CNN’s Disastrous Platforming of Donald Trump
In a new #WhiteTooLong Substack newsletter, PRRI’s Founder and President Robert P. Jones, Ph.D., writes that he is deeply disturbed by CNN’s choice to platform former President Donald Trump, particularly in front of a sympathetic audience. Jones calls the decision to fill the New Hampshire town hall’s audience Wednesday with exclusively Republican primary voters “indefensible,” pointing out that those who identify as “strongly Republican” make up only 15% of the country today and hold attitudes that are far out of step with mainstream America. Jones cites PRRI research that finds those who are “strongly Republican” are more than twice as likely than Americans overall to hold Christian nationalist views (62% vs. 30%) and believe our current political and cultural context may justify political violence (32% vs. 16%).
How an Oklahoma Death Penalty Case Shook Up Evangelical Views on Execution
Emily Belz of Christianity Today writes about growing skepticism toward the death penalty in some evangelical communities in Oklahoma. While Oklahoma has had the highest per capita rate of execution since 1976, decades of uncertainty in the case of Richard Glossip and recent botched medical executions have led some conservative Christians to doubt the system. PRRI Public Fellow Aaron Griffith, Th.D., told Belz when American Christians change their minds about the death penalty, it’s more often due to seeing “failures of the application of the system” or becoming “aware of fellow Christians on death row” as opposed to their theological position changing.
Sen. Tuberville Criticized for Remarks on White Nationalists: ‘I Call Them Americans’
Meg Kinnard of the Associated Press reports that Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama has received backlash from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the White House National Security Council over his recent remarks about white nationalists in the armed forces. When asked in an interview about his hold on more than 600 military nominations, Tuberville criticized the Biden administration’s policies — including getting rid of white nationalists in the military. When asked if he believed white nationalists should be allowed in the U.S. military, Tuberville responded, “Well, [Democrats] call them that. I call them Americans.” PRRI finds that a majority of Christian nationalism adherents (57%) disagree that white supremacy is a major problem in the United States today.
After School Satan Clubs Gain Popularity Amid Legal Victories
Despite legal challenges, The Hill’s Lexi Lonas reports that After School Satan Clubs have been increasing in popularity since 2020. Last week, the Satanic Temple and the ACLU won an appeal challenging a Pennsylvania school district’s decision to prohibit an After School Satan Club from using the school district’s facilities; this decision followed a similar controversy in Virginia earlier this year and California last year. June Everett, the After School Satan Club Campaign Director, said the clubs are sponsored by the Satanic Temple, a nontheistic religious organization that pushes for the separation of church and state, and are meant to be an alternative to Christian after-school groups.
Find information about the PRRI Public Fellows program, including the application requirements and link to apply here. Don’t forget — applications close on Wednesday, May 31, 2023.