Evangelicals Defanged

Feb 10, 2008 by

Nancy Gibbs at Time Magazine brings us a very cheering piece about that Homegrown American Nuisance ™ — The Evangelical Minister.

It seems that the vast array of self important power mongers have basically shot themselves in the foot by showing their lack of actual clout during the dogfight for the GOP nomination. My favorite part is this:

Those who claim to be in public life to promote and defend certain values can least afford to look craven. We may expect that from the every-man-for-himself plutocrats; but the virtuecrats are supposed to believe in something. So when Robertson et al ignored the conspicuous apostasies of Rudy and, in his earlier more liberal life, Romney, in order to jump on the bandwagon, they exposed a much less lofty agenda: they just liked their seat at the table, they didn’t want to lose, and they didn’t seem to realize that by signing on with a frontrunner, they were following, not leading; demonstrating weakness, not strength.

What this plot twist has really exposed is that the shepherds have no sheep. You get the sense that rank and file evangelicals are just as sick of their own “leaders” as they are of the political arena in general. This actually represents a return to normal: evangelicals have historically been suspicious of getting too deeply involved in worldly matters, preferring a focus on individual salvation. So their willingness to vote their hearts with Huck and leave the rest to the Lord is perfectly normal behavior.

This looks like a small hint of sanity returning to the political arena (not that its ever had much to begin with). I certainly hope Ms. Gibbs’ analysis is dead on the money.


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