Is Prophecy Motivating Fundamentalists to Vote?

By:  Joe Wolverton, II
09/28/2011
       
Is Prophecy Motivating Fundamentalists to Vote?

Does anxiety over what some fundamentalists believe is the coming "biblical apocalypse" motivate Republicans to vote for a particular candidate?  According to a recent op-ed published in the New York Times, the answer is yes. The author of the piece, Matthew Avery Sutton, is an associate professor of history at Washington State University and is the author of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America. In his article, Sutton claims that a “small but vocal minority” of Republicans associate the recent economic crises, the rise of “radical Islam,” and diverse natural disasters with the “last days” of the earth and as such they are searching for the candidate they believe will lead them safely through this eschatological maelstrom.

How does religion, particularly the branch of Christianity called “fundamentalism,” influence presidential politics? According to Sutton:

Christian apocalypticism has a long and varied history. Its most prevalent modern incarnation took shape a century ago, among the vast network of preachers, evangelists, Bible-college professors and publishers who established the fundamentalist movement. Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and independents, they shared a commitment to returning the Christian faith to its “fundamentals.”

Does anxiety over what some fundamentalists believe is the coming "biblical apocalypse" motivate Republicans to vote for a particular candidate?

According to a recent op-ed published in the New York Times, the answer is yes. The author of the piece, Matthew Avery Sutton, is an associate professor of history at Washington State University and is the author of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America. In his article, Sutton claims that a “small but vocal minority” of Republicans associate the recent economic crises, the rise of “radical Islam,” and diverse natural disasters with the “last days” of the earth and as such they are searching for the candidate they believe will lead them safely through this eschatological maelstrom.

How does religion, particularly the branch of Christianity called “fundamentalism,” influence presidential politics? According to Sutton:

Christian apocalypticism has a long and varied history. Its most prevalent modern incarnation took shape a century ago, among the vast network of preachers, evangelists, Bible-college professors and publishers who established the fundamentalist movement. Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and independents, they shared a commitment to returning the Christian faith to its “fundamentals.”

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