Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

November 19, 2009

Fake fact: America is not secularizing

Filed under: Culture,data,Fake Facts,Secularization — David Hume @ 7:37 pm

religattend-738836The whole post is at Gene Expression, but the chart to the left is the core of it. 1980-2008 can to a great extent be labelled a conservative era, when the New Right set the terms of the national debate on politics and culture. And yet concomitantly there was a massive secularization process, as 1 million Americans left religious affiliation per year in the in the 1990s, and half a million per year in the 2000s.

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November 15, 2009

Fake fact: Catholics care about abortion more than non-Catholics

Filed under: abortion,Catholics,Culture,data,Fake Facts — David Hume @ 9:03 pm

Political punditry is rife with “fake facts.” Basically, empirical assertions which are false but assumed to be true. Perhaps the readership of political journalism is stupid. Perhaps the writers of political journalism are stupid. Perhaps both. No idea. So a new “series,” which I will label “fake fact,” facts assumed to be true by the stupid and ignorant which are wrong, and have been shown to be wrong by political scientists for a long time.

Consider this Politico article, Dems may lose Catholics over abortion. Here’s a fact:

According to exit polls, President Barack Obama won the support of 53 percent of Catholic voters, a seven-point increase over the showing of the Democrats’ 2004 nominee, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), a Catholic. Among Latino Catholics, who are often more conservative than their white counterparts on social issues, Obama did even better, winning more than two-thirds of their support, a 14-point improvement over Kerry’s totals, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center.

Obama beat Kerry by by:
5 points for males
6 points for women
2 points for whites
14 points for Latinos
12 points for the young 18-29
5 points for less than $50 K
6 points for more than $50 K

etc. etc. He swung the whole electorate, as one would expect. As for Catholic views about abortion, ABANY for the GSS below (Yes = yes to abortion on demand)…. (all except blacks are after year 2000)

catholicabortion1

THIS IS LIMITED TO HISPANICS:
catholicabortionhispanic2

THIS IS LIMITED TO BLACKS:
catholicabortionblack3

DEMOCRATS:
catholicabortiondem

REPUBLICANS:
catholicabortionrepub

Of course, one can object that a lot of these people “aren’t real Catholics.” In some circumstances this is an important consideration, but since I believe all religion is fiction anyhow I will take people at their word as to their religion.

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