It’s hard to know where to start with this AFP piece on a phantom “left turn” in “America’s pulpits,” so let’s just take it from the top. The article begins by saying that “America’s moderate and progressive evangelists,” long “outgunned” by the “mighty ‘religious right,’” have finally demanded a cut of the political action.
As evidence, the report cites — you’ll never guess this — Jim Wallis, who claims that a “silent majority of moderate and progressive Christians” have felt excluded from “the conversation.” One Patrick Mrotek, of the Christian Alliance for Progress, boldly declares that “We can no longer stand by and watch people speak hatred, division, war and greed in the name of our faith.”
And . . .
That’s it, really. There is some polling evidence, but all of it seemingly cuts the other way. Republicans in the last election got a decent majority of the Catholic vote and an unassailable majority of the Protestant vote by stressing issues that drive progressives to distraction.
Certain indicators are marshaled to prove that at least nominal Christian faith in America is still loud and influential. To wit, “A Newsweek poll in December 2004 found that 79 percent of Americans believed the Virgin birth was literal truth.”
I did, however, get a kick out of the author’s decision to cite Rush Limbaugh to close out the piece. “The religious left in this country,” Limbaugh is reported to have said, “hates and despises the God of Christianity and Catholicism and whatever else . . .”
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I’d like to break out of character to wish all American GetReligion readers a happy Fourth of July.