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Publisher's Summary

Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), challenges us to grasp the profound political and cultural consequences of a new reality - that America is no longer a majority white Christian nation.

For most of our nation's history, white Christian America (WCA) - the cultural and political edifice built primarily by white Protestant Christians - set the tone for our national policy and shaped American ideals. But especially since the 1990s, WCA has steadily lost influence, following declines within both its mainline and evangelical branches. Today America is no longer demographically or culturally a majority white Christian nation.

Drawing on more than four decades of polling data, The End of White Christian America explains and analyzes the waning vitality of WCA. Jones argues that the visceral nature of today's most heated issues - the vociferous arguments around same-sex marriage and religious liberty, the rise of the Tea Party following the election of our first black president, and stark disagreements between black and white Americans over the fairness of the criminal justice system - can only be understood against the backdrop of white Christians' anxieties as America's racial and religious topography shifts around them.

In 2016 and beyond, the descendants of WCA will lack the political power they once had to set the terms of the nation's debate over values and morals and to determine election outcomes. Looking ahead, Jones forecasts the ways that they might adjust to find their place in the new America - and the consequences for us all if they don't.

©2016 Robert P. Jones (P)2016 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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  • Overall
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No New Ground But Well Laid Out

This book starts with the fact that whites and especially those who identify as white Christians are rapidly loosing their majority status in the United States. A fact that is difficult or impossible to refute no matter how hard some people try to do so. He then lays out the historical path that led us to this point. And along that path he points out key events, movements or moments in time where white Christians shot themselves in the foot by digging into an untenable position or took actions that in the long run, will simply make this transition more difficult for everyone, especially themselves. Throughout the book he relays quotes and comments by people with supposed Christian values that are, frankly, disturbingly bigoted at best, appallingly bigoted at worst and quite frankly, make me embarrassed for those who said them and for the race that we share.

So, no new facts, but some fresh antidotes I had not read before and a very interesting discussion. I recommend this book for those who like to understand "how we got here."

6 people found this helpful

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Audiobook doesn’t cover 2016 election

I was so looking foreword to this audiobook, as I had discovered the author’s work in a recent interview on the “Fresh Air” NPR program, and wished to hear his deeper perspectives and insights in the context of the historical underpinnings of the White Christian Evangelical movement in America, a faction that Trump both partnered with and exploited during his unexpected election victory. YET, despite the publication date of the Audiobook being in 2017 (after the election, after the inauguration), there isn’t a mention of it. While the rest of the book pre-2016 is fine, it oftentimes seems otherwise re-edited at several points, and it’s not particularly deep in investigating the “business” of the evangelical movement, which has allowed many so-called preachers to richly profit on a personal level, particularly the Graham Family, which has managed an enterprise with far beyond a $100 million a year budget, creating untold opportunities to take fees and personal payments out of the “collection bucket”. I could go on, but deeply disappointed that I purchased an audiobook that in no way addressed the “elephant in the room”. The author has updated the written version of his book, but why has the publisher neglected the audio version — and in lieu of the grave oversight, particularly given the subject and it’s criticality today, why haven’t they withdrawn this now outdated book? Many other would-be listeners will also come away similarly disappointed .

2 people found this helpful

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Ever wonder how much religion effects politics?

Robert Jones does an excellent job of explaining how much White Christian America influenced presidential elections. He follows through with how much the decline of this powerful social force changed the political landscape. He backs up his theories with a landside of factual data. This powerful religious group was attacked by anti-Vietnam War protesters and a transition in religious values as the baby boomers grew up.

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Left out a discussion of women leaving churches over sexism

I agree with the discussion of the topics covered, which center on the racism and lack of support for LGBTQ rights. It seems to me that many young people are leaving churches because of the blatant sexism. This is a glaring oversight it the book.

2 people found this helpful

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Thoughtful Analysis

A very well written and thoughtful analysis of the demise of the political influence of traditional "white Christianity" and it's current forms of the religious right.

2 people found this helpful

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Timely

Great recent history especially last 40 years of religion's role in politics and how we view our country. Very thought provoking, especially on the question of where to we go from here.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting Prospective

The author provides an interesting perspective on the influence of white Christian America on American culture and how WCA is slowly losing that influence. I will probably invest in the print copy so I can explore some of his concepts more extensively. The narrator did an excellent job as well.

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Important work

Very well done. I wish the reader hadn't used different "voices" for quotes, however. Recommend!

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Thought-provoking

I really enjoyed the book. It was a very interesting book about how America's religious landscape has changed.

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Eye opening, hopeful

I liked this book for its examination of WCAs in the framework of the stages of loss, its history, and a hopeful reconcilation.