Med Bibeln i Oklahoma

Los Angeles Times har en mycket fin artikel om religiositet och politik i Oklahoma. som lika gärna skulle kunna vara en rapport från de mer religiösa områdena i Rawalpindi i Pakistan.

TULSA, Okla. — They crowded into a cavernous auditorium in this hard luck city for their marching orders, more than 2,000 soldiers in what was described as the fight for “the most important issue facing Western civilization in our time”: the preservation of marriage “as a holy covenant between God, a man and a woman.”

Pray, they were told. Vote in November. Write your senator; here’s the address. Men were advised to do the dishes at home, and women to hug their husbands, whether they wanted to or not. Equal parts religious revival, campaign event and counseling session, the greater Tulsa “pro-marriage rally” last week ) was living proof that a key way to influence the ballots of many Oklahomans is through their Bibles — not their billfolds.

The state has lost nearly 20% of its manufacturing jobs during the Bush administration, and has lagged the nation in recovery. Tulsa and its surrounding communities, for example, have lost about 24,000 jobs as three major industries — oil and gas, telecommunications, and aerospace — took hits.

In many areas, that would be a blueprint for change, a sign that the incumbent should be shoved out of the Oval Office. But not in Oklahoma, one of the reddest of the red states — the designation for places where support for President Bush is especially strong.

Det är rätt skrämmande att höra människor som Gloria Smith förklara varför de stöder Bush:

Voters such as Gloria Smith explain this political dynamic. While Smith’s husband, who works for American Airlines, recently took an $800 monthly pay cut, the homemaker from Sand Springs, Okla., just changed her voter registration from Democrat to Republican.

Smith said her family was “better off” than it was four years ago, “because we’ve learned to live within our means.”

She doesn’t blame Bush for the bad economy, adding, “I blame terrorism.”

Filing into the church-sponsored rally in Tulsa on Tuesday night, three daughters in tow, Smith said she planned to vote for Bush again “because of the moral issues…. He supports marriage between a husband and a wife.”

Most of the recent growth in the state GOP has come from the evangelical movement rather than “country club Republicans,” Gaddie said. “Most Oklahomans report going to church at least once a week,” which has become a key indicator for Republican preference in presidential elections. Economically, Oklahoma endured the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, the oil bust in the 1980s, the tech bust in the last few years. Since Bush took office in January 2001, the state lost 3.6% of its total jobs, compared with a 1.6% job loss nationally.