This is extraordinary in details and an important analysis of religion and politics. It is much more nuanced than anything I've ever read on the impact of denominational tensions and splits on political issues in recent history.

There are echoes here of the ways in which the big historical split in Methodism -- the one before the Civil War -- shaped subsequent American history.

The question that comes into my mind: The 19th century split mattered politically in forming the political culture that led to the Civil War. The early 21st century tensions certainly resemble that past pattern. But how much difference does the overall decline in religious adherence and the marginalization of religion in American life change the potential historical consequences of denominational splits? Can we integrate more general religious trends into this truly fine analysis of denominational/political transformation?

It seems obvious that Methodism is no where near the cultural force it once was -- and that what is a genuinely significant historical moment for a formerly important American institution may wind up be so culturally diluted by larger trends that the split won't ultimately matter to American politics. But it will contribute to the continued decline of white American Protestantism -- as Protestantism itself is increasingly seen by secular Americans as co-terminus with white Christian nationalism and MAGA.

Fantastic and important post, Brian. Kudos.

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Thank you for this excellent analysis!

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