Monday, August 6, 2007

Evangelical vote a 'jump ball' in '08

Mark Pinsky, the religion reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, agrees with The God Blog (well not, me directly, but I can dream ...) that the evangelical Christian vote is up for grabs in the 2008 presidential election.

Pinsky, who recently wrote "A Jew Among the Evangelicals: A Guide for the Perplexed," writes in USA Today:

On Sunday mornings, it's now commonplace to see presidential candidates in church pulpits or pews, proclaiming their faith and — not coincidentally — jockeying furiously (but piously) for crucial "values voters."

So, with so much at stake, now might be a good time to ask, "Who speaks for America's evangelicals?"

Will it continue to be bombastic, GOP-leaning, Southern preachers, such as the late Jerry Falwell, and strident, hard-line broadcasters such as Pat Robertson and Focus on the Family's James Dobson? I don't think so. From my neighborhood in the suburban Sunbelt, it is clear that a subtle, incremental but nonetheless tectonic shift is underway. And this is more than what Freud called "the narcissism of small differences."

As Joel Hunter says, the evangelical vote is now a "jump ball."

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