Christian conservatives come to terms with the general election

posted at 5:15 pm on July 2, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Yes, Christian conservatives believe in marriage — even marriages of convenience.  According to Time Magazine’s Michael Scherer, leading Christian activists have made the decision to actively support John McCain, as they eye the alternative:

At a meeting Tuesday in Denver, about 100 conservative Christian leaders from around the country agreed to unite behind the candidacy of John McCain, a politician they have long distrusted, marking the latest in a string of movement that bodes well for McCain’s general election prospects among the Republican base. ….

The group included leaders like Phyllis Schlafly, the long-time leader of Eagle Forum; Steve Strang, the publisher of Charisma magazine; Phil Burress, a prominent Ohio marriage and anti-pornography activist; David Barton, the founder of WallBuilders and Donald Hodel, a former secretary of the Interior, who previously served on the board of Focus on the Family. Jim Dobson, the head of Focus and an outspoken critic of McCain, did not attend. The McCain campaign was also not directly represented at the meeting.A second person who attended the event, but asked not to be named, said that the group was motivated principally by a desire to defeat Barack Obama. “None of these people want to meet their maker knowing that they didn’t do everything they could to keep Barack Obama from being president,” the participant said. “You’ve got these two people running for president. One of them is going to become president. That’s the perspective. That that’s the whole discussion.”

The reality of the binary political system has caught up with the evangelical base.  No one expects them to love the choice in front of them, but it is encouraging that they recognize the need to make the choice.  As Sherer’s source notes, either Obama or McCain will occupy the White House in 2009, and the truth is that there will be stark differences in how this country will proceed between those two possibilities.

The real question will be whether this means an enthusiastic effort from the evangelical faction, or a damning-by-faint-praise action.  That may depend on McCain’s choice of VP.  If he selects someone with a strong background on social issues, such as a Sarah Palin or a Mike Huckabee, it could get very enthusiastic.  Mitt Romney may not swing the needle much either direction.

Can even an enthusiastic effort from activists like Phyllis Schlafly and Tony Perkins help John McCain win over disaffected evangelicals?  I’d say it would be a big boost to McCain, but it also comes with its own set of ties, and reasonably so, to ensure that they have a voice in his administration.  The adage goes that he who wants to partake of the banquet must first set the table, but the host has his own obligations to make sure everyone gets a seat.

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Comment pages: 1 2


There is no viable candidate on the ticket this election cycle, and I’m not voting for the lesser of two evils.

madmonkphotog on July 2, 2008 at 10:03 PM

So, you have accepted Obama as the candidate…here is something to ponder.
A good decision is best, a bad decision can be corrected, but a “no decision” can never be correct or corrected.
Sitting on the sidelines whining, never resolves a problem.

right2bright on July 3, 2008 at 9:57 AM

Christians screwed up when we first allowed the government to become involved in marriage in the first place. Because we did and because our government was formed with such strong language regarding equality, we really don’t have a case here IMO.

Not that I think gay marriage is ok or should be accepted by us as a true marriage but then I also don’t think that most marriages of today are true marriages. Marrying someone for a couple of years, having your first big fight and then wanting a divorce is NOT a marriage. Christians need to reclaim real biblical marriages and call them something else with NO government involvement. Only christian churches would recognize them.

Call them a “covenant marriage” or some other appropriate term. Once you are in or have been in a covenant marriage you can’t get divorced except for the acceptable reasons given in scripture. If you get divorced you can’t be a part of another covenant marriage unless your ex has died. For those that will say I’m being too strict A) take it up with the author of the scripture you profess to believe in and B) look where slacking off the rules got us.

my 2 cents

Benaiah on July 3, 2008 at 11:28 AM

I was encouraged that the term ‘evangelical’ was not in the professional article. It is a sign that the journalistic community is at least attempting to choose words that actually communicate something and identify what they are communicating.

But I wonder what the ‘apostolics’ think, or the ‘resurrectionists’ think.

This economy is bad and it is going to be bad for a long time. Don’t you know how we remember Jimmy Carter after all these years for high inflation, high interest rates, high unemployment? We STILL remember him for that. Whoever is in office won’t be able to ‘fix’ the economy. . . but they will get credit or blame for the economy for the rest of everyone’s lives.

This economy is going to be bad for a long time, and I’d prefer the Democrats getting the blame for it instead of the Conservatives.

We were fortunate during the 90’s that there was a boom in technology that made workers more efficient so the economy expanded. After the bust, we were still fortunate to have low energy costs and low wages in third world countries that kept our inflation low. Now there is nothing to save this economy and it is going to be bad for a long time.

The American auto makers have been effectively destroyed by the Unions (Democrats). The environmentalists (Democrats) have caused energy costs to skyrocket. The increases in minimum wage (Democrats) have cost jobs. The low interest rates and overspending government (Republicans) have caused the value of the dollar to fall.

Face it, this economy is going to be worse than during the Carter years no matter who is in office. McCain won’t be as bad as Obama. But with the economy in such bad shape, Obama won’t be able to do the damage he wants to do. . . no matter whether the ‘evangelicals’ support McCain or not. McCain won’t be able to ‘fix’ the economy, nor will Obama. The economy is bigger than the government or the president.

ThackerAgency on July 3, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Comment pages: 1 2