A Pro-Gay McCain and Emptying Churches: Hello, New World?


On the “Colbert Report” last night, Meghan McCain said “I do believe that the Republican party can be a safe place for the gay community. …  If you go to the basic beliefs of the Republican party—keeping government out of your life—why can’t that include marriage? … I’m a lot more religious than I let on. I have a great relationship with God. I was raised to love people and not judge people. And I think if two people fall in love they should have the option to get married, just like I can.”

Ms. McCain’s youth and Valley-Girl accent make her easy enough to dismiss. But this sincere, passionate, smart 24-year-old is addressing, and even helping to create, the next generation of Republicans. When people her age look at the likes of Cheney, Limbaugh, Gingrich, and Palin, they don’t see a party they’d like to attend. They see a toxic group of irrelevant cranks licking their wounds and trying to defend a legacy they can’t.

Every once in a while, through the tsunami storm of our constant media, you get a quick, sure view of the future. Watch McCain’s appearance on Colbert, and tell me you don’t see the future of the Republican party.

A few weeks back the cover story of “Newsweek” was  The End of Christian America. In March, “USA Today” ran a huge story, Most Religious Groups in USA Have Lost Ground, Survey Finds. Central to both pieces was the recent American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), which showed that in the last 18 years the percentage of Americans who identify themselves a Christian has dropped a whopping eleven percent.

People are walking away from church, and young Republicans are breaking the bonds that for so long, to so many, have made “Christian” and “Republican” practically synonymous.

If I had to guess, I would say that this is no mere trend. It feels to me like we’re looking at the birthing of a new American order.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Greta Sheppard

    Indeed, you may just be right, John!

    For sure, 'church' and 'the church' has lost it's compelling appeal.

    I am saddened, because the 'Insitution' that I have worked in for many years has seemingly lost touch with 21st century reality.

    Then again…Jesus said in Matthew 16: "I will build My church . . . and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." I always have taken the words of Jesus seriously…I pay attention to them. He was always in touch with His Father. When He is in charge, He causes things, good or not, to change within us, before change can occur without our walls! Know what I mean? He always goes to the heart of a matter…even in us…it's important that 'we', who make up the 'institution of the 'church', be willing to change our religious mind set and see things through Jesus' loving, accepting eyes!

  • Jounda

    The fact that this young lady actually sais "I have a great relationship with God," says something to me! As a recovering PK (preachers kid) I liken the church to a group of old republicans – no way we are changing this party and don't think you're sitting in my pew – I've sat there for 35 years and my grandma before me – kind of attitude!

    The church and possibly the political parties have missed the boat for years by not recognizing change and not getting the central theme of Christ's message – LOVE! Coming from a Pentecostal background I think it is hard for so many because they've become so wrapped up in the 'religion," and as Greta stated so many have "lost touch with the 21st century reality."

    I don't know Ms. McCain but hey, I might just vote for her in 2012!

    Great post John!

  • Two excellent perspectives. Beautifully said, both of you. I'm lucky to have you guys here.

  • PurplePeople

    "It feels to me like we’re looking at the birthing of a new American order."

    Well, we can hope so anyway…..

  • HW

    I earned an undergrad degree in political science, and a master’s degree in another discipline. I have come by my political policy views through careful study and experience.

    Much more importantly, I’m a follower of Jesus.

    I often find the writings of Camille Paglia — a Renaissance woman who happens to be a lesbian, a professor, and columnist for Slate.com — very thought-provoking.

    Paglia actually thinks some conservatives — even ones you just listed — can be intelligent people. I appreciate her open mind.

  • HW–Oh, yeah, there’s no question but that those guys are all very smart indeed. Good point!

  • John,

    In reference to the posting by HW and some of the others; They bring to mind a couple of quotes that I wished I would recall the author.. "There seems a way that is right to man but in the end leads to destruction" and another quote I remember but wont recall author at the moment is something about the wisdom of man is foolishness unto God.

    Sometimes all these collegiate degrees folks are obtaining one could almost make the mistake that thinking anyone with a college education does not have the common sense to operate a twist tie.

    Obviously I would make that mistake if I pre-judged you in the same manner so therefore I'll "Judge not".

  • The Law was made for Man, not Man for the Law. I love religion – for all it's capability to inspire great mental and physical harm – but I think a lot of my personal responses to the decline of traditional worship is really down to a love of the Law, so to speak. I keep forgetting that, as the Christian philosophy is that of servitude, if it isn't serving humanity, then I should at least be willing to let go. Even the good aspects of religion seem so… out of touch with 21st century humanity, sometimes. Perhaps empty churches won't be such a good thing – more homeless shelters!

    Besides, a people with the 'Law written in their hearts' probably wouldn't need churches, would they…?