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Is the Evangelical Coalition Fracturing?

Old 11-17-07, 05:47 PM
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Is the Evangelical Coalition Fracturing?

I've been listening to an interesting discussion on the Tim Russert program. His guests are Ron Brownstein (I would class as a liberal) & Michael Gerson (I would class as a conservative). They both seem to agree that the Evangelical Coalition is fracturing. I've heard others say the same thing. If this is true, it means a sea change the demographics of elections, IMO. It's not good news for the Republicans - that's for sure.

There is another example of possible fracture - noted evangelicals endorsing Republican candidates that don't seem to agree with them on major social issues.

Remember, people who attended church at least once per week voted for Bush 2-1 over Gore. Granted those are not all evangelicals.

What do you think?
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Old 11-17-07, 06:16 PM
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Well, Robertson endorsing the pro-life, socially moderate Guilani proves that he's about as Christian as Donald Duck, so that can't be good for the movement.
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Old 11-17-07, 06:27 PM
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It would be great if that means fiscal conservatives can get a greater voice in the party. It's bad if the GOP and Dems become more and more alike - it's bad enough in that dept. as is.
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Old 11-17-07, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason
Well, Robertson endorsing the pro-life, socially moderate Guilani proves that he's about as Christian as Donald Duck, so that can't be good for the movement.

There aren't moderate, pro-life Christians?
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Old 11-17-07, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
It's bad if the GOP and Dems become more and more alike

I really wouldn't count on it. The devicive nature of the current leadership has pulled rank and file Democrats and Republicans much farther apart.
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Old 11-17-07, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Out of Bounds
I really wouldn't count on it. The devicive nature of the current leadership has pulled rank and file Democrats and Republicans much farther apart.

It sure doesn't show.
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Old 11-17-07, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
It sure doesn't show.

If you're talking about the politicians, it depends on which ones. If you're talking about the voting public, I think it's very obvious that there's been a widening of the divide between the parties, not a merging. I was talking about citizens (thus my explicit mention of "rank and file" Democrats and Republicans).
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Old 11-17-07, 07:16 PM
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Of course there are moderate, pro-life Christians.

I don't like the term - moderate, but I'm a pro-life Christian, and I consider myself a centrist - moderate if you insist.
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Old 11-17-07, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Out of Bounds
There aren't moderate, pro-life Christians?
Not who pay attention to Pat Robertson.
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Old 11-17-07, 08:35 PM
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I've also heard that some of the Evangelicals are upset about the Republicans' attitude toward the environment, so that may cause a rift as well. They have been such a solid voting block for the Republicans and so susceptible to their pandering it's hard to think of them moving in another direction. So basically I'll believe it when I see it, but I wouldn't mind at all if it did happen.
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Old 11-17-07, 08:40 PM
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Why would Evangelicals be upset about that unless your premise is that Republicans are environmentalists?

Gov. Sonny Purdue taught me all you need is a little prayer to turn the weather around.
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Old 11-17-07, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
Why would Evangelicals be upset about that unless your premise is that Republicans are environmentalists?

Gov. Sonny Purdue taught me all you need is a little prayer to turn the weather around.
There were a few stories about Evangelicals getting more interested in environmental issues. I think we all know that Republicans' stance on the environment is "Environment? What environment?"
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Old 11-17-07, 09:24 PM
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Hmmm. I figured they took the position that God sorts the weather out.
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Old 11-17-07, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason
Not who pay attention to Pat Robertson.


Your original post didn't specify that condition.

Fact of the matter is that there are Christians right across the political spectrum, all the way from the most right of right wingers to the most left of left wingers.
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Old 11-17-07, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
Hmmm. I figured they took the position that God sorts the weather out.

Not a very subtle read of the religion, is it? Many Christians believe that man is the steward of the planet and that his free will has an impact on its health.
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Old 11-17-07, 10:34 PM
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I didn't say "Christians." "They" = evangelicals, the subject of this thread.
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Old 11-17-07, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
I didn't say "Christians." "They" = evangelicals, the subject of this thread.

And? Guess what? There are far left evangelicals as well. You may have heard of Jimmy Carter? He's just one example of a left wing evangelical.
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Old 11-18-07, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
There were a few stories about Evangelicals getting more interested in environmental issues. I think we all know that Republicans' stance on the environment is "Environment? What environment?"
Generalizations are against forum rules.

Our moderators should know that.


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Old 11-18-07, 09:22 AM
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As a Christian, I welcome the fracturing of the evangelical coalition. I've never gone along with the Christian right's equating of Christianity with their right-wing positions, and I recently subscribed briefly to Sojourners, the main magazine of the Christain left, and I felt they were just doing exactly what the Christian right was doing, but just from the other side---exactly what CS Lewis wrote about in Mere Christianity: they're using bits and pieces of the religious teachings to bolster their own party and political postions, rather than really exploring Christianity as a whole. I tend to agree with Lewis that Christianity was never meant to be applied as a political program---it's just not the nature of the religion.
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Old 11-18-07, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Ky-Fi
As a Christian, I welcome the fracturing of the evangelical coalition. I've never gone along with the Christian right's equating of Christianity with their right-wing positions,
Same here. I know many who look at the Republican party as the party of Christian values and Democratic party as satanic and I end up replying, "are you kidding me?!"


Originally Posted by Ky-Fi
and I recently subscribed briefly to Sojourners, the main magazine of the Christain left, and I felt they were just doing exactly what the Christian right was doing, but just from the other side---exactly what CS Lewis wrote about in Mere Christianity: they're using bits and pieces of the religious teachings to bolster their own party and political postions, rather than really exploring Christianity as a whole. I tend to agree with Lewis that Christianity was never meant to be applied as a political program---it's just not the nature of the religion.
That's true... how ironic that those of us saved by grace look to impose Biblical conduct through legalism on unbelievers. It's some sort of, "well I might've been saved by grace, but everyone after me needs to follow the law!" attitude.
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Old 11-18-07, 09:57 AM
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As the author of this thread I wish to apologize for the title.

I shouldn't have put the word 'evangelical' in the title - maybe Christian Right or something of that nature.
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Old 11-18-07, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by sracer
It's some sort of, "well I might've been saved by grace, but everyone after me needs to follow the law!" attitude.
I hadn't thought of it in exacty those terms, but that's a very accurate description.
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Old 11-18-07, 03:24 PM
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There a lot of younger followers who believe the hardcore Republican message, so the fracture, if it's happening, might not harm the Republicans as much as some would think. We'll just have to see in the next election and whether we can get stats on the Christians or whatever we're calling them in this thread.

Falwell, Graham, Robertson, and a few others have a serious base of followers. Falwell is dead, and Graham is probably next. Once Roberston goes, it will open the gates for a different spectrum of representative groups.
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Old 11-18-07, 03:55 PM
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Robertson's influence with the Christian Right has diminished considerably over the years.

Of course he still has an ardent (though much smaller) group of followers.

note: Do you consider Billy Graham to be a political activist?
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Old 11-18-07, 08:32 PM
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The evangelicals won't vote for a Mormon. I think Robertson has lost a few followers because he has become even less credible.

I think the Christian Right base is a bit quiet now, but they can be galvanized easily if certain issues are raised again. For example, a Democratic candidate may promise to sign bills to get rid of the 2003 partial birth abortion ban or make gay marriage legal in all states or make teaching evolution the standard. But the Democrats are being careful now.
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