There is much to be said about knowing who you are up against. Know thyself and know thy enemy, is not only the essence of warfare, but also of activism, as it is a battle of wits and words.
And so in the case of evangelism, we need to know what is the target market of it's products. It's obvious that their products aim is to teach the misinformation tactics and methods of delivery of their propaganda. But such observation alone, isn't sufficient to understand WHO it's geared for.
In other words, we need to understand WHO will make their main body.
The Evangelical foot-soldier: An analysisEdit
If we compare this to a military model, we want to know what are the capabilities of the infantry, the common foot-soldiers, and their numbers if you will.
We can go by statistics, and for all intents and purposes, we will focus on the North-American continent, more specifically, the U.S.
In a survey made by the Barna Research group, in 2007 about 8% of the population is evangelical. There are about 18 million evangelical adults.
Now we learn also that geographically speaking, 39% of all evangelicals live in the South, compared to 33% living in the Midwest, 19% in the West and 9% in the Northeast. Such things are not too surprising.
Being a patriarchal ideology, The males will be dominant. Women tend to be of a more "supporting" role in evangelism , with few exceptions. They will be white Anglo-Saxon for the most part (81%). Married (74%) and a 26% of evangelicals are college graduates.
That means save for the pastor elite (let's take off 2%), 72% of evangelicals are lower-class, or blue-collar class , with all the stress that it instills from living on a shoe-string budget.
From this, we can begin to construct a basic idea of who is in the "infantry". The average evangelical who will be crusading, will be male, within 20-40, will be married, or remarried, with kids and with a formal educational background that is for the most part, doesn't go past High-school, military training (if they did the service) and life experience.
Also if we take into consideration of the ethnical backgrounds, we can also include these into the profile. Still, even at that point, it is not sufficient to establish a precise measure of who it is were are dealing with.
For that, we have to look at the evangelical sub-culture. Much of it is played out on the hyper-masculine behavior that is present in American society, but also on the ideology of the Evangelical movement.
These can be found on any good evangelical websites, these statement of faith will include;
1. The divinity of Jesus
2. The fall of man
3. Several references to the crucification
4. The great convention (the order to convert everything that isn't bolted down).
Also they will provide statements that will outline their ministry specialty. For example, some variants will include the belief of young earth creationism, if the ministry focuses on spreading misinformation about evolution. The same can be done with right about any topic that is of concern of the evangelical, from stem-cell research, homosexuality, and even technological advances.
This brings us closer to what we are dealing with. For the most part, the evangelical sub-culture, focuses on the frustration of the conservative ideals and it's inability to cope with changing social norms. Especially with gender-roles, it feels mostly threatened by feminine aspects, as their patriarchal nature sees it as being emasculated.
It's a bit of a backlash from the more primal instinct of the alpha male, being dethroned by a younger, stronger, male. This could also explain why some of the evangelicals are so upset with the theory of evolution, as it does prove that you don't have to scratch the human paint, to reveal the beast beneath, and thus forcing the man who learns of this to mature psychologically.
Changing social norms, and scientific discoveries, tear away at the fabric of the conservative mind-set, forcing a question of "where do I fit in?" and with the fear of uncertainty, they feel especially angered at anything that would remove them from the comfort zone that a patriarchal society has given them, a male-dominated bureaucracy that cringes at the site of the possibility of being feminized, in which their limited senses see as 'weakened'.
And so, aggressive campaigns of proselytizing are made, to not only ensure that the status quo is maintained, and basic fears are quelled by the comfort of male aggressive behavior.
In conclusion, we are not merely dealing with people unable to face reality, we are dealing with adults, with the mentality of rebellious teenagers, complete with the arrogance of a twisted Peter Pan, with a recklessness that is only surpassed in destructive tendencies of a collapsed star, thinking themselves invulnerable, as long they don't think of their vulnerability, and more importantly, in a perpetual movement of delusionary will, that require them to think that they are king, when in reality, the weight of their crown makes them as clumsy as the court jester.
Sadly, some enjoy it so much, they will never want to give it up. The only thing that can be done is make it so that they stop being a danger to others and themselves. Education is key in making it so that such self-deception is neutralized and it's hold on mainstream society diminished.