Monday, 19 November 2012

Is this the end of the line for the evangelical Christians?

Christian conservatives, for more than two decades an important factor in U.S. politics, are struggling with the election results that clearly indicate tide of public opinion - especially on gay issues - has shifted strongly against them.

Not only did they lose the presidency but they lost fights against same-sex marriage in all four states where it was on the ballot. Add to that the defeat of anti-abortion-rights Senate candidates and successful attempts to legalize marijuana for recreational use in two states and the basis for their inner turmoil is obvious..

The President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said,  "It's not that our message - we think abortion is wrong, we think same-sex marriage is wrong - didn't get out. It did get out." ''It's that the entire moral landscape has changed. An increasingly secularized America understands our positions and has rejected them."

The election outcome was also bad news and a long-overdue wake up call for the, increasingly political, Catholic bishops. The bishops and Catholic conservative groups helped lead the fight against same-sex marriage in the four states where that issue was on the ballot. They also undertook a campaign that accused Obama of undermining religious liberty, since a provision in the health care overhaul required most employers to provide coverage for contraception.

The bishops seem unwilling to take the great leap out of the middle ages that most of us managed some time ago. It is good news that most electors ignore them but it is sad that this should in any way surprise the bishops.

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