Conservative Evangelical fear factor: 4%!!

The "4 percent panic attack" strikes again. This time it's the number of "Bible believers" we'll have in this country if the next generation of evangelicals isn't kept in the fold.

The Times' Laurie Goodstein writes of prominent pastors' latest nightmare:


Their alarm has been stoked by a highly suspect claim that if current trends continue, only 4 percent of teenagers will be 'Bible-believing Christians' as adults. That would be a sharp decline compared with 35 percent of the current generation of baby boomers, and before that, 65 percent of the World War II generation.
The very same numbers were at the fingertips of Becky Fischer, the youth pastor featured prominently in Jesus Camp.

If I'm a consultant for evangelicals, here's what catches my eye right off: Upon informing Goodstein that the 2 million teens he's performed for exceeds Paul McCartney's haul over the past 15 years, Teen Mania founder Ron Luce "bound[s] onstage for the opening pyrotechnics and a prayer."

When competing for today's teens, Paul McCartney references may not be your ideal yardstick.

But keeping with the 4% doctrine, it was curious that Dr. James "Focus on the Family" Dobson brought up that very number at last month's Stand for the Family Rally.

Only he was referring to the number of Muslims who want to kill us:
"We are at war in this country with an enemy who wants to destroy us," he said. He stressed that only a small minority of Muslims believe that their faith justifies violence, "but let's say 4 percent of Muslims want to kill us ... . That's 48 million people who want to bring us to our knees."
To hear the religious right properly, then, we're headed for a battle in which 4% of "bible believing" Christians do battle with 4% of murderous Muslims. Sounds like a fair fight.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.