Record ticket sales by the Traditional Values Coalition and other Christian groups to their January presidential inaugural ball reflect the enthusiasm and resolve of Christian conservatives to claim their piece of Washington, D.C. They want to know: What has victory wrought?
Conservative Christian leaders say their winning role in the November elections means that they have the most clout in a generation. Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Penn., co-head of a congressional caucus promoting values legislation, says, "We have an opportunity like we have never had before in my lifetime." Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, surveys the political map and sees "the best convergence of forces at least in a generation."
"We're on a roll," says Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals.
Three out of four white voters who described themselves as evangelicals or born-again Christians voted for Bush, according to 2004 election exit polls. Also, a number of evangelicals, like Senators-elect Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and John Thune, R-S.D., were newly elected to the Senate. They join Senate leaders such as Rick Santorum and Bill Frist, both staunch gop conservatives. The November outcome seems further confirmation of University of Chicago scholar Robert Fogel's claim that the nation is in a Fourth Great Awakening and that conservative Christians continue to accumulate political influence.
During extensive year-end interviews with leading Christian conservatives, I found that they have a wide-ranging agenda that seems to know no bounds. Indeed, some top evangelicals talk in terms of changing the world. For example, Cizik has been inspired by former Ambassador ...1
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