ECONOMIST Watch: Are Southern Murder, VD Rates, Support For Trump ALL Caused By White Evangelical Religiosity? Well, No...
Print Friendly and PDF
In  No, not one: The link between a scandal in Alabama and the rise of Donald Trump, [April 2, 2016 (subscriber link)] after opening with a mild sex scandal involving the white Republican Governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley, the Economist writes
To a startling degree—and for reasons that may shed light on the presidential race—[Alabama] and other southern states combine conspicuous religiosity with widespread loucheness.
Linda note: loucheness = sketchy behavior—think Laissez le Bon Temps Rouler.)
Louisiana’s murder rate is comfortably the nation’s highest. Mississippi’s is second (most of the other states are not far behind). The same pair suffer the country’s highest rates of gonorrhoea; Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina make the top ten. Meanwhile Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina feature in the top seven for the incidence of single-parent families. All those church-loving southern states rank in the top third for teenage pregnancy; several are prolific in divorce.
What causes this? Poverty? Slavery? Alcohol?

Nope, Religion and Donald Trump according to the Economist. Southern Protestantism, with its emphasis on forgiveness and salvation by faith, explains it (the "No, not one" in title of the article comes from  Romans 3:10):

It may also be pertinent to a national enigma: the rise of Donald Trump. One reading of his strong showing among evangelical Christians—he swept all the states mentioned above—is that his supporters are only notionally religious: witness the decline in his ratings among evangelicals who go to church every week. Some may be plumping for a profane braggart because they think him strong enough to guarantee their liberty, like some latter-day Persian king. Or, for some, Mr Trump’s yen to turn back the clock may by association imply a resurgence of Christianity, even if his own behaviour doesn’t.
How about some facts? I like facts. I read data tables for fun and there is no more fun than data tables from the Centers for Disease Control.

Moving to the CDC website,, we find that:

  • Gonorrhea rate for blacks is 12 times higher than that for whites. (426.6 per 100,000 versus 34.5 per 100,000.)
  • Of the 16,121 homicide deaths in 2013, 7,950 (half) were non-Hispanic blacks. In general, blacks murder blacks. Whites murder whites. Men murder women.
  • In 2013, 73% of black birth-mothers were unmarried.
  • In 2013, Hispanic and black teen mothers accounted for 57 percent of all teen births.
Yes, the Economist has forgotten that the Southern states don’t contain only white Trump voters. It seems to me that black behavior has something to do with this. (Why? Beats me. I studied economics and business.)

I thought blacks voted for Hilary. If so,  what does gonorrhea among blacks have to do with whites voting for Donald Trump?

I’m hoping that regular Economist-watcher John Derbyshire can explain this to me.



Print Friendly and PDF