American evangelicals question Republican ownership

After an election where conservative social causes failed to convince voters, evangelical Christians are pondering their relationship with the Republican party.

Christian conservatives used to be referred to as the “base of the base” of the Republican Party – voters whose strong religious ideologies meant the party could count on them to support “family values” candidates and initiatives…

After the 2012 election, evangelical leaders are contemplating what it means that conservative Republicans lost so badly, and that social issues championed by the religious right also suffered defeat. They are also questioning whether they still have a place in the world of politics.

There was a time when leading evangelicals had a very powerful position inside the Washington DC inner circle. The rise of the religious right in the late 1970s and early 1980s heralded an era in American politics in which social conservatives very much shaped the Republican agenda…

In return for an outpouring of support, politicians pushed agendas dear to the evangelicals, such as opposing gay rights and abortion and promoting the teaching of “intelligent design” in schools along with evolution…

At Barack Obama’s first term comes to an end, there has been a sizeable demographic shift in the US when it comes to voters and faith.

According to a recent survey, an increasing number of Americans are giving up on religion. The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life found that one-third of Americans under 30 have no religious affiliation, and, with few exceptions, are not seeking religion.

Dr Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Theological Seminary, says this “acceleration of secularisation” is what made social conservatives, and their agenda, lose so badly in November.

He acknowledged the religious right is losing its political power…

Evangelicals may well have to learn how to live into a minority position against the larger society moving in a different direction.”

That, my friends, is what is called wishful thinking. The point of evangelism, of fundamentalist religion – as ideology, for that is what it is – is remaining true to beliefs that ran out of reality centuries ago. That fact hasn’t mattered to proselytizers in the past. There isn’t any inherent reason to expect that commitment to reverse itself.

No, religious fanatics are perfectly willing to retreat into an ever-diminishing circle of influence. Choosing isolation is perfectly satisfactory to a True Believer. The only worry for the rest of the nation is the possibility of a truly nutball fringe deciding they need to become a Christian al-Qaeda.

3 thoughts on “American evangelicals question Republican ownership

  1. moss says:

    There is something that I still see missing from this discussion. What ever happened to the ordinary mainstream religious gatherings that have always functioned as the center of religious activity in any community. Have they disappeared? Have they stopped accepting publicity about their projects.

    Early days in the civil rights movement you could count on several denominations of protestant churchfolk from communities of different colors coming together to fight bigotry. Where are they in this discussion?

  2. Romans 16:17 says:

    Trump abandoning Kurds could cost support of evangelical Christians : One of the president’s staunchest constituencies has stuck by him through many controversies but Syria may be a policy lurch too far
    The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) founder, Pat Robertson, described even more grave stakes in a broadcast on Monday.
    “I believe … the president of the United States is in danger of losing the mandate of heaven if he permits this to happen,” Robertson said.

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