Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Rise of a New Christian Conservative Movement

This article in the New York Times highlights what I see happening among evangelicals. There is a new generation of leadership emerging among Christian conservatives. Guys like Joel Hunter, Rick Warren, Tony Campolo and Randy Brinson are creating a Christian political movement that is different from the Pat Robertson/Jerry Falwell evangelical movement. I have not decided where James Dobson falls. He has certainly been a leader among evangelicals for a long time but to this point in the presidential campaign he hasn't endorsed a candidate. I believe his silence is telling. He may not be sure where the Christian conservative movement is headed.

Rising up as the leader of this movement is Mike Huckabee. Like him or not, he's here to stay. Fred Thompson tried to put Huckabee in his place regarding the Reagan Coalition during the last presidential debate. And while I understand what he was doing, I think it only served to drive more of a wedge between the republican party and Christian conservatives.

Huckabee may become president, vice president, or neither. But one thing's for sure. He will emerge from the presidential race as the new face of Christian conservatives. Just look at the network of grassroots organizations that he now has access to. Look at the media exposure, his media savvy and his likeability. Fellow republicans may not agree with Huckabee's positions on a number of issues, but one thing is for sure. He has been able to rally this "new religious right" of the republican party like nobody else. No doubt about it. Huckabee is here to stay.


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