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Progressive Evangelicalsí Epic Fail
National Review Online ^ | November 12, 2012 | David French

Posted on 11/13/2012 5:59:37 AM PST by Alex Murphy

The election news last week wasn’t all bad. Last Tuesday represented the total failure of a multi-year leftist effort to move Evangelical voters left. According to the exit-poll data, not only did Evangelicals turn out for Mitt Romney at percentages that exceeded George W. Bush’s and John McCain’s share of the Evangelical vote, they also constituted a record-high share of the overall electorate. Alas, it wasn’t enough, but this turnout prevented a defeat from becoming a rout.

It’s hard to overstate the extent of the progressive failure here. Ever since the triumph of the “values voter” in 2004, the Left has engaged in a determined effort to liberalize Evangelicals. The MSM relentlessly promotes post-Evangelical dissenters (I say “post” because many of these political dissenters also dissent from key elements of Christian orthodoxy) to the point where it’s a standing joke amongst Evangelical activists — as it is with many other conservatives — that the best way to get New York Times op-ed space or a good slot on the Today show is to condemn your friends as intolerant. At the same time, the post-Evangelical dissenters do everything they can to distract Evangelicals from core moral issues and core biblical values.

Evangelicals are simultaneously assaulted and wooed: You’re a hateful bigot until the very instant you abandon the unborn, capitulate on marriage, and embrace environmental activism. Then, you’re celebrated as tolerant and even courageous.

At times, the effort was almost transparently pathetic (who knew it was more pro-life to buy a Prius than to protect unborn children?) and other times downright malicious. Throughout Mitt Romney’s candidacy, the media promoted anti-Mormon voices far out of proportion to their actual influence. As an “Evangelical for Mitt,” I can’t tell you the number of times the MSM called to ask for reaction to alleged anti-Mormon sentiment that was sometimes entirely concocted and other times blown far out of proportion to its actual influence. Surveying the years of Mitt Romney’s presidential effort, one would be hard-pressed to find politically significant anti-Mormon commentary from virtually any Evangelical of real influence.

In reality, Evangelicals were largely lukewarm to Romney for a good reason: They were skeptical of his conservative credentials. Once they understood the extent of the contrast with Barack Obama, they came out for the Mormon from Massachusetts by record percentages. In other words, our convictions are far more resistant to scorn than the Left would like, we’re far less bigoted than they hoped, and our voice for the unborn endures.

Of course, we must remain vigilant. The Left will not only redouble its scorn for Evangelicals (we’re supposedly on the “wrong side of history” after all), it will also redouble its promotion of post-Evangelical writers and thinkers. The stick will grow heavier and the carrot tastier. But I’m far more optimistic about our ability to endure than at any time since 2008.


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Mainline Protestant; Moral Issues; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS:
It’s hard to overstate the extent of the progressive failure here. Ever since the triumph of the “values voter” in 2004, the Left has engaged in a determined effort to liberalize Evangelicals. The MSM relentlessly promotes post-Evangelical dissenters (I say “post” because many of these political dissenters also dissent from key elements of Christian orthodoxy) to the point where it’s a standing joke amongst Evangelical activists — as it is with many other conservatives — that the best way to get New York Times op-ed space or a good slot on the Today show is to condemn your friends as intolerant. At the same time, the post-Evangelical dissenters do everything they can to distract Evangelicals from core moral issues and core biblical values.

Evangelicals are simultaneously assaulted and wooed: You’re a hateful bigot until the very instant you abandon the unborn, capitulate on marriage, and embrace environmental activism. Then, you’re celebrated as tolerant and even courageous. At times, the effort was almost transparently pathetic (who knew it was more pro-life to buy a Prius than to protect unborn children?) and other times downright malicious.

1 posted on 11/13/2012 5:59:42 AM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

Well I dont know about the so called “Evangalicals” and who or what they might be...

but did any Christians vote for Willard ???

I havent seen any numbers reported...


2 posted on 11/13/2012 6:04:36 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: Tennessee Nana

How the Faithful Voted 2012
http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2957185/posts


3 posted on 11/13/2012 6:18:02 AM PST by MaxFlint
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To: Tennessee Nana

Excellent question.


4 posted on 11/13/2012 6:20:49 AM PST by winkadink (During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. George Orwell)
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To: Alex Murphy
The Bible folks know how far the country is straying.

Maybe more than any other group they are standing against it...

5 posted on 11/13/2012 6:31:18 AM PST by what's up
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To: Alex Murphy

What the left failed to do, RINOs will accomplish: Consumerist churchianity—as opposed to Christianity—is inextricably wed to the RINO establishment and their friends in the NY banking oligarchy. The RINO establishment believes the GOP lost because of a single issue: Abortion.

SO the RINO oligarchy will hint to the leaders of churchian institutions that, hey, why don’t you guys just not worry about abortion, and then we can all win elections? And more and more churchian institutions will suddenly “discover” that abortion is just wonderful and totally Biblical and etc. Most of the blind pew warmers in the churchian institutions will play along, because to fight is to accept a sort of social martyrdom, and that has never been popular.

Foisting Romney on us was the first wedge in the door. I admit I voted for Romney, and now I feel ashamed. Romney spent a life time supporting abortion and Planned Parenthood, and only had a revelation about the evil of abortion when he suddenly realized an openly pro-choice candidate couldn’t get the nomination.

The next step is to get a nominally pro-choice and Christian candidate like Mitch Daniels who proposes a “temporary” truce on social issues, just until we can solve this whole fiscal problem. But of course, the RINO establishment has never been interested in solving any fiscal problems, so this “temporary” truce will continue for a long time.


6 posted on 11/13/2012 6:31:58 AM PST by Thane_Banquo ( Walker 2016)
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To: Thane_Banquo
Should read, "nominally pro-life and Christian candidate..."
7 posted on 11/13/2012 6:33:21 AM PST by Thane_Banquo ( Walker 2016)
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To: Tennessee Nana

I would think that of the 79% of Evangelicals that voted for Romney, that nearly or all of them are Christians.

I think the same is true of the 48% of Catholics that voted for Romney.


8 posted on 11/13/2012 12:30:04 PM PST by ansel12 (Todd Akin was NOT the tea party candidate, Sarah Steelman was, Brunner had tea party support also.)
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