A recent Barna study shows the fastest-growing segment of
American society could turn the liberal voting trend around - if
they allow Bible to influence their politics.
A new Barna study reveals that Hispanic Americans
hold tight to their biblical values and could greatly influence a
conservative tide in voting in the years to come, as this
fastest-growing segment of the U.S. is projected to comprise up to
30 percent of the population by 2050 -- when there will be no
ethnic majority in this nation.
However, one glaring statistic has many conservative Christians
skeptical about Hispanics possibly turning the Leftist voting tide
to the Right. A couple weeks ago, 71 percent of Hispanics in
America voted for President Barack Obama -- unarguably the most
pro-abortion and pro-homosexual president in United States
In the months before the election, the Barna Group
partnered with the American Bible Society (ABS), OneHope and the National Hispanic
Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) to conduct a survey
titled "Hispanic America: Faith, Values & Priorities." In the
study, researchers interviewed thousands of Hispanic Americans to
get a closer look at exactly what influences their worldview. After
tallying and reviewing the results, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez,
president of NHCLC, concluded that Hispanic Americans' beliefs and
behaviors are increasingly impacting and influencing the political
climate and society.
"Faith and family are the main building blocks of
Hispanic-Americans," insists Rodriguez, who has been dubbed by CNN
as a leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement. "Given the rapid
growth of Hispanics in America, it is time to give more attention
to this important segment of the American landscape."
Acknowledging the potential of reaching out to this ethnic
group, Rodriguez's group, Barna, ABS, and OneHope collaborated to
find out a little more about the sector of society that could move
elections one way or the other.
Survey says ...
Much information collected during the "Hispanic America: Faith,
Values & Priorities" survey helps explain why the Hispanic vote
turned out the way it did. On the other hand, some data brings up
more questions as to why this burgeoning sector of the American
population bypassed their values when voting for the Democratic
ticket that stands for two primary issues that run in the face of
their cultural and religious beliefs: abortion and same-sex
"marriage" -- as large and strong traditional families have been
the building block of the Hispanic community for generations.
Despite the fact that Christian beliefs have always been
intricately woven into the mindset and values of the Hispanic
sector of society, the Barna study shows that only 42 percent of
Hispanic Americans report that their views on political and social
issues are influenced by the Bible. In fact, this group indicates
that 43 percent read their Bibles less than once a year on
Another finding gives a
little more hope that the Hispanic population is looking to return
to the Word of God when it comes to influences within their
children's lives. When asked whether they believe that the values
found in the Bible should be taught in the public schools, 69
percent agreed that such instruction should take place.
However, on a more sobering note, only 22 percent of Hispanic
Americans surveyed in the study share that they make decisions
based on the principles and standards they believe in that come
from their parents or the Bible. This indicates that more than
three quarters of this segment of society makes its choices based
on outside influences found within today's culture.
Regardless of the above statistic, 78 percent of Hispanics in
America today proclaim the "traditional family to be the main
building block of a healthy community." This statistic is in direct
contrast to polling trends, where a large majority of this group
(71 percent) voted for an administration that champions the
dismantling of the definition of traditional marriage as between
one man and one woman. In fact, the White House has clearly
expressed its intention to do away with the federal Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA), which protects the traditional family.
Piggybacking on their strong allegiance to family, the Hispanic
Americans surveyed say that they believe that the "number one way
they contribute to American society is through their commitment to
family." Again, this result is quite ironic, considering that the
homosexual agenda's campaign for same-sex marriage threatens the
integrity of such familial bonds.
On the social and economic issues of the day, Hispanic Americans
indicate that they are "very concerned" about five areas. The rate
of school dropouts is a main concern to 58 percent of those
surveyed, while 57 percent see unemployment as a primary issue to
tackle. Healthcare is next on Hispanics' list of priorities, as 54
percent are very concerned about medical benefits. When it comes to
immigration, 53 percent are very concerned about the government's
policies, and 52 percent see housing as a prime interest.
One indicator that the fastest-growing demographic in America is
polarizing itself more from its Christian roots and patriotism is
the statistic that finds 54 percent of this group identifying
itself first as "Hispanic" or "Latino" -- before "Christian,"
"Catholic," or "American." This telling data shows that
Hispanic culture and mores reign supreme when it comes to moral and
national interests. Consequently, 97 percent said that they are
proud of their Hispanic heritage. From the information divulged in
the study, Hispanic Americans were not asked about their pride in
their faith or country.
After compiling the results, Barna and its partners
believe that the information they received is very beneficial in
understanding the dynamics of the Hispanic American belief system
and worldview -- data that can be used to shape the political
climate in the future.
In fact, taking the recent presidential election results into
consideration, Barna has decided that this sector of society should
be analyzed on an ongoing basis to determine where America is going
on spiritual and social issues in the elections to come.
"The election was yet another indicator of the growing influence
of Hispanic America," declared David Kinnaman, president of the
Barna Group. "We think this group is so significant that we are
creating a new division at Barna to take a deeper look at what this
important demographic is really thinking about faith, values,
churches and themselves."
It is hoped that this and future studies will provide the
incentive for faith groups to reach out to America's Hispanic
population and remind them of the importance of their Christian
faith and values in everyday life -- and how their decisions at the
polls influence it.