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
RecommendedTime To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition
Time To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition
Magazine argues for splitting civil and Christian marriage. LifeWay examines which Americans agree.
TrendingChristianity Today's 2015 Book Awards
Christianity Today's 2015 Book Awards
Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.
Editor's PickWhat Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
What Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
Rooting our celebration of Christ’s birth more deeply in our lives.
Comments
Christianity Today
No Utter Collapse
hide thisFebruary February

In the Magazine

February 2008

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