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Is opting out a kind of empowerment or just giving up?

Is opting out a kind of empowerment or just giving up?

In these final few days prior to the mid-term elections, PewResearch looks into the demographics of those least likely to vote. They are younger, more racially diverse and facing greater economic challenges than those most likely to vote. The research suggests that large numbers of non-voters are just not plugged into the electoral process.


It doesn’t seem to require a huge leap in imagination to see parallels to engagement with faith, and especially the Episcopal Church’s efforts to engage with the world around us. Systemically then, why is such a large cohort of today’s population, and especially its younger members choosing to opt out of both church and civic participation?

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Ann Fontaine

I am not so sure younger people are opting out of civic engagement -- see the Harry Potter Alliance and their huge involvement. I think involvement is changing but not non-existent.

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Philip B. Spivey

It's really very simple: For many of those you cite, the distractions of the 21st century have become too compelling to resist. The human need for a sense of community, a sense of belonging and being part of something greater than ourselves has been co-opted. We have resigned ourselves to the next big adrenalin rush; president Obama was a monumental adrenalin rush until our expectations met the reality of right-wing reaction and obstruction.

In my day, we rarely voted for someone; frequently, I voted against oppressive ideology. Seems we've lost that, too.

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