Evangelicals Want Faith Rewarded

IJ Reilly

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Christian leaders fear that influence on Bush, despite wide support, could be

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 a 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.

"Business as usual isn't going to cut it, where the GOP rides to victory by espousing traditional family values and then turns around and rewards the liberals in its ranks," said Robert Knight, who heads an affiliate of Concerned Women for America, a Christian conservative advocacy group.

"If the GOP wants to expand and govern effectively, it can't play both sides of the fence anymore. It needs a coherent message, which came through loud and clear in the election."

Matthew Staver, who heads the conservative, Florida-based legal group Liberty Counsel, said political parties tended to "take for granted those people who put them into office, especially religious or moral conservatives."

"We want to make sure that doesn't happen this time," he said.

The Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, said that if Republican leaders in Congress allowed Specter to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, their political futures could be at risk. He said a Specter chairmanship could be an "albatross" for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, a potential presidential contender.

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, one of the nation's most prominent evangelists, is so concerned about harnessing the movement's power within the GOP and national politics that this week he formed the Faith and Values Coalition, which, as he put it, aimed to be a "21st century version of the Moral Majority."

The group will seek to register millions of additional evangelical voters, starting in January, to ensure that supporters of abortion rights, such as former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, or backers of gay rights, such as Arizona Sen. John McCain, don't win the GOP presidential nomination and that Republicans retain the White House in 2008.

"If the Republican Party were to nominate a pro-choice head of the ticket, the energy level in the evangelical camp would be greatly diminished," Falwell said. "And, very frankly, I think the Republicans would lose."

...

Moreover, Bush's most recent remarks on same-sex marriage infuriated some Christian conservative leaders.

"I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that's what a state chooses to do," Bush said on ABC in an interview that aired a week before the election. His statement put him at odds not only with some social conservatives but with the Republican Party platform.

"The president has to stop endorsing homosexuality indirectly by supporting civil unions," said Knight of Concerned Women for America.

...

Knight 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," Jones said in a letter to Bush after the election. "Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ."

...
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-evangelical12nov12,1,3787655.story
 

stubeeef

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If it is wrong for the Prez to have a litmus test, is it wrong for Spector too?
 

stubeeef

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mactastic said:
Who said anything about a litmus test Stu? Besides you I mean.
From the emails that I have gotten, many want him out cause he told the prez not to send a pro-lifer to the committe cause he would kill it, pardon the pun. There are many who believe that the sen. has a litmus test, that was the reference.

Sorry I didn't spell that out, many may not be aware why there is a challenge. So thanks. :)
 

stubeeef

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you may notice the infighting in the original post between more conservative and liberal factions of the republican party. It may look familiar to the democrats and the far left and moderates.

Maybe we aren't as different as you think, then again maybe we are, there are only so many methods of political power?
 

mactastic

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stubeeef said:
From the emails that I have gotten, many want him out cause he told the prez not to send a pro-lifer to the committe cause he would kill it, pardon the pun. There are many who believe that the sen. has a litmus test, that was the reference.

Sorry I didn't spell that out, many may not be aware why there is a challenge. So thanks. :)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Republican in line to head the Senate Judiciary Committee pledged Sunday not to stall the president's judicial nominees even if they oppose abortion rights. The White House expressed confidence its choices would get a fair hearing.

Sen. Arlen Specter, a moderate from Pennsylvania who backs abortion rights, said he has supported judicial nominees in the past who do not agree with the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

"The fact is that I have supported all of President Bush's nominees in committee and on the floor. I have never applied a litmus test," Specter told CBS' "Face the Nation."

He added: "Although I am pro-choice, I have supported many pro-life nominees."
What litmus test?
 

IJ Reilly

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I didn't think I'd need to point out the gigantic pink elephant in the room after posting this article, but if it's not perfectly obvious: the furthest right elements of the Republican Party are actively engaging in an ideological cleansing campaign. Spector has to be forced out not only because he's one of the few moderates remaining in the party but also (and let's face facts here), he's not a Christian. All non-believers must go. This is the message.
 

mactastic

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Well Bush has promised to reach out to those who agree with him. Not much of a stretch for him though. I suppose the corrolary is that the rest of us can piss off.
 

stubeeef

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mactastic said:
What litmus test?
I am sure that your googles will find the mention of bush not sending him an anti-abortion candidate. I will provide if necessary, i don't think it is.
 

stubeeef

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IJ you can point that same pointy hat at the leftest pinkos in dem party who have done everything in their power to push away the moderates so to keep their narrow minority vues at the head of the donkey.

It is called a power struggle, yes there is one in the republican party right now, and if the dems had some more power to struggle over there would be one there too.

Chill dude
 

stubeeef

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mactastic said:
Well Bush has promised to reach out to those who agree with him. Not much of a stretch for him though. I suppose the corrolary is that the rest of us can piss off.
Yes that was an interesting phrase, but atleast it aint pandering. :rolleyes:
 

stubeeef

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Actually I grimised when he said it. But it is the baby vs the bathwater problem for me. Because 100% of my vote went to bush (1 of 1) doesn't mean I am in 100% agreement 100% of the time. I imagine that those on the left felt similarly about kerry, many didn't like kerry, just hated him less.
 

Desertrat

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Well, I hope the evangelicals' faith is rewarded. May they eventually go to Heaven, as they so fervently hope.

But, while they're here with us, they're just another special interest group. AARP, Sierra Club, NRA...All have claims and agendas.

I'm in accord with Specter's "no stalling", but I surely hope that doesn't mean a lack of in-depth questioning. I don't care if a judge is conservative, moderate or liberal so much as the qualifications are real, and the person has a history of striving for objectivity in following constitutional precepts.

Well, my hopes can be idealistic, can't they? :)

'Rat
 

bousozoku

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Jun 25, 2002
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Gone but not forgotten.
Why is the head of Concerned Women for America a man? I suppose they're so concerned that they can't let women be involved in the process because women can't handle it.

If the fundamentalists go with the Democrats next time, aren't they just fooling themselves into believing that someone will support their radical take on what society should be? I don't believe that any politician expecting to stay in office any length of time is going to do anything too dramatic.
 

Xtremehkr

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This isn't good for the GOP, they signed a deal with some very radical factions here and they are wanting payment. The GOP as a whole is trying to remain a party that appeals across the board. Jim Jeffords already became in independent. If there is an attempted purge of GOP members who are not conservative enough for the party it will probably split them.

But offering political rewards based on religious positions sounds like regular old cronyism to me.
 

Lyle

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bousozoku said:
Why is the head of Concerned Women for America a man? I suppose they're so concerned that they can't let women be involved in the process because women can't handle it.
I am going to jump into this thread to address that question, and then get back out really, really quick-like.

According to some information on the Concerned Women for America (CWA) home page, the Robert Knight quoted in the article is the "director of the Culture and Family Institute, an affiliate of Concerned Women for America". A different page identifies Beverly LaHaye as the founder and chairman of CWA.
 

IJ Reilly

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Desertrat said:
But, while they're here with us, they're just another special interest group. AARP, Sierra Club, NRA...All have claims and agendas.
The difference between a "special interest group" and "just another special interest group" is that the latter gets their phone messages returned.
 

Chip NoVaMac

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stubeeef said:
From the emails that I have gotten, many want him out cause he told the prez not to send a pro-lifer to the committe cause he would kill it, pardon the pun. There are many who believe that the sen. has a litmus test, that was the reference.

Sorry I didn't spell that out, many may not be aware why there is a challenge. So thanks. :)
Just because 20% of the voters that stated "morals" was the reason that 80% of their vote went to Bush, does not mean that the rest of the nation feels that way. Specter is playing towards the moderate side. Evidently the extremist side is larger than we thought. So much for Bush's second promise to be a "uniter".
 

Chip NoVaMac

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stubeeef said:
IJ you can point that same pointy hat at the leftest pinkos in dem party who have done everything in their power to push away the moderates so to keep their narrow minority vues at the head of the donkey.

It is called a power struggle, yes there is one in the republican party right now, and if the dems had some more power to struggle over there would be one there too.

Chill dude
I may be wrong, but the term is "constructionist" for those that view the Constitution literally, not something that can be used by "conservative" voices to mean what they want.

I guess "activist" judges only apply to those that don't support "your" view.
 

Desertrat

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Chip, I really doubt there are "more" extremists than you or I thought. What it is, is, they're louder.

Extremists of either Left or Right are more noted for the noise level than the numbers. They're rarely noted for rational thought, for that matter.

Further, all a Bush or a Kerry can do is TRY to be a uniter. Neither can be held responsible for the statements of those who support them. I don't hold Kerry responsible for his supporters using pejoratives against those of us who live in the south, for instance...

'Rat
 

IJ Reilly

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That's right, the only thing a political leader can do is try to be a uniter. Now, when has George Bush ever tried?
 

Desertrat

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IJ, you gonna tell me he doesn't think that he's trying for unity? I don't question his sincerity.

Sincerity in no way is synonymous with efficacy...

'Rat
 

mactastic

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Desertrat said:
IJ, you gonna tell me he doesn't think that he's trying for unity? I don't question his sincerity.

Sincerity in no way is synonymous with efficacy...

'Rat
Real uniters reach out to those who disagree with them.
 

IJ Reilly

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Desertrat said:
IJ, you gonna tell me he doesn't think that he's trying for unity? I don't question his sincerity.
I certainly do question his sincerity. I judge him by his deeds, not his words.