Evangelicals Push for More Palaver on Abortion

As the electorate focuses on economic downturn, high energy prices and
war, evangelicals are promising to turn the election rhetoric to
abortion and gay marriage. While McCain and Obama are both journeying
to Rick Warren’s California megachurch on Saturday, thousands of
evangelicals are heading to Washington, D.C., for "The Call." The purpose, said organizer Lou Engle, is to “drive the issue of abortion like a wedge into the soul of the nation.” Mike Huckabee will
be featured prominently at the event.

The group has put together a video touting "50 million babies
murdered" (see below) and claiming that the 9/11 attacks have biblical roots.

Engel and other religious right leader are calling on McCain to be more
zealous in espousing social conservative talking points —
specifically, by calling for a constitutional amendment to block gay
marriage and denouncing his own past support for stem cell research. “I don’t trust John McCain,” said Engle.

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi profiles McCain’s religion and his relationship to the religious right.
McCain recently started regularly attending church, or at least that’s
the impression his campaign gave reporters. According to Taibbi, "Yeah,
they started telling us he was going to church about a month ago," one
McCain-beat reporter chuckled to me on the Straight Talk Express.
"Like, Oh, by the way, he’s going to church again. At this address, if
you want to check. . . ."

Some nuggets from the story: McCain is not born again. He has not been
baptized in his Baptist church. Baptism being a central tenet of
evangelical faith, the revelation could spell trouble in some
fundamentalists eyes.

But, the McCain campaign is nonetheless working hard to curry favor among the evangelical set. McCain is courting former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed,
who will be headlining a fundraiser for the presumptive Republican
nominee. (Reed also serves to remind voters of the Republicans’
involvement in the Jack Abramoff scandal — Reed took Abramoff’s
scandal tainted money to do PR work.)

The Rev. Jerry Falwell may have passed on, but his spirit is still alive
in McCain’s mind. He keeps an autographed copy of Falwell’s picture in
his office. In fact, it’s the only politically oriented picture in his
office. The signature from Falwell reads, "You are a great American, a
national treasure and I am glad to say my good friend." Apparently,
attitudes change: during the 2000 presidential campaign, McCain called
Falwell an "agent of intolerance."



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  • http://equalitywithoutmarriage.org invalid-0

    Massachusetts and California do not have Marriage Equality! Marriage Equality is having ALL of the rights of marriage, including the 1138 federal marriage rights, not a legal category labeled “marriage” which is devoid of those rights. Barak Obama supports granting “civil unions and other legally-recognized unions” (including domestic partnerships and marriage) the 1138 federal rights of marriage. Presently, that includes 10 states! That would be Marriage Equality! Who cares what it is called? The vast majority of the LGBT community is more interested in their rights than the title.

    The backlash to our marriage-only strategy has brought us an entirely new body of anti-gay laws: the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and 45 states passing laws or constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. 17 of those laws/constitutional amendments went further by also prohibiting civil unions and domestic partnerships. However, domestic partnerships and civil unions have never been successfully reversed on a direct challenge. The difference between California’s same-sex marriage and California’s comprehensive domestic partnerships is moot. When will our community start putting reality before rhetoric? True Marriage Equality can only be won in the US Congress, signed by the President. That is where we should be focusing our energies.


  • invalid-0

    The Evengelicals are doing what? They never have tied up our political sysetms like that before, why are they starting now?

  • invalid-0

    It would be good to keep in mind that not all evangelicals think the same on abortion. Some recognize that it’s a moral issue, and that the moral issues involved even lead them to support Roe v. Wade rather than seek its undoing.

    This language about evangelicals isolates a whole segment of the population and turns them into the enemy, in a similar fashion to how many on the Religious Right talk about the pro-choice community. It sounds shrill, and it gets us nowhere.

    The Religious Right may be still doing a lot of damage, but it’s no longer synonymous with American evangelicalism. Jim Wallis, who’s made a point of pointing this out for years, posted today on his blog about abortion and the Democratic party: http://blog.beliefnet.com/godspolitics/2008/08/a-step-forward-on-abortion-by.html. It may not be a bold pronouncement of a pro-choice position, but it’s a far cry from the language of Rev. Falwell and Mike Huckabee.

    Keeping this kind of diversity in mind will go a long way toward building credibility when reporting on issues like this.