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Old 04-14-2009, 12:03 AM   #16
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yeah it doesn't sound to me so much like a surrender as an announcement of a future move to guerilla methods. Which makes sense: that's where the rest of the far right have migrated.
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:30 AM   #17
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or maybe the 72-year old Dobson is realizing that time does march on. the under 40's don't share the same concerns of his generation of evangelicals.

and much of the rest of America appears to be approaching something like a consensus on many of these social issues. such as:

abortion: safe, legal, rare, possible restrictions outside of the first trimester
gays: nothing wrong with 'em; legal recognition of partnerships
women: free to choose motherhood and career, one or the other, or one and not the other
sex: fine for adults, use protection, up to the individual to decide if it's for marriage-only

am i wrong? it seems to me that the under-40s aren't comfortable declaring how others must live in order to be saved from an eternity of Hellfire. an under-40 might make a persuasive case as to why sex is best left to the bonds of matrimony, but it doesn't seem to me as if he'd turn to someone having sex and declare them as sinful. an under-40 might worry about any abortion anywhere, but he would probably agree that outlawing abortion wouldn't actually reduce the number of abortions anywhere. an under-40 might prefer for his wife to stay at home with their children, but he knows that that lifestyle isn't best for all women, everywhere.
I'm not so sure this sort of "laxity" in zeal is a generational phenomenon, but rather an issue related to a strategy in response to a more global questioning of organised religion, in particular of Christian religions. I honestly don't think Evangelicals or other practising Christians have all of a sudden become tolerant and certainly not in particular the under 40, bearing in mind that young people raised in observant religious environments and imbibed in those principles tend to be more fanatical than the most recalcitrant pastor/priest.

These days Christian churches need to appear more attractive to the general public if they wish to preserve some of their influence, and differently from the Catholic Church they realise that the questioning of organised religion does not stem in most cases from any sort of misgiving regarding the validity of what's preached in the light of what's practised, but rather from the demystification of religious institutions and the general lack of interest in spiritual issues.

A less demanding church in terms of formalisms and declaration together with an apparent synchronisation with the current values of society might succeed in pulling in part of this kind of public, whom if not threatened with anachronistic discourse might gladly join if not to "save their souls", to try to preserve "our values" in a world where traditional moral standards are quavering. And this is not a minor consideration in view that the level of political correctness does not match the level of true sentiment towards morally controversial issues
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:07 AM   #18
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yeah it doesn't sound to me so much like a surrender as an announcement of a future move to guerilla methods. Which makes sense: that's where the rest of the far right have migrated.
I'm with you. That's how I read it too. Call me paranoid, but...
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:42 AM   #19
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I'm not so sure this sort of "laxity" in zeal is a generational phenomenon, but rather an issue related to a strategy in response to a more global questioning of organised religion, in particular of Christian religions. I honestly don't think Evangelicals or other practising Christians have all of a sudden become tolerant and certainly not in particular the under 40, bearing in mind that young people raised in observant religious environments and imbibed in those principles tend to be more fanatical than the most recalcitrant pastor/priest.

These days Christian churches need to appear more attractive to the general public if they wish to preserve some of their influence, and differently from the Catholic Church they realise that the questioning of organised religion does not stem in most cases from any sort of misgiving regarding the validity of what's preached in the light of what's practised, but rather from the demystification of religious institutions and the general lack of interest in spiritual issues.

A less demanding church in terms of formalisms and declaration together with an apparent synchronisation with the current values of society might succeed in pulling in part of this kind of public, whom if not threatened with anachronistic discourse might gladly join if not to "save their souls", to try to preserve "our values" in a world where traditional moral standards are quavering. And this is not a minor consideration in view that the level of political correctness does not match the level of true sentiment towards morally controversial issues


i think this is a deeply cynical view, and i don't disagree with it entirely.

but polling shows that support for -- just one example -- gays and marriage equality is enormously higher for the under-40s. it simply is, and they're more in step with their non-evangelical peers than they are with their parents. under-40 evangelicals are also more likely to have grown up in exurban or suburban environments as opposed to the deeply rural areas of their parents, and they're much more likely to actually know a gay person.

the parents of these baby evangelicals might sense a need to loosen up on some issues, and to heighten the importance of others (environmentalism) in order not to lose their kids, but i'm not so sure there are to many under-40 evangelicals who are in on the cynical, conscious re-branding you're alluding to.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:39 PM   #20
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i think this is a deeply cynical view, and i don't disagree with it entirely.

but polling shows that support for -- just one example -- gays and marriage equality is enormously higher for the under-40s. it simply is, and they're more in step with their non-evangelical peers than they are with their parents. under-40 evangelicals are also more likely to have grown up in exurban or suburban environments as opposed to the deeply rural areas of their parents, and they're much more likely to actually know a gay person.
If they're finally getting the meaning of free will, it's great news. However I'm not so sure polling reflects true sentiment. Call me skeptical, but such a sudden turnover regarding controversial issues such as gay marriage sounds a little suspicious.

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the parents of these baby evangelicals might sense a need to loosen up on some issues, and to heighten the importance of others (environmentalism) in order not to lose their kids, but i'm not so sure there are to many under-40 evangelicals who are in on the cynical, conscious re-branding you're alluding to.
Probably they aren't in on this re-branding, but I would be surprised if the leadership of their churches wasn't.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:27 PM   #21
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i think the Jim Wallis/Sojourner's crowd is pretty sincere, for the most part.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:50 PM   #22
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If they're finally getting the meaning of free will, it's great news. However I'm not so sure polling reflects true sentiment. Call me skeptical, but such a sudden turnover regarding controversial issues such as gay marriage sounds a little suspicious.
There's a big change through generational lines. I see it first hand in my own church... I think part of it is a shift on marriage in general. It's not the get married as soon as you graduate, picket fence, 2.5 kids thing anymore... I think we've seen the past generations screw it up so much that's it's just not something they rush into, or they look at it as something that is not an automatic but for those that just really want it.
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:38 PM   #23
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I will not miss the religious right at all (but I dont think they will ever truly "surrender")

I am an agnostic, evolution believing, pro gay marriage, pro stem cell research, and pro-choice person. I am everything the religious right hates.

by the way, have you guys seen the movie "Jesus camp"?? That is what the religious right (the far right) is trying to do. An army of brainwashed children- that is some scary shit. I have nothing against anyone's personal beliefs but that movie just creeped me out.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:22 PM   #24
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I don't have a problem with the U.S. being post-Christian though if the public throws out the baby with the bathwater it will probably mean that philosophy will be put on the backburner even more. Nihlism is a dead end even more so than Christianity.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:25 PM   #25
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I don't have a problem with the U.S. being post-Christian though if the public throws out the baby with the bathwater it will probably mean that philosophy will be put on the backburner even more. Nihlism is a dead end even more so than Christianity.

Would largely agree, funnily enough.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:29 PM   #26
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Most of these 'religious right' folk are fairly good tactically but quite stupid strategically.

The very fact that they so closely aligned themselves with the Bush adminstration, should tell us this. They thought they were playing a long term game, but history is bigger than them.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:34 PM   #27
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But Tom De Lay promised a permanent majority. I can see why they'd think that was a sure thing.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:32 AM   #28
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Most of these 'religious right' folk are fairly good tactically but quite stupid strategically.

The very fact that they so closely aligned themselves with the Bush adminstration, should tell us this. They thought they were playing a long term game, but history is bigger than them.


this is quite true. the Rove legacy was to do exactly enough to win 50.5% of the vote (all else above is bonus), and to win that day's news cycle.

eventually, if you make your arguments on a minute-by-minute basis, you will lose. it might eek out out an election, and maybe even a re-election, but it isn't a way to win long term and i think that's what's happened, or in the process of happening.
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Old 04-15-2009, 03:30 AM   #29
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this is quite true. the Rove legacy was to do exactly enough to win 50.5% of the vote (all else above is bonus), and to win that day's news cycle.
It was not that he only wanted 51%.

His 'so-called' genius was that he could get in the low 50s in 2000, 2002, and 2004. Bush, Cheney and Rove could never grow it to 55- 60 %

Once they became more "inclusive" their core base would just stay home and not vote.

But, they did have their permanent majority dreams. They thought they could consistently get in the 51 to 53 per cent range.
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