The Religious Right Is Dead Again
The Times comes again to bury the religious right in David Kirkpatrick's 8,100-word cover story on Christian conservatives for the Sunday magazine. Reported from Wichita, Kansas, "End Times for Evangelicals?" declared the tide is out for the Christian conservative movement, as abortion and gay marriage are losing their potency and evangelicals are going green and pacifist.
Kirkpatrick talked to several religious figures, most of whom conveniently repeat similar dissatisfactions with Bush and the war. An exception is fiery conservative preacher Terry Fox of Wichita, who Kirkpatrick called "the Jerry Falwell of the Sunflower State," mocking: "With flushed red cheeks and a pudgy, dimpled chin, Fox roared down from Immanuel's pulpit about the wickedness of abortion, evolution and homosexuality."
Here's Kirkpatrick's broad-stroke summary of the presidential field:
"Today the movement shows signs of coming apart beneath its leaders. It is not merely that none of the 2008 Republican front-runners come close to measuring up to President Bush in the eyes of the evangelical faithful, although it would be hard to find a cast of characters more ill fit for those shoes: a lapsed-Catholic big-city mayor; a Massachusetts Mormon; a church-skipping Hollywood character actor; and a political renegade known for crossing swords with the Rev. Pat Robertson and the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Nor is the problem simply that the Democratic presidential front-runners - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator Barack Obama and former Senator John Edwards - sound like a bunch of tent-revival Bible thumpers compared with the Republicans."