Friday, April 17, 2009

Is the Religious Right really losing its grip on America's conscience?

That would be the implication of this Telegraph article, starting with the title "US religious Right concedes defeat:"
America's religious Right has conceded that the election of US President Barack Obama has sealed its defeat in the cultural war with permissiveness and secularism.

Leading evangelicals have admitted that their association with George W. Bush has not only hurt the cause of social conservatives but contributed to the failure of the key objectives of their 30-year struggle.
Despite changing the political agenda for a generation, and helping push the Republicans to the Right, evangelicals have won only minor victories in limiting the availability of abortion. Meanwhile the number of states permitting civil partnerships between homosexuals is rising, and the campaign to restore prayer to schools after 40 years - a decision that helped create the Moral Majority - has got nowhere.

Though the struggle will go on, the confession of Mr Dobson, who started his ministry from scratch in 1977, came amid growing concern that church attendance in the United States is heading the way of Britain, where no more than ten per cent worship every week.
Recent surveys have suggested that the American religious landscape has shifted significantly. A study by Trinity College in Connecticut found that 11 per cent fewer Americans identify themselves as Christian than 20 years ago. Those stating no religious affiliation or declaring themselves agnostic has risen from 8.2 per cent in 1990 to 15 per cent in 2008.
A growing legion of disenchanted grassroots believers does not blame liberal opponents for the decline in faith or the failures of the religious Right. Rather, they hold responsible Republicans - particularly Mr Bush - and groups like Focus on the Family that have worked with the party, for courting Christian voters only to betray promises of pursuing the conservative agenda once in office.
“It’s a failed movement,” he said. “We will end up like England, where the church has utterly lost its way.”

Michael Spencer, a writer who lives in a Christian community in Kentucky, said the religious Right had suffered from its identification with Mr Bush, the most unpopular president in living memory, and the extremist rhetoric of some on the religious Right.
In an online article in the Christian Science Monitor that has became a touchstone for disaffected conservatives, Mr Spencer forecast a major collapse in evangelical Christianity within ten years.

Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake,” he wrote.

I should print this article, frame it and put it up on the wall it's so uplifting!!

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