Evangelical political power overstated

There’s an article on the Religion Blog of the Dallas News that reports on a new book by Christine Wicker.

The book is an examination of how the political power of the Evangelical movement in the US was overestimated, and is now falling back from even what it was at it’s height.

There’s an excerpt from her column for the Religion News Service:

“The truth is that the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest evangelical Protestant church, has seen its growth ebb. The convention recently announced its total membership declined by 40,000 in 2007. The number of baptisms has fallen for the seventh year out of eight. …

The truth is that evangelical Christianity has had almost no influence on the country at large. Fifty years ago, the moral stances taken by evangelicals that now seem so reactionary were then commonly accepted. Abortion was abhorred. Children were rarely born out of wedlock. Homosexual behavior was hidden and considered not only morally wrong but also an indication of mental illness. Unmarried couples rarely lived together.

All that has changed.

The truth is that after more than 20 years of political action and many electoral victories, the so-called religious right has achieved few of its objectives. Abortion is still legal. The idea that gays and lesbians are normal people, behaving normally and entitled to equal rights is widely accepted.”

Read the full column here.

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