The Common Good

Sojo Discusses Young Evangelicals and Voting

On October 16th, the progressive evangelical group Sojourners hosted a discussion panel on young evangelicals and the 2012 election. The conversation was based on recent study by Sojo that analyzed the political priorities and attitudes of evangelical Christians under age 35. The panel included Jenny Yang of World Relief, Jessica Prol of Family Research Council, Rev. Adam Taylor of World Vision, Ben Lowe of Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, Jayme Cloninger of Feed the Children, Christopher LaTondresse of USAID, and Eric Teetsel of the Manhattan Declaration. 

Sojourners head Jim Wallis noted, “The thing about your generation is that you believe your faith is personal and it’s also public. I like to say faith is personal but not private.” Most of the panel interpreted the data in a more progressive light. Jenny Lang asserted, “Young evangelicals care about a wider set of issues than evangelicals are generally known to be involved in…Young evangelicals care about issues of justice…immigration, creation care, what our government does that affects the most vulnerable.” Environmentalist Ben Lowe worried, “A lot of us are disaffected politically and with how the church deals with political issues.” Yang, on the other hand, believed, “[Young evangelicals] actually advocate for better laws and policies that they care about the most.”