Salon Magazine has accused the Republican Party of being out of touch with “post-Christian America,” warning the GOP that if it doesn’t renege on its alliance with Christianity, it will soon become irrelevant. Ted Cruz’s failure to get the GOP nomination, Matthew Sheffield proclaims in Salon, “is a perfect window into trends that will set the pace of American politics for decades to come: Americans are moving away from Christianity, including people most likely to vote Republican.” The trend away from religion, and Christianity in particular, Sheffield argues, is the real cause of Republicans’ woes and their failure to win the last two elections.
The magazine also proclaims that “staying relevant” is the crucial objective of every political party and its cause, because “people won’t engage and contribute to anything unless they have faith in it.” “Here’s where the Republican Party is falling behind: they’re still depending on a version of America from the 1960s or 70s that felt much more connected and intertwined, even, with religion and Christianity in particular,” Sheffield claims. “Globalization wasn’t as widespread back then as it is today, and the Cold War and other political opportunities at the time made it much easier for Republicans to rally Americans around catalysts such as patriotism, nationalism and, above all, religion.”
However, he also adds that, because generations have grown up enjoying the many perks of liberty that come with being American, which have been coupled with the breakthroughs in technology, communication and globalization, today’s generations are “much less prone to being intimidated by religion wielded by politicians attempting to achieve their personal goals.” “You could do that some 30 or 40 years ago, because Christianity doesn’t just proclaim the do’s and don’ts, but rather, shifts the responsibility on the people’s own conscience; i.e. you do something the Bible says is wrong and the guilt eats away at you. But today, with smartphones and the internet occupying our daily lives, no one has the time to worry about what some old book proclaims is right and wrong,” Sheffield argued.
“And that’s what the Republican Party just doesn’t seem to get,” he added. “That’s why I think they should completely abandon Christianity as a staple of their program. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, it’s just obsolete and not suited for this time.” However, he also recommends what the best course of action could be. “But if you look at some other religions, for example, Islam, you’ll notice that, while somewhat similar to Christianity, Islam has very important differences. Namely, it is much more stringent when it comes to the believers’ devotion to it than many other religions. This is mirrored in the fact that Muslims don’t go to mosques only on Sundays; they pray to Allah every single day. And in lack of a better religion, maybe Allah is the way to go when it comes to the GOP’s hopes of staying a relevant factor in American politics,” he opined.
“I know how it sounds, believe me,” Sheffield laughed. “But they’re running out of options. The first notion people think about when someone mentions the GOP is ‘archaic.’ That says plenty about the way their minds work. And while their desire to remain conservative and traditional is commendable, I’m afraid the situation for them has come down to the old ‘to be or not to be’ point. They need a change and a radical one, at that. And you know, maybe Allah really is the way to go because if you look at Islam, it hasn’t stopped growing and spreading for the last 50 years. Whatever they’re doing over there is clearly working, they must be doing something right. And if they can, why shouldn’t the GOP be able to, as well?” he concluded.