“Evangelicals cover a spectrum,” he said,
“We’re a red state, yes, but not equally red—
We might seem the same to some blue-blooded fool,
But we’re not all maroons, as a cardinal rule.”
So I looked a bit closer, as you will, I trust,
And saw coral and crimson and ruby and rust,
Amaranth, auburn, and burgundy wine,
From scarlet to rufous, and on down the line—
So, yes, there’s a spectrum that’s there to be seen,
But it lacks blue and yellow, and has no trace of green
Not monochromatic (it’s close, but not quite)
So why are they treated like plain black or white?
The first link above is to CNN’s Political Ticker blog–a story on the variety within evangelical voters. It is worth remembering that, just as there is tremendous variability among atheists, there is tremendous variability within pretty much any group. We tend to treat them as their stereotypes, and then are surprised when they violate our expectations. Why would evangelicals vote for a Catholic? For a Mormon? For Stephen Colbert? Um… because evangelicals are people, and people vary. Mind you, any systematic segment of the population is likely to vary less than the population as a whole, but variability should not surprise us. I even know some pro-choice evangelicals.
The second link above is me channeling T.S. Eliot.