In an age of identity politics that puts a premium on skin color and other demographic factors as qualifications for public office rather than individual talent and experience, we are constantly told that a group like President Joe Biden’s cabinet picks must “look like America.”
And a recent news story by Religion News Service’s (RNS) Yonat Shimron seems to affirm that Biden has indeed succeeded in satisfying that maxim, assuming all of his nominees are confirmed:
“Joe Biden’s cabinet is set to make history in a number of ways. If all the nominees the president-elect has chosen are confirmed, the cabinet — including the vice president, the heads of 15 executive departments and eight other key positions — will be the most racially and ethnically diverse ever.
“Among them are six African Americans, four Hispanics, three Asian Americans and one Native American. Half the nominees are women — the most ever nominated for a presidential cabinet.
“In terms of their religious backgrounds, the cabinet nominees are also diverse. Like the president-elect, the majority — at least eight — are Catholic. But five Jews have also been nominated, two Black Baptists and, if the surgeon general is included (often not), two Hindus. (A handful of Cabinet picks do not appear to identify with any religion.)”
To her credit, Shimron then acknowledges the elephant in this room: “One group not represented? White evangelicals, the group most loyal to President Donald Trump.”
Which raises an embarrassing question: What does America actually look like?
Well, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, America is made up of the following ethnicities: White (76.3 percent), Hispanic or Latino (18.5 percent), Black or African-American (13.4 percent), Asian Alone (5.9 percent) and Native American or Alaska Alone (1.3 percent). (The percentage total exceeds 100 percent because of overlap among groups).
Considered by self-identified religion, America is, according to the Pew Research Center, overwhelmingly made up by Christians, with Jews, Islamists and Hindus representing tiny minorities.
More specifically, the Christians include Evangelicals (25.4 percent), Catholics (20.8 percent), Mainline Protestants (14.7 percent), Historically Black Protestants (6.5 percent) and Mormons (1.6 percent). Jewish identifiers are 1.9 percent, Islamists 0.9 percent and Buddhist and Hindu (each 0.7 percent).
In other words, given the total absence of White Evangelicals, the Biden cabinet looks like something but it’s clearly not America. According to Shimron’s analysis, Catholics are the largest religious group in the Biden cabinet with eight of the 23 nominees (35 percent), followed by Jews with five (22 percent), two Black Protestants (9 percent) and one White Protestant (4 percent).
Or, as Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), put it in the Wednesday edition of his Briefing:
“We’re looking at the fact that, if you add the Catholic and the Jewish members of the cabinet together, they actually represent the vast majority of the cabinet. Now what makes that astounding just in historical terms is that throughout most of American history, the vast majority of the President’s cabinet, if not in many administrations all of the members of the President’s cabinet, were drawn from White Protestantism, from the established Protestant churches.”
And don’t expect the Biden cabinet to pursue policies that would be supported by bipartisan majorities of Americans, at least as measured by George Barna. In a survey conducted in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 election, Barna found six issues that commanded bipartisan majorities.
The six included: Increasing manufacturing jobs in the U.S.; restoring the nation’s infrastructure; making Social Security and Medicare financially solvent; reducing federal debt; cutting federal taxes; and increasing school choice.
The first two items on that list might get lip service from the Biden cabinet, but nobody should hold their breath waiting for these folks to support the other four, especially not reducing the national debt, cutting taxes and expanding school choice.
The reality, of course, is that in a world dominated by identity politics, factors like ethnic and religious identity are merely covers for left-wing political ideology. In the Biden cabinet, the one factor that unites 100 percent of the nominees is their shared vision for a secular, Progressive America in which, among other things, religious faith is strictly a private matter with, at best, a merely ceremonial role in the public square.
That this is the case, one need look no further than abortion. Biden claims to be Catholic, he often attends mass and he not infrequently quotes the Bible. But more than any of his predecessors in the Oval Office, Biden is committed to continuing and even expanding this nation’s horrendous slaughter of the unborn.
Biden wasted no time once sworn-in as chief executive to revoke his predecessor’s Mexico Policy of not providing U.S. foreign aid to international institutions that provide abortion.
And he has left no doubt of his intention to make abortion as widely available as possible. In fact, according to the most recent Marist Poll, only 15 percent of Americans surveyed believe abortion should be “available to a woman any time during her entire pregnancy.”
Maybe Biden’s cabinet doesn’t in reality “look like America” because Joe doesn’t think like most Americans?