51 votes

REPORT: Results of my interviews with Bible-belt churchgoers in Greenville, SC

Brooks again, a South Carolinian.

I live in Greenville, SC. Greenville is in the "Upstate," which is preety much the "buckle of the Bible belt." There's a huge constituency of fundamental and moderate Christians (a large fundamental Christian university) as well as like three churches on every corner.

Needless to say it was a conservative area of SC that was part of one of the Huckabee strongholds in 2008, along with the some of the southern portion of the state (the coast tends to be moderate).

Tonight I concluded my process of chatting up Paul with members of my church, a conservative Baptist congregation with leadership that is influential in the area.

Here's some sample responses...and a conclusion:

- Hispanic Vietnam vet: LIKELY
Liked Paul's policies on a range of issues, but unsure about America's role militarily. Agrees that we can't sustain overseas presence but afraid of "isolationism." Very willing to read superbrochure.

- Music director, faculty at Christian school: NO
"Don't bother; I'm for Santorum." (in a polite way :))

- Pastor: LIKELY
Very well read. Still completely undecided. Saw me on the news when I was sign-waving earlier this week. Says, "It's wonderful that we still can have a free choice about this," meaning he's not buying the Romney coronation balone.

- Deacon and wife (from SC): LIKELY NOT
Strong on Gingrich until his collapse in December. Wish we could "blend" several candidates...Paul's economics plus Santorum or Gingrich's foreign policy (huh??). Willing to take a lot of material, though. Honest, thinking people, not hard-headed lemmings who believe FoxNews exclusively, so who knows?

- Deacon (training to be pastor) (from NH): YES
Originally for Gingrich. Took challenge to honestly research Paul and discovered he was an honest man with logical arguments and a record of integrity. Says repeatedly, "I'm THIS CLOSE to voting for Paul!!"

- Assistant pastor: YES
When I gave him a superbrochure, he said, "Awesome. Love the guy. Everything he says just makes sense!"

- Senior citizen couple (veteran): MAYBE
Liked everything they had heard of Paul so far except foreign policy. Read a paper I wrote on Paul's Christian worldview. Very open to reconsider.

- College student: YES
"Wouldn't it be great to see a Romney-Paul debate??"

- Senior citizen and matriarch of the church: LIKELY
Had met Paul personally and liked his character and honesty. Unsure what to think of his foreign policy. Took my materials and seemed very eager to read. Unenthusiastic about other candidates.

CONCLUSIONS:
1. VALUES VOTING is the past. Integrity and budget hawkishness is now the driving force I see in conservative Christian thinking. AFTER that, people consider whether the candidate is a social issues guy. HUGE advantage for Paul and a sea-change since four years ago.

2. Foreign policy is a hurdle, but a soft one. People are open (since, again, budget hawkishness is the key issue) and will reconsider if given a sound explanation.

3. LOTS of undecideds. Ron has the upper hand because he'll soak up the media spotlight this week as the newbie in town.

4. Anyone but Obama DOES NOT equal Romney. I repeat: ANTI-ROMNEY SENTIMENT IS ALIVE AND KICKING. People want someone else, and they know the time is now to pick that guy. Another plus for Ron.

IN SUMMARY: The evangelical vote is SUPER-FLEXIBLE and ORIENTED AGAINST ROMNEY. Paul CAN make inroads here, and all the pundits agree: if Paul can become the evangelical choice, he becomes the Anti-Romney.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Brooks Reports from the Front Lines

Brooks, a journalist's journalist. Excellent job, Brooks. You're returning integrity back into journalism. Anyone can do it, guys. Let's do it. The DP is open for us to journal what we do. Brooks, the rest of us DPers and the DP: an awesome force for good.

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton Forest Dutton, MD, in his 1916 book whose subject is origin (therefore what all healing methods involve and count on), simple and powerful.

This video is a must to show them

I can not stop watching it,this is the one that changed alot of minds on Ron Paul.Excellent!

Ron Paul: Christian Just War Theory
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Dyyd4rcuZc

I hope this helps cause it did for me hands down!

Love it.

I did a group project in Capstone on Just War Theory. It was very informative. Another group did Preemptive War (it was an argumentative paper/project, and the topic was our choice. Can you believe they chose that!???!?).

Xtians typically take scripture out of context to show why we need to go "protect" and "stabilize" other nations. One example is using scripture to show the injustice of standing idly by and watching someone be violated, rather than "defending your neighbor." While this is true, most Christians don't understand that an individuals responsibilities are very, very, VERY different than a nations responsibilities. And I think this comes from being over-read in the NT, and under-read in the OT.

"He did not come into the world to condemn it, but to save it." - John 3:17

"Well, you know it's like I always say 'it ain't government work if you don't have to do it twice.'" - Jerry Gergich

It's revolting how many Christians are pro-war

and prioritize killing innocent people over solving this country's problems. It just makes me sick.

You know the Nazis also considered themselves Christians.

Revolting it is. That not one

Revolting it is. That not one but many Christian people abide that line of thought is sickening. You know, I don't consider them Christian, though. I consider them lost, sad, pathetic, clueless-on-life humans.

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton Forest Dutton, MD, in his 1916 book whose subject is origin (therefore what all healing methods involve and count on), simple and powerful.

I agree, entirely.

It's sad that for "values voters," stealing, killing, and destroying somehow don't make it on their list of "values."

I will tell you, though, as a Christian myself, I used to fall into that camp. The only brief explanation that I have is that because supposed "Christians" make up so much of our population, and because they're still human, they are THE prime target for politicians to have jump on their band-wagon. We're a vast mass, and if you can get us to believe in something, we'll also stand for it. Most of this manipulation is rooted in trust... not necessarily in the politicians themselves, but trust in the party. And like another OP said within the last couple of days, most of these people get all of their information from one source: the TV. And since the TV says Iran wants to nuke the Holy Land, the reaction of this "vast mass" is "teach them a lesson."

"He did not come into the world to condemn it, but to save it." - John 3:17

"Well, you know it's like I always say 'it ain't government work if you don't have to do it twice.'" - Jerry Gergich

Tossing In My 25cents Worth

I love what you did, and how you did it. Now, that being said, I would like to offer an opinion. I think you need to go deeper..way deeper..with those 55 and older.
Family Values is a MUST for any good Christian.
Bring up what type of First Lady Mrs.Obama is..you know..greedy..spending all that money..hired..how many people now to help her..135 I heard last..at tax payer expence. So..what type of First Lady would the others be? Where do they stand? What values did they/are they raising their children with?
My dad use to always tell me 'A mans word is his bond' Show them how all (except Ron Paul) have broken their word time and time again, and how only Ron Paul kept his. Remind them God was/is big on people keeping their oath...and only Ron Paul has kept his, and is the only one who follows Christ..when Christ spoke of PEACE.
I think by doing that you can give them a good look at whats to come if they vote for anyone other than Dr.Paul.
Remember, First Ladies (and First Families) are used to set examples for Americans. First Ladies are written about in great detail...and I think Carol Paul would be a great subject for First Lady.

I believe in Hope & Change..I Hope the government will Change
Spindale-Rutherford County-North Carolina

Thanks for the insightful update.

Happy to hear there is hope of picking up a lot of these people.

Great work, very encouraging...

Those people sound like the kind of people that MSM would have us believe would never vote for Ron Paul. If the sample you took is an accurate reflection of public sentiment in SC, then things are looking up indeed!

Most excellent...

Good work. Thanks.

.
~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

This video series is the KEY to winning Christians

http://www.dailypaul.com/197841/the-bible-and-ron-paul-video...

I know it is long, but if they watch this series, they will change their minds!! Unless they love war, but they would be the minority.

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." - Romans 12:18

Brilliant article that explains why we love Dr. Paul:
http://lewrockwell.com/orig12/farber-r1.1.1.html

Go Ahead and Say it:

"CHRISTIANS". Some day everyone will be afraid to say they are Christians, we'll have to have "holiday trees" or something. Sorry, but I'm so OVER this "Evangelical" label for Christians. It just sort of sounds like a radical offshoot thing.

You can't be saved because a

You can't be saved because a priest baptises you as an infant, you have to be born again by the Holy Spirit.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Choice of lesser of two anti-Christs?

I think some people in SC churches need to know more about Santorum. He is super anti-evangelical, and is on the record a lot for saying Kennedy was wrong in his speech saying that he wouldn't take orders from the pope.

They also maybe need to brush up on their witnessing for Roman Catholics. I am not in the bible belt, but even here we know that the RC-ers need to be saved, and the Holy Father isn't a pope; he's your spiritual dad, God.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

Stay on Topic

"Roman Catholics need to be saved."

I'm interested in what specifically you mean by this, but a thread about what Evangelical Protestant Christians think about Ron Paul may not be the relevant place to have such a conversation. Perhaps you could send me a personal message explaining. Peace.

"Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend... on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign." - Mother Teresa

I don't know how to display it here

but my daughter (25y/o 5year RP supporter) emailed me side-by-side photos of RP with supporters and a biblical portrayal of Jesus with some followers.

Above the RP photo it says: "I like Ron Paul, except on foreign policy"

above the other photo it says: "I like Jesus, except on loving your neighbor"

and there you have it.

Simple yet Effective!

This would be a great flyer to get Christians who are on the fence about Paul's foreign policy to think hard and think hard their beliefs and what it means to be a Christian.
When they see he's following the "Golden Rule" it might be enough to sway a lot of people, especially if someone talks to them and explains how very little a threat of Iran is to the United States.

Saw it with the link

Saw it with the link below..LOL..some mean supporters should make it into a flyer and put it on all the pews..

Oh yeah!

So awesome. How simple. Like another poster says, leave in church pews in SC!

TY too..nice work and nice

TY too..nice work and nice report.

This is what I'm talking about

We need the grassroots information on stuff like this everyday!

For those of us not in that state or the states coming up, we need this information constantly.

Remember, we have to circumvent the MSM, WE ARE THE NEW MEDIA!

Please continue to inform from the ground.

Thank you soooo much!

Pass the word on to others to keep the rest of us informed so we aren't distracted with stupid issues like Kelly Clarkson tweets!

Thanks for sharing the "mini poll", on the ground reporting....

Things are looking up, up & up for RP!

Great job

You asked good questions, showed respect, and wrote up a very thoughtful and useful report.

It seems that SC folks feel like "We tried electing people who said they had certain values, but look what it got us. Plenty of nothing and deeper in debt." Now they are willing and able to try another approach. Dr. Paul is honest, truthful, willing to defend America, and restore the strength we have frittered away.

Thanks so much.

Bump

Bump