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Will Hispanics start voting their values?

Michael F. Haverluck   (OneNewsNow.com) Monday, November 19, 2012

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 history.

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.

Rodriguez

"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 average.

Latinos for ObamaAnother 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.

Takeaway

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.

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