Who Would Jesus Vote For? A Redemption Church Small Group
Date: October 29th, 2012
Visit our Facebook Fan Page to see how this group of evangelicals are planning to vote in the 2012 presidential election.
Scholars have long known that religious belief and practice plays a salient role in determining one’s voting behavior. Those scholars have relied upon opinion polls and statistical analysis to flesh this out, though rarely do we get a glimpse into the actual thought process of how religious folks think about their politics. In this very unusual podcast, we open that “black box” to listen in on how a group of sixteen evangelical churchgoers and their pastor talk about politics with a presidential election coming up. These folks belong to Redemption Church in Duvall, WA (a church featured several times on this show), and they are participating in one fo the church’s “small groups” (or “regroup”) known as Theology on Tap, wherein interested church members gather in a local bar, drink beer, and discuss some heady theological issues. The topic for this evening’s discussion was “Who would Jesus vote for?” The conversation defies a typical linear narrative (as do many small group discussions), so we won’t provide one here. However, become a “fly on the wall” to this exchange of ideas and be prepared to hear some interesting and suprising statements from the congregants. The participants hit on topics ranging from whether an evangelical can conscientiously vote for a Mormon, to figuring out what constitutes “moral” issues as compared to “policy” issues, to why white evangelicals vote differently than African-American evangelicals. One of the members even makes the bold claim that Jesus would vote Republican, though he himself would vote Democrat. Hear the surprising justification for this that harkens back to the economist Simon Kuznets! Near the end of the discussion (at about the 57 minute mark), Pastor Matt Boswell claims that Jesus wouldn’t vote for anybody, but for use regular folks that is a cop-out for not voting, to which an audience member agreed. Listen in to how this evangelical dilemma is resolved, with the most profound answer of the evening coming by one of the participants at the 1 hour and 7 minute mark. If anything, this will disavow you of your notion that all rural evangelicals are just a bunch of dumb hillbillies. Or maybe not. The discussion is passionate, but at the end they all raise a glass and proclaim their true love for Jesus, their church, and one another. Go to our Facebook Fan Page and “like” us to find out the poll results of how these backwoods evangelicals are planning to cast their vote and possibly for a little discussion of what happened at the “after party.” Special thanks to the Duvall Grill and Tap Room for hosting this event and allowing us to record. Recorded: October 16, 2012.
Redemption Church website and Facebook Page.
Duvall Grill & Tap Room.
Gerald de Maio on the Electoral Religion Gap.
Corwin Smidt on Religion, Elections, and the God Gap.
Ken Wald on the Puzzling Politics of American Jews.
The Redemption Church podcast series. (Learn about this fascinating church, the spiritual home of your host.)
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