Jason Mulder, an evangelical Christian in Sioux Center, Iowa, says:
"I feel like on the coasts, in some of the cities and stuff, they look down on us in rural America. You know, we are a bunch of hicks, and don’t know anything. They don’t understand us the same way we don’t understand them. So we don’t want them telling us how to live our lives.”
That may be it right there. Both sides don’t like each other because each thinks the other is telling them how to live their lives — and they’re both right.
Still, any equivalence of the two sides may be imaginary, especially if most evangelicals think of themselves as those “Dordt Defenders” who cast out those who don’t share their religious prejudices. (In fact, not all those on the losing side of the 1619 "Synod of Dordrecht” were merely expelled, at least one of their leaders was beheaded.)
As it is, I may indeed harbor a dislike of those evangelicals, although not because they’re Christians — heck, Barack Obama is a Christian and I like him just fine! (I myself am an agnostic, though not an evangelistic agnostic; I don’t really much care what you believe.) In fact, my dislike is more because of their dislike of me and my belief system.
And if it turns out that he was sent up here, rather than down, wouldn’t this give credence to those accusations of the "coastal elites”, that those midwestern red states are populated by "naive hicks"?
I like the way E.J. Dionne nails it when he says, “The more religion is associated with right-wing politics, the more alienated from religion progressives become, and the more inclined they are to dismiss religious people altogether.”
True, a higher percentage of liberal Democrats may be religiously unaffiliated, but at least we never beheaded anyone because of their choice of religious inclinations.