(Rewire.news) — Two events this past week, each sickening in its own way, point in the same direction: White Protestantism, the default religion of the United States since forever, is shot to hell: both morally vacuous and contaminated as a brand for generations to come.
The declension isn’t news, of course. This publication has been among many pointing out that white evangelical support for Donald Trump dipped only very slightly in the midterm voting and remains very strong at over 70% in most polls.
I’m thinking about a much broader collapse, however. I’m thinking about the substratum of white Protestantism that supported our common culture for so long and in so many ways: the Protestant-inspired civil religion assayed by scholars like Robert Bellah and David Hollinger. And I’m talking about an inheritance that reinforces what we might call ordinary virtues: restraint, honesty, respect for the rule of law, and respect for the rule of reason. There’s surely a degree of bitter irony coursing through the spectacle of powerful white Protestants now actively undermining these ordinary virtues.