Religious conservative leaders to Bush: Back FMA or lose election
Upset that President Bush hasn't used stronger language to condemn gay marriages in San Francisco and Massachusetts, leaders of conservative Christian political organizations say they might as well let John Kerry win the election. That's the jist of a story in today's Washington Times.

The chief critics seem to be Sandy Rios and Robert Knight, both from Concerned Women for America.

"[The Bush campaign] can't possibly guarantee a large turnout of evangelical Christian voters if he does not do what is morally right and take leadership on this issue as he did on the [Iraq] war" Rios said. "The strength of this president is in his convictions, but our people do not admire his indecision and lack of leadership on an issue so basic as the sanctity of marriage."

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made a very similar prognostication: "Social conservatives coalesce around strong leadership. That's what motivates and energizes them. And on their core issues, the leadership from the White House is not there right now." American Family Association founder Don Wildmon (who says Bush has "a major problem" with evangelicals), Christian Coalition activist Sadie Fields, and Gary Bauer are also quoted with critical marks, as is an unnamed "prominent evangelical leader" who says he's "just furious over what's going on in California and over what the President is not doing in California."

It looks like all those names are from what's called the "Arlington Group," a coalition of about 20 conservative religious political organizations that is pushing for a federal marriage amendment that would ban civil unions as well as homosexual marriages.

But while many of these groups ...

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Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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