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.