“Quite possibly the most illuminating text for this election year.” —The New York Times Book Review.
Available in bookstores and online:
America is no longer a majority white Christian nation. In The End of White Christian America, PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones explains how this seismic change has profoundly altered the politics and social values of the U.S.
Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham and the spiritual twin of Trump, is one of several politically minded activists discussed in THE END OF WHITE CHRISTIAN AMERICA (Simon & Schuster, $28), by Robert P. Jones, quite possibly the most illuminating text for this election year… Trump’s success with such voters caught many by surprise. How could this Manhattan libertine outperform Ted Cruz, the preacher’s son with a command of biblical verse and brimstone oratory — and in the South, of all places? Jones has the answer, in his chapters on church attitudes on desegregation in the 1950s and same-sex marriage half a century later. —The New York Times‘ Book Review online and via podcast.
“Robert Jones has established himself as one of the country’s most intelligent and fair-minded explorers of the American religious and political minds. So it’s not surprising that The End of White Christian America is meticulous, engagingly written and full of insight. It describes one the most consequential changes in our nation’s history with genuine empathy for both the old and the new majorities, a truly blessed achievement at a time of so much stress and anger. The charts and graphs alone are worth the price of the book and make Jones’ thesis instantly understandable. This book is an important achievement that will be discussed not for years but for decades.” —E. J. Dionne Jr., author of Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism from Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond
“Jones persuasively articulates how both the fear and the hope of the new America are animating our faith and our politics. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who seeks to understand how we got to where we are in our churches and politics today, and how we might help build the bridge to a new America.” —Jim Wallis, New York Times bestselling author of America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, president of Sojourners, and editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine
Robert Jones provides essential insight not only into the politics of 2016, but into the broader cultural, ethnic and religious forces restructuring America in the 21st Century. . . . While everyone else was looking 25 years ahead in anticipation of demographic evolution, Robert P. Jones recognized that this country had already experienced crucial social and political change: that the very definition of ‘white Christian’ was undergoing radical transformation.” —Thomas B. Edsall, author of The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics
“Robert Jones’ new book is a brilliant and eloquent epitaph for white Christian America. Jones deftly and insightfully shows how this new moment marked by white Christian America’s demise holds both promise and peril for those concerned about racial justice and the future of race relations in the country. This book is a must read!” —Michael Eric Dyson, author of The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America
The Diane Rehm Show dedicated the second half of Thursday, July 14’s show to speak with Jones about the findings and implications of The End of White Christian America. Rehm called the book a “provocative” piece of work and “worth a read.” Listen to the interview and discussion in its entirety, including calls from the audience, here.
Where to purchase The End of White Christian America:
The End of White Christian America synopsis:
For most of the country’s history, White Christian America – the cultural and political edifice built primarily by white Protestant Christians – set the tone for our national policy and shaped American ideals. But in recent decades new immigration patterns, changing birth rates, and religious disaffiliation have transformed the U.S. The year 1993 was the last in which white Protestants constituted a majority of the population. Today, even when Catholics are included, white Christians comprise less than half the country.
Drawing on findings from one of the largest troves of survey data on contemporary politics and religion, Robert Jones shows how today’s most heated controversies – the strident rise of a white “politics of nostalgia” following the election of the nation’s first black president; the apocalyptic tone of arguments over same-sex marriage and religious liberty; and stark disagreements between white and black Americans over the fairness of the justice system – can be fully understood only in the context of the anxieties that white Christians feel as the racial, religious, and cultural landscape has changed around them.
Today, although they still retain considerable power in the South and within the Republican Party, white Christians lack their former political and social clout. Looking ahead, Jones forecasts the ways that white Christians might adjust to their new reality – and the consequences for the country if they don’t.
For those interested, we have put together a The End of White Christian America Study Guide, free to download.
In a New York Times op-ed published before the 2016 election, Jones uses insights from The End of White Christian America to illuminate questions about the role of evangelicals during the presidential race and their unprecedented support for Republican nominee, Donald Trump:
“The anger, anxiety and insecurity many contemporary white evangelicals feel are better understood as a response to an internal identity crisis precipitated by the recent demise of “white Christian America,” the cultural and institutional world built primarily by white Protestants that dominated American culture until the last decade.
Today, white evangelicals are not only experiencing the shrinking of their own ranks, but they are also confronting larger, genuinely new demographic and cultural realities. When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, white Christians (Catholics and Protestants) constituted a majority (54 percent) of the country; today, that number has slipped to 45 percent. Over this same period, support for gay marriage — a key issue for evangelicals — moved from only four in 10 to solid majority territory, and the Supreme Court cleared the way for gay and lesbian couples to marry in all 50 states. The Supreme Court itself symbolized these changes, losing its last remaining Protestant justice, John Paul Stevens, in 2010.“
In the presidential election’s aftermath, Jones’ second op-ed for The New York Times argues that white Christians backed Donald Trump as their “last chance” to rage against the changing tides of culture and religion in America:
“But on Election Day, paradoxically, this anxious minority swarmed to the polls to elect as president the candidate who promised to “make America great again” and warned that he was its “last chance” to turn back the tide of cultural and economic change.
One clue to the power of this racial and religious identity can be seen in the striking similarity of a map of white Christian population density by state to the red and blue election night map. While the similarity of those maps in Kentucky and West Virginia might not be a surprise, the same similarity in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania goes a long way to explaining why Hillary Clinton’s Midwestern firewall did not hold on election night.”
Robert P. Jones’ upcoming appearances:
Please check back as we receive more information on these upcoming events.
The Leigh Conference of Churches (Allentown, PA)
April 7, 2017.
University of Florida (Tampa, FL)
April 5, 2017.
Alma College (Alma, MI)
March 27, 2017.
St. Petersburg College (St. Petersburg, FL)
March 23, 2017.
Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church (Bethesda, MD)
March 5, 2017
Northwestern University (Chicago, IL)
February 28, 2017
Lecture and book discussion, Colgate University (Hamilton, NY)
February 21, 2017
St. John’s Lafayette Square Episcopal Church (Washington, D.C.)
January 29, 2017
Lecture and book discussion, UUC of Arlington (Arlington, VA)
December 11, 2016
Lecture and book discussion, First Congregational Church (Columbus, OH)
December 1, 2016
Lecture and book discussion, Denison University (Columbus, OH)
November 30, 2016
Council on Foreign Relations Panel, American Academy of Religion (San Antonio, TX)
November 21, 2016
Roundtable on Religion, Race, and the 2016 Election, American Academy of Religion (San Antonio, TX)
November 19, 2016
Council on Foreign Relations Religion and Foreign Policy Roundtable (Washington, D.C.)
November 14, 2016
Post-election panel, Auburn Seminary (New York, NY)
November 11, 2016
Lecture and book discussion, Wofford College (Spartansburg, SC)
November 3, 2016
Lecture and book discussion, UC Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA)
November 1, 2016
PRRI/Catholic University of America Forum on the 2016 Catholic Vote, National Press Club (Washington, D.C.)
October 31, 2016
Lecture and book discussion, Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL)
October 27, 2016
Book discussion, Desert Palm United Church of Christ (Tempe, AZ)
October 21, 2016
Book talk and signing, Changing Hands Bookstore (Tempe, AZ)
October 21, 2016
“Presidential Politics and the Making of American Identity” Panel, Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
October 20, 2016
“Soul-Searching on the Eve of the Election: Religion and the Future of American Politics” Panel, Fordham University (New York, NY)
October 18, 2016
“Religion and the Vote: The Role of Faith in Modern American Elections” Panel, Columbia University (New York, NY)
October 17, 2016
Book talk, Q&A, and signing, Lemuria Bookstore (Jackson, MS)
October 15, 2016
Lecture and book discussion, Mississippi College (Clinton, MS)
October 13, 2016
Book talk and signing, The Potter’s House (Washington, D.C.)
October 6, 2016
Keynote address, Practice of Public Theology Today Conference, Wesley Theological Seminary (Washington, D.C.)
September 29, 2016
“Who Chooses the President” 2016 Election Panel, Washington College (Chestertown, MD)
September 28, 2016
Book talk and discussion, Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
September 7, 2016
Book talk and signing, Middle Collegiate Church (New York, NY)
July 31, 2016
Book talk and signing, hosted by Open Society Foundations (New York, NY)
July 27, 2016
The Atlantic Facebook Live event discussing The End of White Christian America
July 18, 2016
Watch the event on The Atlantic‘s Facebook page.
Forum discussing The End of White Christian America, “Divinum: Conversations on Spirit and Meaning,” with David Gregory and Diana Butler Bass, Foundry United Methodist Church (Washington, D.C.)
July 14, 2016
Book talk and signing, Politics & Prose (Washington, D.C.)
July 13, 2016
Book launch event with E.J. Dionne, Jr. and William A. Galston, The Brookings Institution (Washington, D.C.)
July 11, 2016
Watch a video of the event here.