Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Evangelical Openings

If I may brieflt interrupt the debate I've apparently helped catalyze about the definition and political importance of universal health coverage (go check out the TPMCafe.com site and follow the links if you are interested), Amy Sullivan has written and long and important cover story for the Washington Monthly about the growing openness of younger evangelical Christian leaders to a divorce with the Republican Party, if not a marriage with Democrats.

Amy's poster boy for this phenomenon is Randy Brinson, an Alabama-based evangelical leader who has rapidly evolved from his role as (1) a cutting-edge GOTV operative for Republicans in 2003 and 2004, to (2) a spokesman for evangelicals unhappy about the compromises being made on issues of domestic and global equality in exchange for empty GOP promises on such subjects as abortion, and then (3) an open dissenter against the Christian Right and an advocate of cooperation with Democrats in Alabama and nationally.

Whatever you think of Brinson, or of his nationally better-known fellow heretic Richard Cizick of the National Association of Evangelicals, there is a political and cultural opening they offer that Democrats would be fools to spurn or ignore. The tactical alliance forged during the 1990s between older conservative evangelical leaders and the Republican Party has had doleful consequences for American politics and religion alike. Busting this alliance up would have similarly positive results.
-- Posted at 10:02 PM | Link to this post | Email this post

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