A key example of evangelicals' waning political influence is the current implosion of the Christian Coalition of America, which was once the most powerful socially conservative political group in the country. Four states have recently decided to split from the group, and today we learn that The Rev. Joel Hunter, who was recently picked to take over leadership of the group, has announced he will no longer take the job. The reason? Hunter wanted to move the organization's agenda beyond opposing abortion and gay marriage to focus on issues such as poverty and the environment, and the group would have none of it.
I believe that one key reason for voters' massive rejection of the Republican Party this month was the Repugs' obsessive, hypocritical focus on opposing gays and abortion, putting them out of touch with the issues that are foremost in most Americans' minds, such as the economy and national security. The Repugs have been thoroughly taken over by the right-wing evangelicals, and many moderate Repugs and independents are fed up. The continued implosion of the Christian Coalition, which represents the people currently in control of the Repugs, is one more sign of why the Repugs lost this month and why they will continue to lose as long as they hitch their star to Robertson, Dobson, et. al.
Rev. Hunter was set to take over leadership of the Christian Coalition on January 1. He had hoped to move the organization to focus on issues that really matter to people, like raising the minimum wage and protecting the environment. "These are issues that Jesus would want us to care about," Hunter said. But the evangelicals apparently don't think that focusing on poverty is very Christian at all:
He resigned Tuesday during an organization board meeting. Hunter said he was not asked to leave.
"They pretty much said, 'These issues are fine, but they're not our issues, that's not our base,'" Hunter said.
A statement issued by the coalition said Hunter resigned because of "differences in philosophy and vision." The board accepted his decision "unanimously," it states.
Got that kids? Trying to end poverty is not the Christian Coalition's "base," but not letting gays marry is.
I'm actually quite happy that the Christian Coalition is continuing down its self-destructive path, because that just means its total irrelevance will come all the more quickly. Meanwhile, on this Thanksgiving let's give thanks for the many people out there who are expressing true Christian values by helping those who are less fortunate.