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Friday, November 12, 2004

Spite, Vengeance, Resentment: Christian Values?

Weren't these the people who said God Himself put George W. Bush back in office for a second term? Where is their faith in him? And where is their faith in Him?

Evangelicals Want Faith Rewarded
Christian Leaders Fear that Influence on Bush, Despite Wide Support, Could Be Short-Lived

WASHINGTON — Christian evangelicals provided much of the passion and manpower for President Bush's reelection. But even as they celebrate his victory, many of the movement's leaders are experiencing post-election anxiety, worried that their strong support for the president might not translate into the instant influence they expected.

They are flexing their muscles to block Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), an abortion rights supporter, from a Senate leadership post overseeing judicial nomination debates — but Specter appears likely to get the job. They want clear-cut ban on same-sex marriage, but Bush's newly stated support for civil unions makes them wonder how strongly the president will back their efforts.

And as much as they turned out in force for Bush on election day, many are worried that their power could be short-lived, given that a number of prominent Republicans who support abortion rights and gay rights are positioning themselves to succeed Bush in 2008.

In recent days, some evangelical leaders have warned in interviews that the Republican Party would pay a price in future elections if its leaders did not take up the issues that brought evangelicals to the polls.

...Robert Knight, who heads an affiliate of Concerned Women for America, a Christian conservative advocacy group, called the Specter issue "a very big test" to see if the GOP leadership understood "the depth of what occurred on Nov. 2."

"If they decide to elevate Specter anyway, they will alienate millions of people who counted on them to begin pushing back liberalism instead of aiding and abetting it," he said.

Adding wrinkles to their relationship with the White House, some evangelical leaders worry that Bush's circle of advisors includes aides who are insufficiently committed to conservative social values.

Some see Andrew H. Card Jr., the president's chief of staff and a former Massachusetts state legislator, as too moderate. They note that Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a lesbian daughter, has said that the issue of same-sex marriage should be left to the states, in contrast to evangelicals' call for a constitutional ban.

Bob Jones III, president of the Christian conservative Bob Jones University in South Carolina, recently urged Bush to purge moderates from the White House.

"If you have weaklings around you who do not share your biblical values, shed yourself of them."


Read the entire article here -->

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