Interesting article by Hannah Rosin: http://www.slate.com/id/2199255/
She starts by explaining why the religious right likes Palin– didn’t another cute-pit-bull candidate, Dan Quayle, actually castigate single mothers just 16 years ago? But it turns out that evangelicals have simply adopted ’60s morality:
The rest of the 30 percent of Americans who call themselves evangelical have started to slip in their morals and now actually poll worse than the rest of America on traditional measures of upstanding behavior—they are just as likely to live together and have kids out of wedlock, and their teenage daughters lose their virginities at an earlier age than the girls of most Americans.
…The most remarkable differences between the large mass of evangelicals and the rest of Americans are in divorce statistics. Since the ’70s, evangelicals and the coastal elites have effectively switched places. Evangelicals are now far more likely to get divorced, whereas couples with four years of college education have cut their divorce rates in half.
Narrowly, it’s a lesson for lefties: don’t assume based on the public issues of the ’80s that you know how evangelicals think and behave in the ’00s. More broadly, it’s a reminder that as a religious revival broadens, it also weakens. Only a small minority of human beings can actually follow strict religious rules. If they manage to take power, the rules will be broken, though perhaps only in private.