Living in Washington, D.C., is like living in a no-man’s land. First one army occupies the city, then the other.

Now the conquering Democrats have swept into town. They have found the natives friendly. Washington’s restaurants are filled with new faces brokering power lunches; real-estate agents gleefully peddle D.C.’s inflated housing. First Cat Socks prowls the White House; Millie is in a distant dog house. And so are many Republicans.

Evangelical leaders seem particularly forlorn. For 12 years they enjoyed unusual access to places of power; now the White House doors are slamming shut. Many fret about the future.

And regardless of one’s partisan persuasion, some of the new administration’s positions are cause for concern for Christians. President Clinton supports the Freedom of Choice Act, fetal-tissue research, RU 486, and gays in the military.

Evangelicals and moral conservatives have sounded the alarm. After the election, Jerry Falwell said he was “inundated” by requests to crank up the Moral Majority. A direct-mail expert predicted banner fund raising for conservative Christian groups. Yet another (apparently forgetting the biblical injunction to respect and pray for one’s leaders) talked about “torpedoing Clinton,” and recapturing the White House in 1996.

Most of the rhetoric is political—a rerun of eighties plans to reverse this nation’s moral decline by seizing political power. But that strategy didn’t work. Do we really think more of the same will fare better now?

Not by politics alone

Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting political disengagement. By my theology, Christians must contend for biblically informed morality and justice in the halls of power. Justice Fellowship continues to do so, as do many Christian groups, ...

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