Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Role of the Christian Right

MY FRIENDS AT Spectrum Magazine have a link to a new blog that is currently featuring an online conversation between Jim Wallis and Ralph Reed on the topic of values and the American voter. Quite interesting.

Of course, the big question for political types is what role the Christian Right will play in the November elections. There is little debate that groups like the Christian Coalition have lost at least some of their influence during the past year or so. Ralph Reed is a good example. He was snarled in the Jack Abramoff scandal and his close ties with Abramoff are at least partially responsible for his primary defeat in a bid to become Lt. Governor of Georgia. Recent statements by perennial blow-hards like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell haven't helped either. Key primary losses by so called 'Christian Coaltion endorsed' candidates in South Carolina and Tennessee only illustrates this pont more clearly.

However, no good candidate is going to ignore the impact of the Religious Right this year. They tend to rise up at key times, leading GOTV efforts and turning the current debate into an 'on God's side' vs. 'not on God's side' issue. For some reason, that tactic works in many parts of this country.

Like I have said in previous posts on this blog, it's one thing to bring moral witness, rooted in faith, to the public square. It's another thing to align - or detach - God with one party or one candidate. The Wallis-Reed debate is worth a look. Will it help bring some rationality to the religious debate in this country?

We can only pray that it does.

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