How Many Southern Baptists Shifted Politically? The Number is Staggering

On Twitter I read something that was staggering. It was about how many Southern Baptist shifted politically from 2008 until 2018. Its out of bounds with other denominations and it is staggering. This blog would like to ask, what happened? From 2008 until now, what took place that made the Southern Baptists far more political?

“Politics have no relation to morals.”

Niccolo Machiavelli

The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.

Proverbs 23:24 ESV


Christian nationalist pastor Robert Jeffres

Earlier while working on a post about critical race theory I stumbled across something on Twitter that made my jaw drop. Its always been one of my concerns that evangelicalism is far too political. And then I saw the following tweet by Sarah Pulliam Bailey of The Washington Post. 

When I saw how political the Southern Baptists have become since 2008 I was stunned. The graph above you can layer against Jerry Falwell Sr and the creation of the Moral Majority. Its been this long, gradual uptick and then in 2008 it goes straight north. What is is that resulted in Southern Baptists fearing President Obama? Did they just fear a black President is that what happened? That number of 71% and an increase of 21% is staggering. Not only that but if goes against the trends in other area of Christianity. So what does it mean? 

  1. Is evangelicalism nothing but a front for political operations? That took off and as a result it has no substance or faith? 
  2. Did the Southern Baptists become so involved in the culture wars that it consumed them? 
  3. What if this brand of Republicanism is not the traditional GOP but rather nationalist populism? There is a major difference between the two. 
  4. Does the high political numbers reflect the dying of Southern Baptists in the northern United States and the emergence of those in the American South? 
  5. Does it mean that many Southern Baptists have become more influenced by Fox News and not from the Bible? 
  6. Is it the false Christian persecution narrative being fed by the internet and partisan media? 
  7. Are the Southern Baptists headed for extinction? Especially if they move in a direction that many parts of the country are not prepared to go? 

There are many directions that this can go. But I would like to ask you what do you make of these statistics? 

10 thoughts on “How Many Southern Baptists Shifted Politically? The Number is Staggering

  1. I remember last year sometime reading some stats from Barna about people who self-identify as Christians. Sometime around 2011, there was a sudden dropoff in self identification. A whole bunch of people had suddenly decided that they were no longer committed Christians.

    So maybe it is that the SBC hasn’t gained Republicans… they’ve lost Democrats. Attendance has been dropped in the past 10-15 years, so that’s where they’ve gone.


    • I wondered about this too. But I saw some additional data that shows that the majority of people who leave SBC churches end up in “non-denominational” churches, which also mostly skew GOP. Comparatively few of them end up in the “none” or “done” categories, though some certainly do.

      Still, as the conservative churches align themselves more and more closely with a political party and become more like political action committees and less like “church,” I do think it is rather obvious that you will end up with churches that are smaller in number (as more moderate individuals are made increasingly uncomfortable) but more rabidly partisan. There are churches in my own area that I will not set foot in, because I know that the leadership and the attenders are driven more by the talking points of conservative politicians and partisan media than they are by a Biblical world view (although they have convinced themselves that the two are one and the same, by being selective about which Bible verses and passages they focus on).

      Liked by 1 person

      • the majority of people who leave SBC churches end up in “non-denominational” churches

        Where I am, “non-denominational” means “Calvary Chapel Clone with the labels switched”.


  2. The share of White Southern Baptists who identify as Republicans went from about 50 percent in 2008 to about 71 percent in 2018.

    i.e. 71 percent have made Donald Trump their LORD and God.


  3. Is evangelicalism nothing but a front for political operations? That took off and as a result it has no substance or faith?

    Evangelicalism is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the GOP, itself a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Trump Organization. Culture War Without End, Amen.

    Does it mean that many Southern Baptists have become more influenced by Fox News and not from the Bible?

    Fox News has been Left Behind.
    Librul Traitors to the Cause and Thought Criminals from the Pit of Hell.
    Now the Only TRVTH is Newsmax, OAN, and QAnon.


    • The principled conservatives in the GOP were cast into the outer darkness in 2016 during the Trump crime family’s takeover. The GOP needs to be burned to the ground. George Will had the right idea:

      Like him I recommend the Ra’s al Ghul solution that he proposed for Gotham in Batman Begins:

      “Gotham’s time has come. Like Constantinople or Rome before it the city has become a breeding ground for suffering and injustice. It is beyond saving and must be allowed to die. This is the most important function of the League of Shadows. It is one we’ve performed for centuries. Gotham… must be destroyed.”

      Same goes with the SBC.


      • Will spoke truth to power, the GOP is no longer the party of Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.
        But for the life of me, I still cannot understand how so many salt-of-the-earth good people were taken in by Donald Trump.
        What did they ever see (and still see) in a man like that?


      • In short, Muff, they see him as a bully who hates the same people they hate, and who will destroy them on their behalf.

        They have been conditioned for years by hard-right politicians and media and religious leaders to see everyone else as monsters who are bent on destroying America, which means that no action (up to and including violence) can be considered too excessive.

        It is an agenda driven primarily by fear and hatred of “the other,” with “the other” defined as everyone who looks/thinks/believes differently than I do.


      • In short, Muff, they see him as a bully who hates the same people they hate, and who will destroy them on their behalf.

        In short, Muff, they see him as their Culture War Weaponized Jesus Christ.

        Since the Dispensation of Hal Lindsay, Christ has been their Avenger who will Return to Destroy those they hate and put them on top Forever. (Slacktivist calls this Weaponized Christ “Turbo-Jesus”.) I remember from my time in-country, there was always a thread of Christ as the Biggest Bully who hates the same people they do. God as raw POWER.

        Since the Dispensation of The Moral Majority, they have wanted a God who hates the same people they hate and who will WIN The Culture War (i.e. destroy Them utterly) And they got tired of waiting for Turbo-Jesus to return so they searched around for and found a new Big Bully who WILL destroy their enemies – real or imagined – in a Final Cosmic-level Battle of Good (US) vs Evil (THEM).

        (Remember the last scene in Left Behind: Volume 12? The two Author Self-Inserts walking away from the Bema after the Second Coming? They have been in the Timeless Halls, received a new Arda (if not a new Ea) from the hand of Eru Iluvatar Himself, and their reaction? “Now we can finally have a Truly CHRISTIAN Nation.” And the Volume 13 (the sequel), we find out what that Truly Christian Nation of The Millennium is like – check out Nyssa the Hobbit’s review of it at .)


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