“White Christian America is dying,” proclaims the headline on a Monkey Cage blogpost by the perceptive political scientist John Sides. Like many headlines, it’s an exaggeration of the thrust of the article that follows, which is an interview with Robert Jones, head of the Public Religion Research Institute, on his new book The End of White Christian America, based on PRRI and other research on religious beliefs and practices of Americans.
Sides’s questions and Jones’s answers are pretty much neutral in tone, but many readers will detect a tone of triumphalism in the book’s title and in the thrust of its argument. You white Christians have been the majority for a long time, but it’s not going to be your country any more — or so they seem to be saying. That’s a variation on the message that demographic analysts like National Journal’s Ron Brownstein have been delivering for some time. The percentage of voters classified as “white” has been declining and will continue to do so, to the extent that the Democratic party might emerge with a permanent electoral majority.