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 Use outdated stats from Pew or Barna to prove the sad state of affairs facing Republicans because their decline Evangelical support base.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.