Hey fellow St. Pete resident! A loyal Democrat, I too am/was for Hillary, but Obama has my enthusiastic vote today!
It's looking good in my precinct at Pass-a-Grille (for those unfamiliar with the area, it's a very white community in the southern tip of St. Petersburg, which I'm sure voted solidly for Bush twice). A block away from the polling place, lots of Obama signs all over, but not even one McCain sign. And a table with Obama volunteers handing out drinks, providing assistance to any who need it. But no sign of any McCain supporters.
You bring up an interesting point about causality vs. correlation. But the truth always lies somewhere in the middle, and most often in the murkiest part of it too.
Causality: Eliminate religion, problem solved.
Correlation: Eliminate religion, people will look for something else to replace it.
It is easy to see that eliminating religion does not solve all our problems. But neither will it be replaced by something as potent and dangerous, and so one can still argue for religion's "excommunication" from all public and civic aspects of our lives. Anyone is entitled to be stupid, but please keep it private.
My question is: what drives these prejudices and attitudes?
I fear that you're giving their religious beliefs a pass in this case (by conflating them with their innate human limitations). In my opinion, their religious beliefs, which has a very real external component (organized church, the bible, sacraments, teachings, traditions) have predisposed them to be susceptible to Dobson's hateful diatribe.
What do you think is the cause of the "whackiness" of these religious whacks? Is it because they're innately flawed and stupid? Are they evil? What do you think drives these people to believe Dobson and his cohorts?
Why are they so ready to believe what their religious leader Dobson dictates?
In my opinion, within the realm of religion and myth, where rationality and evidence does not play a big part, and where faith and symbols are the norm, Dobson's followers are not acting out of the ordinary.