A visceral post from David Simon, “Barack Obama and the death of normal”:
America is different now, more so with every election cycle. Ronald Reagan won his mandate in an America in which 89 percent of the voters were white. That number is down to 72 percent and falling. Fifty thousand new Latino citizens achieve the voting age every month. America will soon belong to the men and women — white and black and Latino and Asian, Christian and Jew and Muslim and atheist, gay and straight — who can walk into a room and accept with real comfort the sensation that they are in a world of certain difference, that there are no real majorities, only pluralities and coalitions. The America in which it was otherwise is dying, thank god, and those who relied on entitlement and division to command power will either be obliged to accept the changes, or retreat to the gated communities from which they wish to wax nostalgic and brood on political irrelevance.
You want to lead in America? Find a way to be entirely utilitarian — to address the most problems on behalf of the most possible citizens. That works. That matters.
He may as well be speaking to the conservative American Church. Religion is an ancient form of politics. We know the country’s political divisions closely mirror the Church’s divisions.
Simon’s point is that Republicans lost because they’re no longer relevant to the emerging majority of minorities (and not just racial minorities). The same is true of the American Church, although along different demographic lines. If anything, the Church’s best foothold for the next 50 years is among first and second generation hispanics and asians.
But the bottom-line remains the same. The Church has become irrelevant. Actually, scratch that last word. “Relevant” long ago became a buzzword for churches that learned to mirror the fads of popular culture. More stoic Christians, in response, still shake their fists in protest that we mustn’t contort the gospel to meet people’s “felt needs.”
That’s not what I mean. I’m not saying the church isn’t appealing because it isn’t stylish enough. I’m saying the Church isn’t appealing because it isn’t useful enough.
UPDATE: Interesting story on NPR with this quote from Al Mohler:
”If we do not become the movement of younger Americans and Hispanic Americans and any number of other Americans, then we will just become a retirement community,” he says. “And that cannot, that cannot, serve the cause of Christ.”
So, the clear message from Al Mohler is that the “cause of Christ” is to outlaw abortion and gay marriage.