The Evangelical Shift That Wasn’t

November 21, 2008 at 6:40 am 1 comment

barack-obama-39.jpgNothing was supposed to represent evangelicals’ recent shift away from
hot-button political issues more than megachurch pastor Rick Warren’s
summit with Barack Obama and John McCain in August. 


In a departure from
the divisive, pro-Republican tactics of evangelical leaders such as
Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, Warren’s Saddleback Civil Forum
actually brought the two presidential candidates onto the same stage
for the first time (albeit not at the same time) during the campaign.

And the issues Warren pledged to tackle, such as global warming and
international human rights, presented an obvious challenge to the
Christian Right’s narrow agenda of fighting abortion rights and
same-sex marriage.

Recently, however, Warren’s Southern California church has come to play
a much different role, as a staging ground for heated demonstrations in
support of the state’s same-sex-marriage ban, which Warren vigorously
supported and which voters passed on Election Day.

These days, Saddleback embodies the culture wars Warren had pledged to help end.

The protests — and Warren’s support for the same-sex-marriage ban,
Proposition 8 — are an important wake-up call that, for all the talk of
an evangelical “branching out,” evangelical politics hasn’t changed so
much after all.

Evangelicals are still much more concerned with so-called wedge issues
than any other demographic group. A Barna Group poll found that 40
percent of evangelicals chose their presidential candidate based on his
position on “moral issues,” compared with 9 percent of other voters.

And the movement’s leaders are still leading the conservative charge in
the culture wars. Most of the 29 state constitutional amendments
banning same-sex marriage that have passed were organized by Focus on
the Family, its state affiliates and other evangelical activists.

Perhaps most strikingly, the anticipated evangelical shift away from
McCain never happened. Despite widespread predictions that many
evangelicals would stay home or pull the lever for Obama, McCain
managed to collect more white evangelical voters than George W. Bush
four years ago.

It wasn’t supposed to happen that way. One of the most popular story
lines of the 2008 campaign was that evangelical Christians were
wiggling free from their longtime allegiance to the Christian Right and
the GOP. A fall 2007 New York Times Magazine cover story headlined “The
Evangelical Crackup” told how evangelicals were caring a lot less about
wedge issues and a lot more about social justice.

Because of Obama’s frequent Christian testimonials and robust
religious outreach operation — and McCain’s reluctance to engage in
either one — many pundits predicted a sizable chunk of the typically
Republican evangelical vote would wind up in the Democratic column.

And the issues Warren pledged to tackle, such as global warming and
international human rights, presented an obvious challenge to the
Christian Right’s narrow agenda of fighting abortion rights and
same-sex marriage.

Recently, however, Warren’s Southern California church has come to play
a much different role, as a staging ground for heated demonstrations in
support of the state’s same-sex-marriage ban, which Warren vigorously
supported and which voters passed on Election Day.

These days, Saddleback embodies the culture wars Warren had pledged to help end.

The protests — and Warren’s support for the same-sex-marriage ban,
Proposition 8 — are an important wake-up call that, for all the talk of
an evangelical “branching out,” evangelical politics hasn’t changed so
much after all.

Evangelicals are still much more concerned with so-called wedge issues
than any other demographic group. A Barna Group poll found that 40
percent of evangelicals chose their presidential candidate based on his
position on “moral issues,” compared with 9 percent of other voters.

And the movement’s leaders are still leading the conservative charge in
the culture wars. Most of the 29 state constitutional amendments
banning same-sex marriage that have passed were organized by Focus on
the Family, its state affiliates and other evangelical activists.

Perhaps most strikingly, the anticipated evangelical shift away from
McCain never happened. Despite widespread predictions that many
evangelicals would stay home or pull the lever for Obama, McCain
managed to collect more white evangelical voters than George W. Bush
four years ago.

It wasn’t supposed to happen that way. One of the most popular story
lines of the 2008 campaign was that evangelical Christians were
wiggling free from their longtime allegiance to the Christian Right and
the GOP. A fall 2007 New York Times Magazine cover story headlined “The
Evangelical Crackup” told how evangelicals were caring a lot less about
wedge issues and a lot more about social justice.

Because of Obama’s frequent Christian testimonials and robust
religious outreach operation — and McCain’s reluctance to engage in
either one — many pundits predicted a sizable chunk of the typically
Republican evangelical vote would wind up in the Democratic column.

Source: Politico

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Christian, National. Tags: , , , , .

After Wife Died, Pastor says Bible Instructed him to Marry a 20-Year-Old Virgin Attorney General Michael Mukasey Collapses on Stage in DC

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Alexwebmaster  |  March 3, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Hello webmaster
    I would like to share with you a link to your site
    write me here preonrelt@mail.ru

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


November 2008
M T W T F S S
« Oct   Dec »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

%d bloggers like this: