Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Big Baby Problem

Like most mainline Protestant churches, the Episcopal Church has an evangelical wing. That wing claims that while the policies of TEC are becoming more liberal, membership in TEC is declining while their numbers are growing. Our Presiding Bishop has even explained the slow or negative growth in membership by our fertility claiming it as a virtue (r.e. we care about overpopulation). A final setup: to state the obvious, gay marriages are not for the purpose of procreation.

The economist Arthur Brooks says:
Simply put, liberals have a big baby problem: They're not having enough of them, they haven't for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, if you picked 100 unrelated politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 conservatives, you would find 208 kids. That's a "fertility gap" of 41%. Given that about 80% of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote the same way as their parents, this gap translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats to vote in future elections. Over the past 30 years this gap has not been below 20%--explaining, to a large extent, the current ineffectiveness of liberal youth voter campaigns today.
Ok, he's looking at the implications for political party membership. But the implications carry over to membership in evangelical and mainline churches, and for the size of the evangelical wing within mainline churches.

Notice, I'm not advocating go forth and multiply.

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