(To understand this post you may want to read an earlier installment.)
Okay folks, here is an example of what I am talking about.
Tuesday all of the news shows were trumpeting a new battleground poll showing Senator Barack Obama pulling ahead of Senator John McCain in the presidential race in the key five swing states. The one recalcitrant state was Missouri, where Obama’s numbers unaccountably lagged. A couple of the anchors asked their political directors what was up with Missouri and, of course, they had no answer or in one case bravely asserted that “this sort of thing sometimes happens.”
But only people in the isolated Boston-New York-Washington D.C. corridor were so ignorant. Most of the nation, including the 42%, who according to Gallup, are born again Christians and another 30% who live with them and know them, knew exactly what was happening. There was an easy explanation.
Sarah Palin hails from an Assemblies of God tradition and the headquarters for this denomination is southwest Missouri. This denomination has almost 15,000 churches in Missouri alone. And the headquarters for the Baptist Bible Fellowship, of which Jerry Falwell was a famous alumnus, is in Springfield, Missouri, as well.
This is just a typical, rather unimportant, daily example of how the “evangelical free” media knows less than their own audience about anything related to religion. It is how they missed Huckabee’s surge in Iowa, how they still don’t know what happened to him in South Carolina and why they totally misunderstood the tactical and strategic logic behind the pick of Sarah Palin. As far as that goes, it is how they have miscast the complicated and paradoxical relationship between evangelicals and George W. Bush for the last eight years.
Ahhh. Ignorance is bliss.
“He who says that religion and politics don’t mix, understands neither one.”
– Mahatma Gandhi