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The Catholic Portal and Evangelical Portal at Patheos present a symposium on the future of social conservatism and the extent to which religious groups, and the tensions and synergies between them, are shaping that future. The rise of a younger, more pro-life generation is changing the complexion of the abortion issue, while legislation is moving against gay-marriage even as judicial and cultural trends are moving toward it. How will these things pan out? How should Catholics and Evangelicals, as well as other Protestants, Orthodox, Mormons, and people of other faiths besides, respond to these developments? How do our stances on these issues give expression (if they do) to the gospel and to Christ's call to care for "the least of these"? And how can we work together where we agree, and better understand one another where we differ? Contributors to this symposium were asked to focus on six questions:

WEEK 1 (May 11-18, 2011): Where We Agree
1.  Is the evangelical commitment to social conservatism fading, as Catholics and Mormons take the lead?
2.  Are we reaching a tipping point on the abortion issue? What's the strategy from here?
3.  Is the struggle against gay marriage a lost cause, or more costly than it is worth?

WEEK 2 (May 19-25, 2011): Where We Differ 
4.  How can evangelicals be pro-life but support the death penalty? Do evangelicals only care about abortion and gay marriage, and not poverty or justice?
5.  Is Catholic opposition to contraception a relic best left behind?
6.  Should traditional Christians be comfortable supporting Mormon candidates for office?

Articles will be added over the course of the next two weeks, so please bookmark us, come back often, and join in the conversation.


Social Conservatism and White Protestant Hegemony

by Samuel K. Atchison: Columnist, Patheos Evangelical Portal

Christians who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage should understand how the cultural ground beneath them has shifted.


Dr. James Dobson

Strengthen Families, Strengthen Society

by Timothy Dalrymple

The President of Focus on the Family explains how his organization supports families, stands up for family values, and ultimately strengthens society.


Turning the Tide in the Abortion Struggle

by Timothy Dalrymple

The younger generations today are more opposed to abortion than their elders. Driving this cultural change are two factors: new technologies and the truths they reveal.


How Abortion Became Illegal in the United States

by Frederick N. Dyer

A leading authority on the issue describes the heroic efforts of 19th-century physicians to make abortion against the law.


Yes, Christians Can Vote for Mormons

by J.E. Dyer

What I want to hear from political candidates is that they favor government that is limited, constitutional, and federal. Mormons are likely to affirm these principles.


Social Conservatism and the Quality of Mercy

by J.E. Dyer

Focusing our main effort on law and regulation cedes to human government a centrality in our common moral life that it does not truly have.


As Evangelicals Falter, Catholics and Mormons Lead

by David French: Columnist, Patheos Evangelical Portal

Evangelical Protestants are failing the social conservative movement. Why?


Gay Marriage Is Not Inevitable

by Maggie Gallagher

Legislative victories in the bluest of blue states show that there's nothing inevitable about gay marriage. A leading Catholic voice reports from the front.


Why Life Is Winning

by Maggie Gallagher

Some say that no one will oppose gay marriage a few decades from now. They used to say the same about abortion.


Social Conservatism Beyond Abortion and Gay Marriage

by Jim Geraghty

Evolving Positions on Social Conservatism, Abortion and Gay Marriage: NRO's Jim Geraghty considers three questions being posed by our symposium, and addresses them head-on.


Why Churches Should Stop Performing Marriages

by Thomas S. Kidd: Historian, Baylor University

The sooner the church stops partnering with the state in civil marriages, the sooner it can start rebuilding the truly biblical vision for the union of husband and wife.


In Defense of Mormons

by Jeremy Lott: Editor, Real Clear Religion

If the purpose of political involvement is to accomplish lasting change, traditional Christians should spurn no one—least of all Mormons—who could help them make that change.


Gay Marriage and the Gamaliel Moment

by Tim Muldoon

On gay marriage, Christians may have to look to scripture and Gamaliel's advice, preferring the radical call of Jesus to live "what God has joined together," and leaving legalities behind.


Fighting Gay Marriage Is a Lost Cause

by Tim Muldoon

For Catholics, the key opposition is not to homosexuality, but to the social acceptance of sex that is not ordered toward procreation.


The LDS Church Walks a Tightrope on Public Policy

by Nathan B. Oman

The Mormon church is far less politically active, and far more constrained in its promotion of policies or politicians, than most people realize.


Opposing the Culture of Contraception

by Jay W. Richards

We may never fully restore a culture of life until we have extracted ourselves from the culture of contraception.


Russell Shaw

Moynihan and Downward Defining

by Russell Shaw

While no one advocates a return to anti-contraception laws, evidence that artificial contraception has negatively impacted society should be enough to warrant continued dialogue and persuasion on the issue.


America's Babylonian Captivity?

by Mark Shea

As the Catholic/Evangelical Symposium on Faith and the Future of Social Conservatism launches at Patheos, former Evangelical now Catholic Mark Shea ponders differences in understanding between the two, and how they impact movements.


A Vote for Romney Is a Vote for the LDS Church

by Warren Cole Smith

One evangelical explains why he cannot support Mitt Romney for President.


Christians Do Not Need a Gamaliel Moment

by Stacy Trasancos

Responding to Tim Muldoon's controversial suggestion, blogger Stacy Trasancos argues that religious conviction needs more, not less entanglement with legislation.


Trevin Wax

Five Signs the Pro-Life Cause Is Winning

by Trevin Wax: Editor, LifeWay Christian Resources

Interpreting polls and laws and cultural trends, the author finds five reasons to believe that we have reached a tipping point on the abortion issue.


Gay Marriage Fight Needs Happy Warriors

by Peter Wolfgang

Opponents of Gay Marriage need to remember what Fr. Richard John Neuhaus understood: attitude and temperament matter


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