Evangelicals and the Republican Party, as of September 2015
While I myself am right wing and still pretty socially conservative, I’m not as into social conservatives necessarily using the politics or laws to try to make everyone else live life as they see fit (and the left wing does this as well – I do not support liberals who try to cram liberal life style choices or left wing views down people’s throats, either).
Here’s an interesting article that talks about social conservatives, evangelicals, and how they are faring politically, and how they view the GOP.
- September 2015
But evangelical culture, as James Davison Hunter notes in (Link): “To Change the World,” his magisterial account of recent Christian engagement with American politics, has a particular fondness for the idea of the history-altering individual, the hope that “one person can stand at the crossroads and change things for good.”
As Hunter’s book points out, neither political nor cultural change usually happens like this. Instead, it comes from networks, institutions, interest groups, and it requires strategy, alliance-building and steady pressure.
This is part of why evangelical Christians, notwithstanding their numbers, tend to have less influence over actual Republican governance than fiscal conservatives or foreign-policy hawks. They’re always looking for a hero (or heroine), while the party’s other factions focus on staffing decisions and policy commitments, where the real work of politics takes place.
In this election cycle, though, the evangelical hero quest is particularly self-defeating. With same-sex marriage established nationwide and social liberalism ascendant, religious conservatives have a clear policy “ask” they should be pressing every major Republican contender to embrace.
They need guarantees that the next G.O.P. administration will move proactively — through something like Senator Mike Lee’s evolving First Amendment Defense Act — to protect religious schools and charities from losing grants or accreditation or even tax-exempt status because they maintain a traditional position on sexual ethics.