Sunday, August 28, 2011

Born-again political clout

Ralph Reed makes the case that those who say that the powerful evangelical social conservative wing of the Republican Party is a thing of the past are flat wrong.

I did my own check. Of white GSS respondents polled in 2008 and 2010, 46.4% who describe themselves as slightly conservative, conservative, or extremely conservative also say they are born-again (sample size = 1,097). That sounds pretty powerful to me.

By the way, one-third of self-described moderates are born-again. This ain't no fringe group, and I see no signs that it is a passing fad.

1 comment:

bleach said...

Related:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-05-25-brain24_ST_N.htm

From wiki:
The hippocampus contains high levels of glucocorticoid receptors, which make it more vulnerable to long-term stress than most other brain areas.[70] Stress-related steroids affect the hippocampus in at least three ways: first, by reducing the excitability of some hippocampal neurons; second, by inhibiting the genesis of new neurons in the dentate gyrus; third, by causing atrophy of dendrites in pyramidal cells of the CA3 region. There is evidence that humans who have experienced severe, long-lasting traumatic stress, show atrophy of the hippocampus, more than of other parts of the brain.[71] These effects show up in post-traumatic stress disorder, and they may contribute to the hippocampal atrophy reported in schizophrenia and severe depression. A recent study has also revealed atrophy as a result of depression, but this can be stopped with anti-depressants, even if they are not effective in relieving other symptoms.[72] Hippocampal atrophy is also frequently seen in Cushing's syndrome, a disorder caused by high levels of cortisol in the bloodstream. At least some of these effects appear to be reversible if the stress is discontinued. There is, however, evidence mainly derived from studies using rats that stress shortly after birth can affect hippocampal function in ways that persist throughout life.[73]

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I suggest the finding on Roman Catholics is insignificant since a huge and growing proportion of those in the U.S. are NAMs and probably have smaller brains in general... but increasing numbers of born agains and non-religious people seems like a sign of growing mental stress and dysfunction across the population