What do Melissa Rogers, Matthew and Nancy Sleeth, Jim Wallis and
Robert George have in common? I'd say not much, other than being Christians,
broadly right to center-left theologically, who have some degree of political
influence in one area or another.
Long-held assumptions about religious activists on the left and right have been confirmed in a new 40-page report issued in mid-September: the only thing both sides seem to have in common is that faith is a big part of their lives—bigger than among the general public.
Beyond that, the two poles differ dramatically on political priorities and biblical interpretation.
On the surface, the June 4 Presidential Forum on Faith, Values and Poverty seemed a good thing. But in the long run, the forum was not a victory for the faith community but rather a sign that social-justice Christians are making the same mistakes that the Christian right has been making—with the nation and Christianity paying the long-term price.
The mainstream news media, derided by some critics as liberally biased, actually overemphasizes the importance of religious conservatives, according to findings announced by two progressive-oriented groups based in Washington.
At a meeting of the House Democrats’ Faith Working Group, a perplexed member of Congress turned to his colleagues for pastoral guidance. How could he counter a local preacher who argued that all Jesus’ moral teachings were about the world to come, not the here and now?
A recent article in the New Yorker about the race for governor in Ohio declared that the November election would “test the power of the Christian right.” It was not the first article to examine the Republican candidate, Ken Blackwell, and his ties to the religious right. As Ohio’s secretary of state, Blackwell led the 2004 campaign against gay marriage in Ohio, helping put “Issue One,” as the gay marriage amendment was called, on the same ballot as presidential contenders George W. Bush and John Kerry. Voter turnout surged, and Ohio, that ever-wavering swing state, swung for Bush. (Some say Blackwell’s control of the election apparatus also played a part.)But an even more interesting religion story unfolding on Ohio’s campaign trail this fall involves Blackwell’s opponent, Ted Strickland, a United Methodist minister.
Only 44% of population hold favorable view of Christian conservatives
Sep 19, 2006
The number of Americans—particularly white evangelical Protestants —who view the Republican Party as friendly to religion has fallen from 55 percent last year to 47 percent, according to a poll released last month. And less than half of the population (44 percent) holds a favorable view of Christian conservatives.