentance, and salvation, along with a personal piety and private morality– often to the exclusion of concerns for the welfare of others.”
- On the effects of African-American literalism: “The black church traditionally couples the concern for personal spiritual salvation with a focus on community building, liberation, equity, and social justice.”
I have heard both Dr. McDaniel and Dr. Ellison lecture at UT. Ellison was also one of my undergraduate professors. Both are incredibly intelligent, so definitely check out more of their work.