So here’s the question. Given recent political changes – both nationally and in places like California – what changes do you expect to see relevant to religion the next six months or so? (Try and keep it focused on religion)
1. Obama his first week removes the embryonic stem cell research ban.
I should note that to me this would be a good thing. The lines Bush approved turned out to be highly problematic. While the immediate consequences of research have been vastly overhyped by supporters the fact is that there is a lot we can learn here. The amount of research possible in the US without this ban will increase significantly.
However clearly for some pro-life people who take a more (to me) extreme position this will be bad. I’m not sure what effect, if any, this will have on the pro-life movement since even most people opposed to abortion appear to favor stem cell research from what I can see.
2. Obama will remove abortion restrictions on US overseas aid
This one is more controversial. I expect he’ll do this since typically Republican President reinstitute the ban and Democratic Presidents remove it. I think abortion in 3rd world nations is a cheap way out but this is to be expected.
3. Obama will remove the abstinence only programs both nationally and internationally
This is one I agree with. I think the evidence is overwhelming that abstinence only programs don’t work well. Especially in nations like Africa. While I favor abstinence I also think that teaching the truth about birth control is pretty important. I’d rather have someone alive and able to repent than ignorant and unable to repent because they are dead.
4. Baptisms in the US continue to decrease
This has been a trend the last decade and unlikely to be reversed. I think that our support to Prop-8 and activism against us because of that might decrease the rate more. It’s hard to say though since the only faiths in America that appear to be growing fast are those that advocate traditional values. So maybe this will actually help?
5. Mormons become more acceptable to Evangelicals
I think that the cumulative effect of Romney running and losing to McCain along with the hype about Mormons in California may have effect. While a lot depends upon how he reinvents himself the next 3 years I can see Romney as being much stronger if he choses to run for 2012.
6. Democrats don’t make further inroads with the religious
Democrats did a big religious push this year. While there were more religious voters for Democrats overall that was due to more Black and Latino voters. (See this Kevin Drum essay) On the other hand Obama did significantly better in Utah than Kerry. I don’t see a resurgent Democratic party in Utah though.
I’m sure I’ve missed many. Tell me yours.