• RSS Queering the Church

    • Lest We Forget: Remember the Ashes of Our Martyrs February 13, 2013
      For Ash Wednesday, I reminded readers here that the season of Lent is also a “joyful” season, an aspect that should not be ignored.  We should never forget though, that it is also a solemn time, above all a time…Read more →
    • St Patrick: A Gay Role Model? March 17, 2012
      So why should we see St Paddy as a gay icon? In a notable book on Irish gay history (“Terrible Queer Creatures”) Brian Lacey presents some evidence that Patrick may have had a long term intimate relationship with a man: “St.…Read more →
  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

    • Where Are You? October 26, 2011
      Greetings to all others who grace these pages! Thank you for stopping by. If you still have a reader pointed here, this blog no longer publishes in this location, but can be found at this new link. Please subscribe to the new feed, get the new blog via email or read us by liking us on Facebook or by following me on Twitter.If you want more, please feel free […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Fran)
  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Poldark: Unfurling in Perfect Form April 25, 2015
      Above: Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark in the BBC One television series Poldark, which premiered in the UK on Sunday, March 8, 2015.(Photo: BBC/Mammoth Screen/Mike Hogan)I'm happy to report that Poldark, BBC One's television series based on Winston Graham's acclaimed series of historical novels, is both a critical and ratings success. Not only ha […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Quote of the Day April 24, 2015
      Coming to a new understanding of women as full human beings is the sine qua non of church change. Moreover, the current pope’s recent reiteration of the virtues of gender complementarity showed that he is not tuned in to contemporary scholarship, both scientific and humanistic, on gender, its fluidity, and variety. No one can be certain how constructed our g […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

  • RSS Enlightened Catholicism

  • RSS Far From Rome

    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • Gay News of the Week April 25, 2015
      Gay News of the Week - some cheering and uplifting, some not so much.First, a charming and inspiring incident from a Las Vegas high school:Jacob Lescenski, a Las Vegas, Nevada high school student, is straight. His best friend, Anthony Martinez, is gay.As you can see from the photo above and this tweet, Jacob asked his buddy Anthony to the prom, because, why […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Cameron )
    • The Franciscan (Pope Francis): A Book Review April 19, 2015
      Partly because of my theological background, I was asked by the publishers to provide an honest review of The Franciscan, a religious suspense thriller by WR. Park. Written some fourteen years ago, the plot revolves around a fictional Pope Francis (from the Franciscan order) who attempts to introduce revolutionary reforms into the Catholic Church and who fac […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Cameron )
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS John McNeill: Spiritual Transformations

  • RSS Perspective

    • Help the people and animals of Nepal April 27, 2015
      I had an email from the Red Cross today, asking for a donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Nepal. I then looked for some place that would help the animals there too, and found the Human Society International. If you're interested, here are the links (and info) .....- For people: American Red Cross/Nepal earthquake relife ...Shortly befor […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

The “Catholic Vote”: No Longer a National Bellwether

In the past, Catholics were 25% of the U.S. population. Catholics now constitute 19.1% of the population according to the 2010 U.S Religion Census conducted by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB). Catholics previously were 30% of the electorate. They are now down to 22% of registered voters according to a Sept. 12-16 poll by the Pew Forum. (In this survey, 19.6% of Catholic registered voters are Hispanic. In the November 2008 election, Hispanics were 7.9% of all registered voters.)

An older Catholic who hasn’t stepped foot inside a church for years may still self-identify as Catholic in response to a telephone poll. But more Millennials (25%) than any other age group self-identify as non-affiliated. “Catholics and white mainline Protestants saw the largest net losses due to Millennials’ movement away from their childhood religious affiliation.”

So demographically, Catholics voters are proportionately fewer in number, more Hispanic and probably older than the general population.

According to Pew, non-Hispanic Catholics have steadfastly identified with or leaned towards the Republican Party since 2009 and have consistently favored Romney over Obama in the past year, while Hispanic Catholics favor the Democrats two to one. This would indicate that a Catholic independent or undecided vote is of little statistical importance, at least insofar as their religion plays a deciding factor in how they cast their ballot.

Yet we still have pundits writing about “the importance of the Catholic vote,” that “Both campaigns should take heed” of the Catholic vote, and “If you want to find the absolute center in American politics, you could do worse than look at the nation’s Catholic vote.”

Nor is there a “Catholic vote” likely to regain any significance soon.

In a recent NPR segment, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stated that immigration numbers are now down to 1971 levels, depriving the American Catholic Church of the major source of even a semblance of static membership in the past decade. And of those already here, “The number of Hispanics self-identifying as Catholics has declined from nearly 100 percent in just two decades, while the number who describe themselves as Protestant has nearly doubled and the number saying they have ‘no religion’ has also doubled,” Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles noted in a 2009 talk.

The exodus from the Catholic Church as first reported in the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life 2007 survey which famously noted that, although a third of U.S. adultshad been raised as Catholics, only 23.9% still self-identified with the denomination, continues unabated.

The Boston archdiocese which had reduced its parishes from 357 in 2004 down to 288, is now reporting the number of parishes will be further reduced to 135 “clusters” in the future “as national trends show more people leaving Church.” This past year, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput closed 9 parishes and 27 schools and admits that a further “scaled-down” organization is on the horizon. They join dozens of U.S. dioceses which have already closed hundreds of parishes or are planning on doing so.

There will not be a “Catholic vote” which merits attention from politicos again for a long time.

About these ads

6 Responses

  1. Betty, thank you for this wonderfully well-researched article (as with all of your articles). It is very informative and useful. I wish all the media commentators talking about “the” Catholic vote could read it!

    • Thanks so much. You are so kind. Yes, I got tired of reading about the “Catholic vote” which is so fragmented as to be meaningless.

  2. I wish all those who think the Hispanic Church is going to save US Catholicism would assimilate the statistics about Hispanic losses. They are leaving for the same types of reasons Anglo Catholics are leaving. They can not relate to the current kind of Church we now have. We are losing the relational aspect of the Church in favor of conformity.

    • You are so right, Colleen. Some of the older generation of immigrants may cling to their own Latino communities within the RCC umbrella, but the assimilated younger generation will not. Even among the older folks, many have left already for other Christian churches. Betty

  3. Do you think the church will learn from this?
    they would rather let the church die a long slow death then give up any of their power. They should be silent and learn from the laity.

    • It has often been said that from the beginning of his reign, Ratzinger wanted a smaller, “purer” church. I think the hierarchs are happy to see any Catholic who doesn’t want to “pay, pray and obey” exit. They have no intention of learning from the laity because they think we have nothing to teach them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 150 other followers

%d bloggers like this: