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September 6, 2003

And The Fourth Bowl Poured Forth Comic Books

Posted by Mike on September 6, 2003 8:08 AM

"An Empire of Their Own" is The Nation's consideration of the evangelical/political axis dramatized in the immensely successful "Left Behind" series of books, a fictional account of the events in Revelation.

What's refreshing about this article (it's certainly not a new topic: lefties have been fretting about the success of the series for a while now) is the dawning realization that the people reading these books aren't a uniform demographic, and that they're mobilized on a political level.

"The publisher, Tyndale House, says that 85 percent of its readers describe themselves as 'born again,' and almost 65 percent first heard about the series through friends or relatives. The average reader is a white married woman from the South, between 25 and 54 years old, who attends church weekly. Latinos make up 9 percent of the readers; African-Americans are 7 percent. These latter numbers are striking. More than 15 percent of Left Behind readers are people of color--that's certainly a lot higher than the percentage of blacks or Latinos who watch Friends--and it indicates more racial diversity than talk about 'white evangelicals' generally suggests."

Between The Nation coming to grips with the diversity and sincerity found in the evangelical movement and other outlets like the New York Times coming to grips with the fact that a lot of people shop at (and like) WalMart despite its dowdiness, maybe there's hope lefties will come up with a response based on something besides reflexive elitist sniffing at all the rednecks. Dream a little dream, huh?