Dobson, Warren, Huckabee, and the changing evangelical movement

The evangelical movement is changing, and this will have real implications for the GOP. Rick Warren is replacing James Dobson as the political powerhouse of American evangelicalism. And you couldn't come up with a clearer couple of events to express that than what we have seen in the last couple of days.

Within hours of each other, John McCain and Barack Obama agree to attend a forum at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church. (NYT has the story) I suspect that the word got out, and James Dobson got in the game. The NYT's Caucus blog reported yesterday that Dobson would consider endorsing McCain and start explaining how bad Obama is.

But it is pretty clear that Warren and his issues are in the drivers seat. From the NYT:

Mr. Warren, the author of the best-selling book “The Purpose-Driven Life,” said he had called each man personally to invite him to his event, which will focus on how they make decisions and on some of Mr. Warren’s main areas of focus, like AIDS, poverty and the environment.

CBN's David Brody has a recommended line for McCain on the topics that are not on the agenda:

“While the issues of poverty and climate change are so vitally important, let me also talk about two vitally important issues to me and that is the life of the unborn and the protection of the sanctity of marriage”. Ka-ching! Are you kidding me? That’s the money line folks. Click here to see the reaction by Evangelicals if he delivers that line.

That's all true, but what forum are they speaking at? I don't think that that's an accident. If you don't think there is something real to this shift, just watch this video from the ONE campaign


Mike Huckabee is travelling around Africa with Cindy McCain, a bunch of Democrats, and the ONE campaign.

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Bill Frist...

There is more expansion than revision of the evangelicalmovement

I've found often that the more liberal elements of the media try to spin the expansion of the concerns of social conservatives, as a repudiation of the traditional foundation concerns of life and family. this is not the case.

Speaking from the inside, the passion for life especially has not been reduced, but many have seen that limiting life concerns to the unborn is hypocritical. this is why the poverty issue is weighing so heavily on consciences right now. This is also why some more liberal chrisitans (oxymoron?) may also be 'anti-war'

The Gop is going to have to tread a very fine line finding and working with candidates who understand and have inroads into these new areas of concern, but have demonstrated at least an understanding of what it would mean to try to address these issues in a conservative way.

This is why it may be foolish to completely dismiss a Huckabee and others of his ilk, because if these traditionally 'democratic' issues are going to of major concern to 30 percent of the GOP base, we have to find a way to deal with them 'more conservatively' than the democrats would.

This is not yesterday's politics, we must adjust or die as a party.

Out of curiosity.. does anyone have suggestions for 'policy' positions that the GOP could take to address these issues? We already know that Obama's 'Global Poverty Act' would take from the 'rich' to give to the poor. Should we refocus on cleaning up the private faith based initiatives?

We cannot afford to dismiss such a significant segment of our support

Huckabee is A Great Representative for the US

Huckabee "gets it" because the man is in touch with people!  His many different career paths, broadcasting, ministry, lt. governor and governor have prepared him well to motivate, inspire and lead.  I hope Senator McCain can see what a wonderful addition he would be to the Repubican Party's ticket. 

according to pew forum on religion

about 30 % of white eveangelicals support civil unions and oppose constituational ban on gay marriage (Obamas positions.)

With Obamas comfort in speaking about faith,  issues like gay marriage  will be no homerun for Mccain. Some anti choice  voters who support progressive peace and justice positions will have to continue to feel torn.


Wouldn't have that problem if

preachers cared more about being Biblically correct than they did about "offending" someone.  The Bible is very clear on God's views about homosexuality.  God actually put homosexuality in the same death penalty offense as murder, adultery ,and even rebellious children.  Jesus was clear on marriage being male and female.

Matthew 19:4-6 (KJV) "And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,  And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."

I'm not saying that we should put homosexuals, aduterers, or rebellious teenagers to death; but we certainly shouldn't condone it by making it legal.  Jesus said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."  People forget that he then told the woman to "Go and sin no more." 



Charities shouldn't be suported by taxes

Obama has a habit of trying to fund his causes using other people's money.  Read the Chicago Tribune's article, "For Obama, charity really began in the U.S. Senate.",0,320... Come to think of it, weren't Hillary's Christmas "gifts" all going to be purchased using other people's money, too?  Isn't buying gifts with other people's money still considered stealing?  We can't all give to every cause we think is beneficial.  Each of us should give to the ones God tells us to give to; not the ones Obama or Hillary were told to give to. 

Americans are some of the most giving people in the world.   We'd have a lot more money to give if the government would quit stealing from us to play Robin Hood. 





This is a predictable election year theme.

Every single election, the Democrats make a few pilgrimages to see some prominent evangelicals.  They give the canned "how important their faith is to them" speech.  They probably will campaign in some churches, and even send out flyers with them delivering a sermon with a giant church organ in the background as Obama did.

The fact is that no more evangelicals/Christian conservatives support Obama at this point in time than they did John Kerry.  And this is with Obama's advantage of having virtually nothing known about him and his cultural leftism, which is probably more out of step with mainstream Americans than Kerry was.  I haven't seen one ad on Obama's support of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, or attack his support for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Just talking about your faith doesn't mean all these evangelicals will suddenly flock to a candidate.  Evangelicals are far more sophisticated than that.

Christian conservatives are definitely concerned about poverty, but that doesn't mean they want the government raise taxes and redistribute wealth to deal with it.  Likewise, just because a Pew poll says Christian conservatives are "concerned" about the environment doesn't mean they want a massive boondoggle of a regulatory scheme run by a government and a congress with record-low approval ratings.

Further, my hunch is that since evangelicals have had it pretty good during the Bush presidency, issues that were front and center during the culture wars of the 1990s like abortion and gay marriage have been put on the back burner because they have not been under assault in the past 8 years as they were under Clinton.  I highly doubt that Christian conservatives will sit idly by while Obama appoints leftists in the mold of Ruth Bader Ginsberg to the SCOTUS, just because they're "concerned about poverty and the environment".


ONE looks to me like an international wefare agency, with all the bureaucracy, dependency, and inefficiency that goes along with that.  No thanks.

ONE and done

I went to the ONE site, and it does look primarily like a welfare program.  There is far less emphasis than I'd like to see on empowering sovereign individuals to help themselves, and there  is nary a hint about how third-world repression, corruption and tribalism contribute to poverty.

Today the S&P 500 closed 5% below its value when Bush was first inaugurated; that value is denominated in a dollar which has dropped sharply since 2001.  Bush/Delay/Rove domestic pharisaism has wrecked the GOP and, more importantly, weakened the country.  America can't help the third world emerge from poverty unless we have a vibrant economy. 

We can't maintain a strong global presence unless we have a strong economy.  Heaven forbid that the African kids in the video be left to the mercies of local despots and the Chinese.

Before America can resume being the locomotive that pulls humanity into the future, we have to get our own affairs back in order.

(Btw, if McCain puts Huckabee on  the ticket and Obama picks somebody with national-security credibility, I'll vote for Obama or a third party.)

That makes sense gs... *rolling eyes*

President's make the decisions not veeps..

If you could vote for Obama under any circumstances, you're no conservative, and not sure why you're here.

Thrid party conservative on principle could be understandable.. but threatening to vote for BO is folly.