May 7, 2012

How to Write about Evangelicals Rejecting the Religious Right

An abortion rights advocate debated an anti-abortion campaigner at the March for Life in Washington on Jan. 23.

By Luke Moon

Are you a young evangelical who is tired of the “culture wars?” Are you the son of a famous Evangelical leader often associated with the Religious Right? Are you looking to write a article or blog about how “your generation” is abandoning partisanship and especially any connection to the Religious Right or the Republican Party?  Here is a simple Style Guide that will help you effectively make your case.

1.  Start your introductory paragraph stating how young Evangelicals are abandoning the partisan politics of the Religious Right. It is best to describe how the Religious Right has been largely unsuccessful and how it has hurt the image of the Christians in general. In no way can you allow your affinity for the Religious Left to be exposed. Therefore, always claim to be “Kingdom centered”.

2.  Explain how Evangelicals have finally moved beyond the bloody battles over abortion and homosexuality. If you can’t find a picture of abortion clinic protestors holding signs of an aborted fetus or, better yet, a pack of folks from Westboro Baptist Church with signs stating God’s hatred for gay people you can use a picture of people praying.

Contrast all of those old Evangelicals by explaining how new Evangelicals are now moving on to more enlightened and important issues like global warming (creation care), immigration (DREAM Act), and supporting government poverty programs (Circle of Protection). The reader must be persuaded to ignore the issues being embraced by the young Evangelicals are the same issues the mainstream media, Jon Stewart, and the Democratic Party think are important too.

3.  Use outdated stats from Pew or Barna to prove the sad state of affairs facing Republicans because their decline Evangelical support base. Pew Research Center has some really great data showing that from 2001 to 2007 support for the GOP among young evangelicals declined by 15% over that time period. Do not use the newer Pew study that found 82% of young white evangelical registered voters favor the GOP.

4.  Attack James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Richard Land or any other Christian leader who has actually taken a stand on an important cultural issue that can be associated with the Religious Right. Be sure to ignore Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount, which you have no doubt memorized, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

5.  Conclude by describing how this new and improved non-confrontational non-affiliated, non-committed version of Evangelicalism will save the Church.

You can do all this, or simply read Jonathan Merritt’s column in USA Today.


9 Responses to How to Write about Evangelicals Rejecting the Religious Right

  1. eMatters says:

    Excellent analysis! People like Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis get away with that all the time with their politics-disguised-as-religion approach. They disingenuously have (admittedly clever) slogans like “God is not a Republican . . . or a Democrat” then go on to support the extreme wing of the Democratic party. They prattle endlessly on a vaguely defined “social justice” yet are silent on abortion — or worse yet, secretly support taxpayer-funded abortions.

    BTW, whenever someone brings up Fred Phelps as if he is on our side, remind them that Fred is a Democrat — http://tinyurl.com/28t2ug4 .

  2. Well said! It was not the religious right that made abortion a political sacrament, welfare a political slavery and morality a political satire.

  3. Brother Hank says:

    I get the joke…
    …and I still don’t think Perkins and Land should get a pass…

    Especially the ridiculous way Perkins handled that whole Values Voter Summit this year — touting how important it was beforehand then immediately backtracking as soon as his ‘anointed’ neo-con didn’t win.

    Which leads me to my own reason for moving past the religious right: I’m tired of being duped by the party of ‘bombs and babies’. Don’t get me wrong, I love babies. I’m one of those crazies that spends his saturday mornings counseling on the sidewalks in front of abortion clinics. I’m just tired of being told the only way to protect my unborn brothers and sisters is to vote for the only neo-con the GOP puts forward — and somehow look past the fact that in all our “moral imperatives” to export freedom to other countries in the world, we’ve taken alway the foundational freedom in our own: life itself. I don’t buy the mythical Supreme Court pipe dream that guys like Karl Rove have been feeding us, and I’m not willing to wait through another 30 years of compromising “prolife” candidates to “maybe” “one day” “hopefully” get enough appointments to the Court to slap down Roe v. Wade.

    Sincerely,
    One of “those” Ron Paul guys who love Jesus, are sold out to defending the Unborn, and actually still believe in the Just War Theory.

    • Mike says:

      Brother Hank, I think that you make some very good points. I am 100% pro-life, but I also reject the neo-cons and their foreign policy ideas. I make yearly monetary donations to the IRD, but the thought of reconsidering this has occurred to me because of what I see as a neo-con influence at the IRD. I have also done volunteer work for GOP candidates and it didn’t take me long to realize that they want our votes, money, and volunteer time but very few have any intention of giving us anything back in return.

      • Pudentiana says:

        Mike, I feel your pain. The problem is that we are in the midst of a culture and spiritual war right now and can’t get too confused. Keep your focus on doing the right thing and place energy where most effect can be made. Oh, and pray like hell.

  4. GOP NO MORE says:

    @ Bro Hank. AMEN. after 32 straight years of voting straight GOP tickets, I gave up and when Paul in 2008. I’ll do it again this year too. I refuse to hold my nose and compromise any longer. If that makes the GOP go the way of the Whigs, then good riddance.

    @ Pudentiana: Bro Hank and I are not at all confused. Actually, we’ve awoken from the koolaid induced slumber and refuse to be GOP patsies anymore. Our guiding principles, like Rep Paul’s are found in Bible and Constitution, not GOP platforms or candidates’ empty promises. GOP may die, America may fail, but God goes on forever. So will we. And, thx – but I’ll pray like HEAVEN.

  5. Beryl Moon says:

    I am disappointed that our representatives are not courageous enough to stand on Biblical principles no matter what party they belong to. Anytime legislation is being considered we must first of all see how it lines up with God’s word. Sanctity of life and preservation of marriage and family are not negotiable issues. Our representatives will never please all the people all the time so they should at least be honoring God in their decisions. Of course, that is assuming that they know God. If they don’t, we should not expect anything different than what we are getting.

    If young evangelicals don’t know we are in a culture war, then it must be easy for them to jump sides according to how they feel when they get up in the morning or according to what is the popular opinion. Sweetheart, someday when true religious persecution comes to America because God has lifted His mantle of protection on this country and judgement has come, where will you stand?

  6. Marco Bell says:

    Beryl Moon…God has a protective mantle on America? …Really?!

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