An encouraging sign:
Evangelicals, particularly younger evangelicals, are undergoing a shift in attitudes. Many have little interest in the self-destructive purity of the prophet or the raw pragmatism of the kingmaker. They remain culturally conservative, but uncomfortable with a harshly judgmental tone in their politics. They find the model of the religious right too narrow and are increasingly motivated by a broader range of social concerns, from disease in Africa, to the environment, to racial reconciliation. And they want to be a witness to these values instead of a tool in the power games of others.
The social and cultural witness to certain values is a long way from the use of politics to impose them on others. It seems to me that our society needs Christian witness - on charity, on caring for the environment, on protecting the vulnerable, on seeking peace, on opening dialogue - as much as it doesn't need Christianist intolerance, politicking and campaigning. It's especially important, it seems to me, that Christian witness also regain humility and an indifference to power. Forsaking a partisan identity is critical to this. On abortion, for example, serious and sustained efforts to highlight the life of the fetus, and to appeal to the conscience of a free people to make a free choice against it is a more authentic Christian witness than taking control of one political party in order to ban it.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.