Guest / Limited Access /

Evangelicals find themselves in an unaccustomed role this marathon election season. Since evangelicals came out of fundamentalist isolation and hit the political scene in 1976, mobilizing behind the first "born again" presidential candidate, Jimmy Carter, through the era of the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition, evangelicals have been riding high. We hit our peak in 2004 when, by most accounts, we had become the decisive voting bloc.

Not anymore, apparently. Many commentators are now saying evangelicals, whom they still mistakenly assume are all Republicans, are headed for a political crack-up. New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote our eulogy last fall: "Inauguration Day 2009 is at the very least Armageddon for the reigning ayatollahs of the American right."

Really? How did we go from being the most powerful voting bloc in America to utter collapse in four short years?

The answer is, we haven't. The press is merely up to its old tricks. When I worked in the Nixon White House, the press heralded me as the President's brilliant young political strategist. After having built me up, the press tore me apart, calling me the "White House hatchet man" and "evil genius." The press loves to promote people—it's good copy—and then tear them down—also good copy. They take credit for slaying monsters they helped create. We see this vicious cycle with so many public figures today.

Yes, there's a transition going on within the evangelical ranks. Aging leaders are fading, new leaders are emerging. But polls show that evangelicals are as strongly pro-life as ever, and continue to support traditional values. We are mightily concerned, as all Americans should be, with preventing terrorism. And new issues are emerging, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only The Future Lies in the Past
Why evangelicals are connecting with the early church as they move into the 21st century.
RecommendedShould Christians Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils?
Should Christians Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils?
Even at the ballot box, morality is not relative.
TrendingNicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
Nicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
I had no untapped, unanswered yearnings. All was well in the state of Denmark. And then it wasn’t.
Editor's PickLetters with the Mosque Next Door
Letters with the Mosque Next Door
How a budding friendship between a pastor and an imam brought a community together.
Christianity Today
No Utter Collapse
hide thisFebruary February

In the Magazine

February 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.