Skip to comments.The GOP -- Not a Club For Christians
Posted on 12/12/2012 5:31:23 AM PST by Kaslin
In the scramble to make the GOP more diverse, a lot of people are looking at Asian Americans, whom many believe are a natural constituency for the party. I would love it if Asian Americans converted en masse to the Republican Party, but the challenge for Republicans is harder than many appreciate.
President Obama did spectacularly well with Asian Americans, garnering nearly three-quarters of their vote. This runs counter to a lot of conventional wisdom on both the left and the right. On average, Asian American family income is higher and poverty is lower than it is for non-Latino whites. Entrepreneurship, family cohesion and traditional values all run strong among Asian Americans, and reliance on government runs weak.
And yet, Asian Americans -- now the fastest-growing minority in America -- are rapidly becoming a core constituency of the Democratic Party.
I've joked for years with my Indian American relatives and friends that they are the new Jews because their parents bury them in guilt and overeducate them. It turns out it doesn't end there. Sociologist Milton Himmelfarb observed that "Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans." Well, Indian Americans earn like Jews and ... vote like Jews.
And maybe for similar reasons. The comparison to Jews is instructive. Perhaps the most common explanation for the GOP's problem with Asian Americans is the party's pronounced embrace of Christianity, which turns off many Jews as well.
According to Pew studies, barely a third of Chinese Americans are Christian and less than a fifth of Indian Americans are.
"Whenever a Gujarati or Sikh businessman comes to a Republican event, it begins with an appeal to Jesus Christ," conservative writer Dinesh D'Souza recently told the New York Times magazine. "While the Democrats are really good at making the outsider feel at home, the Republicans make little or no effort."
My friend and colleague Ramesh Ponnuru, an Indian American and devout Catholic, says the GOP has a problem with seeming like a "club for Christians."
That rings true to me. I've attended dozens of conservative events where, as the speaker, I was, in effect, the guest of honor, and yet the opening invocation made no account of the fact that the guest of honor wasn't a Christian. I've never taken offense, but I can imagine how it might seem to someone who felt like he was even less part of the club.
A few years ago, Robert Putnam, a liberal sociologist, reported this finding: As racial and ethnic diversity increases, social trust and cohesion plummets. "Trust (even of one's own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer," Putnam found. "People living in ethnically diverse settings appear to 'hunker down' -- that is, to pull in like a turtle."
The villain isn't racism or bigotry or anything so simple. The phenomenon is much more complex. Indeed, it's not clear why this happens, but it's clear that it does. Economic inequality and cultural attitudes do not matter much. "Americans raised in the 1970s," Putnam writes, "seem fully as unnerved by diversity as those raised in the 1920s."
Part of the explanation stems from the fact that people with shared experiences and cultures draw strength from working together, whereas with strangers, language often becomes guarded, intentions questioned.
The GOP is not a Christian club, but there's no disputing that Christianity is a major source of strength and inspiration for many Republican activists. This is nothing new and, generally speaking, there's nothing wrong with this. The abolitionist, progressive and civil rights movements were all significantly powered by Christian faith.
As someone who's long argued for theological pluralism and moral consensus on the right, it strikes me as nuts for the GOP not to do better with Asian Americans, particularly given how little religion has to do with the policy priorities of the day.
Twenty years ago, conservatives started referring to Judeo-Christian values in an effort to be more inclusive. The challenge now is to figure out how to talk in a way that doesn't cause decent and dedicated Christians to pull in like a turtle, while also appealing to non-Judeo-Christians and the nonreligious. That'll be hard, requiring more than name-dropping Confucius or Krishna.
...Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.
1 Corinthians 1:23
I did not leave the GOP, it left me.
Just looking for a REAL conservative party here!
Goldberg makes some good points. Look, I am a Christian and not ashamed of the Gospel. If we can get Buddhists and Jews and Hindus to agree with us on sanctity of life and free markets, let's do it.
We no longer have any cultural identity. Assimilation is a thng of the past. Judeo-Christian beliefs and principles created what we once had, cultural and religious diversity will destroy everything. The curse at Babel was and is very real. The Dims understand this reality well. Beyond that, no sense flogging a horse as dead as the Republican Party.
The GOP — Not a Club For Christians
When I saw the title I thought it meant Christians are not welcome...
We’re not of course...
Christians are Conservatives...
No other religion on this planet is expected to self-censor itself in public so thoroughly, and no other one does.
I don't want any more hot house flowers who wet their pants when they hear someone else's opinion; this country already has enough of them.
Is this the great "immigrant spirit" we're supposed to worship?
Imagine if most of the Republican Party was Hindu, you generally agreed with the Party on policy, but at Republican events, in articles, etc. there was as much mentioning of Brahma and Hinduism as there is of Christianity today.
Would it bother you in the slightest?
As a conservative Christian, I don’t want to sail with this boat. I think, with the loss of the election to the unfaithful, it is time for conservatives to look at a 3rd party. Then, with the Republican party looking more like the Democratic party, hoping to gain on-the fence Democrats, and with the dilutions of both the party’s, we may have a chance. Fifty million people did not vote for this assault on America.
The hell its not. Wasn't all the talk about the GOP being the party of old white men evidence enough?
Until we understand and acknowledge the gross double standard the left is promulgating and begin holding EVERYONE to the same standard of tolerance this country will continue its steepening descent.
You're going to dilute only one party - the GOP. Don't kid yourself.
If you want to create a regional party in the Bible Belt that has no ability to ever win the Presidency, and ends the GOP chances of doing so till the end of time, that's fine, but be sure you are clear on the actual implications.
If I moved to India I would choose the political party that offered the most individual freedom.
If they based their ideology upon Hinduism and made constant references to it, no I wouldn't mind religious references in the least.
I think there is a different reason underlying who Asians support, and who they do not.
Take the Chinese, for example. China is officially an atheist nation, but practically speaking, Christianity is rapidly becoming the religion of the entrepreneurial and business classes. The attitude is that successful people become Christians.
This attitude likely does not change when Chinese come to America.
Otherwise, Chinese have long been called “The Jews of the Orient”, because they share with Jews a very old Oriental philosophy of culture. It is not the same tradition, of course, but it is a parallel outlook on life and history.
And this outlook on life and history is very different from the western, Christian view of life and history.
On top of even that, the Chinese have long had a cultural but not particularly hostile, divide between Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, living side by side. And Islam and Christianity have been there for centuries as well.
So at least as far as the Chinese are concerned, I don’t think that religion is a big sticking point with them in American politics.
He's telling you to drop the Christianity, abrogate your faith publicly, and to burn incense on the public altar of "humanism".
Stop being such an American! You're making the new neighbors nervous!
In exact point of fact, the Indian BJT Party does exactly that; they're Hindu nationalists, and their main problem is runaway family/demographic expansion of the Moslem minority, which is now up to 30% of India's population. The whole idea of dividing India and Pakistan was to keep the warring Hindus and Moslems apart, and now it looks like the Moslems might be able to force a second partition by the exercise of their genitals.
Over here, however, you're not allowed to take such things into consideration -- that's divisive and a thought-crime, especially for you, since you are one of them, the hated, suspect them who need to be watched, categorically criticized at every turn, and criminalized at every opportunity.
One does not have to pass a Christian-litmus test in order to be a Republican.
This is our house, Jack.
If you don't believe that, then get ready to pay rent for the privilege of working for minimum wage in the house your fathers built.
And get used to being called "chump" by smartass strangers on the make. They'll take you and take you -- because whatever you are, whatever you do, you aren't one of theirs.
You are something of a leader of the anti-Christian, anti-social conservative, pro-liberal group here.
Now you plead for us to stay in this new anti-Christian GOP that you are striving for.
Christians will not support your agenda.
If it hurts social trust and cohesion .... knock it off! To put that in Atlantic Slope vernacular, "Whaddaya, stoopid?! Knock it off, yer tearin' the country apart!"
Which is exactly what you want -- tearing the country apart -- if you're a Communist, a jihadi, or a Mau-Mau. Or all of the above.
You anti-Christian types have proven that you can’t even win against Carter’s second term.
Your Romney guy was an absolute disaster for the GOP and may be the cause of the party’s downfall.
You guys don’t know squat about what wins elections.