Why the Evangelical Dissonance Over Obama Immigration Action?

According to a new PRRI poll, 60% of white evangelicals “support the goals of Obama’s executive action” on immigration (which isn’t too far below the nation at large, at 72%). 

Yet 67% of white evangelicals believe that Obama shouldn’t have taken that executive action.

So what gives?

Perhaps it’s similar to Matthew Avery Sutton’s explanation for evangelical opposition to health care. In an interview published yesterday on RD, Sutton hypothesized that contemporary evangelical opposition to many policies they would otherwise seem to support may have its roots in The End of Days:

My argument in a nutshell is that the apocalyptic theology that developed in the 1880s and 1890s led radical evangelicals to the conclusion that all nations are going to concede their power in the End Times to a totalitarian political leader who is going to be the Antichrist. If you believe you’re living in the last days and you believe you’re moving towards that event, you’re going to be very suspicious and skeptical of anything that seems to undermine individual rights and individual liberties, and anything that is going to give more power to the state.

  • Jim Reed

    What is the alternative? Take power away from the state who is supposed to be finding progressive ways to be working for the people, and give it to the rich who are supposed to be trickling on us?

  • Jim Reed

    So what gives? It should be something worth looking into. There are probably 100 other aspects of end times psychology that are also worth looking into. This could keep us occupied for some years.

  • Craptacular

    “…60% of white evangelicals “support the goals of Obama’s executive action” on immigration (which isn’t too far below the nation at large, at 72%).

    Yet 67% of white evangelicals believe that Obama shouldn’t have taken that executive action.

    So what gives?” – Evan Derkacz

    I am afraid you are looking for logic where none exists. The ability to ignore cognitive dissonance allows the religious special powers to simultaneously hold two contrasting ideas to be true, without that pesky shoulder-devil “Logic” clouding their minds with doubt. I also believe they see this as a gift…a reward for their unswerving faith during times of doubt (like when you point out they are holding two contrasting ideas as true). And yes, with that statement we now find ourselves right back where we began this logic exercise.

    Keep trying, though!

  • HammerFace

    This article is a stub. You can help Religion Dispatches by arguing over it.