Politics Secularism and the Hispanic Immigrant
posted by April 16 at 9:02 AMon
Remember listening to right-wing religious nuts—and Karl Rove and his flying monkeys—talk about how they were going to reach out to immigrants from Mexico, Central America, and South America? Remember right-wing religious nuts claiming that Hispanic immigrants were “natural” allies of socially conservative religious fascists here in the United States? Remember hearing that Hispanic immigrants were family-focused, church-going Catholics—a minority among Catholics—and therefore immune to the blandishments of secular American culture? Remember how Karl Rove was going to fold these church-going, immune-to-secular-culture immigrants into the GOP base, thereby ensuring a permanent Republican majority? Remember how the GOP was going to be able to do outreach to Hispanic immigrants the same way they do outreach to crazy white people? By going into their churches?
Well, file this story—from yesterday’s New York Times—under “Chickens counted prior to eggs hatching”:
For Some Hispanics, Coming to America Also Means Abandoning Religion
A wave of research shows that increasing percentages of Hispanics are abandoning church, suggesting to researchers that along with assimilation comes a measure of secularization.
Several studies show that Hispanics are just as likely as other Americans to identify themselves as having “no religion,” and to not affiliate with a church. Those who describe themselves as secular are, without question, a small minority among Hispanics—as they are among Americans at large. But, in contrast to many of the non-Hispanic Americans who identify themselves as secular, most of the Hispanics say they were once religious….
A separate study of 4,000 Hispanics to be released this month by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Hispanic Center found that 8 percent of them said they had “no religion” — similar to the 11 percent in the general public. Of the Hispanics who claimed no religion, two-thirds said they had once been religious. Thirty-nine percent of the Hispanics who said they had no religion were former Catholics.
A larger survey, called the American Religious Identification Survey, a study of 50,000 adults, including 3,000 Hispanics, found that the percentage of Hispanics who identified themselves as having no religion more than doubled from 1990 to 2001, to 13 percent from 6 percent.
Oh, and remember how the GOP assumed the religiousity and cultural conservatism of Hispanic immigrants left them no choice but to vote Republican—so it didn’t matter how viciously Republican elected officials, conservative radio talk-show hosts, and FoxNews “personalities” bashed illegal immigrants?
Mistakes were made.