What's Next: Politics

Worried optimism: What evangelical leaders say are the priorities and challenges for the next 50 years.
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We're asked 114 leaders from 11 ministry spheres about evangelical priorities for the next 50 years. Here's what they said about politics.

"If we continue to put our faith in a political party or individual, a president or a court, to remedy our fallen nature," says columnist Cal Thomas, "we will be frustrated and disappointed." Even those evangelicals who are not as pessimistic say the future is perilous.

The Reverend A. R. Bernard worries that his congregation of 25,000 in New York City faces radioactive contamination from the failures of the Bush administration and also from fallout against conservative religion as "the conflict between the Muslim and Judeo-Christian worlds reaches critical mass." The radioactive burn will be "a tolerance that is trumpeted under the banners of relativism and universalism."

Family Research Council's Tony Perkins says the wedge issue of intolerant toleration will be gay rights. "As the government condones homosexual behavior, they will have to repress that which speaks against it. In Washington state, several justices have pointed to animosity against homosexuals as rooted in moral and religious positions."

Rudy Carrasco of Harambee Ministries in Los Angeles places hope in new immigrants taking leadership in politics and social action. "I am praying that our other immigrant churches will be like the Chinese churches. In San Francisco, they recently organized an anti-gay marriage march with 6,000 people." Within 50 years, he says, evangelical Wongs, Rodriguezes and Obasanjos will likely lay claim to mayorships in cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, and Atlanta.

Most of the people interviewed believe that the evangelical Left and Right will gather around core values and issues. ...

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