Faith offers valuable connection for Southern Democrats | The Augusta Chronicle

30
Jun

Faith offers valuable connection for Southern Democrats | The Augusta Chronicle

ATLANTA — Jason Carter, former President Jimmy Carter’s grandson, stepped into the pulpit of South Columbus United Methodist Church for a Palm Sunday sermon and offered a message of Christian responsibility to the poor, with his phone in hand.

 

“How many of you have the Bible (app) on your phone? I bet all of you do,” Carter said to laughs from the crowd. Worshippers listened as the Democrat running for Georgia governor read from his phone a New Testament verse about the importance of “things that are not seen.”

 

The technology has changed in the four decades since Jimmy Carter spoke openly about his religious beliefs while campaigning, first for Georgia governor and then president. But the broader message of a shared faith remains the same.

“For Democrats who are disadvantaged politically in the region, it’s one way for them to at least attempt to neutralize the impact or the advantage that religiosity has for the Republican Party,” said Andra Gillespie, an Emory University political science professor. “If you have a Democrat who can make credible claims of faith that might actually help to undermine support for the Republican candidate at least on the issue of, ‘Does this person share my values?’”

Regardless of party affiliation, the South has the highest concentration of people who identify themselves as religious. Gallup polling last year found that the most religious states in the country were in the South. Among those, 52 percent in Georgia said they were very religious, while 49 percent in Kentucky reported the same.

A Gallup survey earlier this year found that Southern Democrats are much more likely to say religion is an important part of their daily life – about 74 percent, compared with 57 percent of Democrats from outside the South.

via Faith offers valuable connection for Southern Democrats | The Augusta Chronicle.

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