From yesterday's NYT:
They say they are tired of the culture wars. They say they do not want the test of their faith to be the fight against gay rights. They say they want to broaden the traditional evangelical anti-abortion agenda to include care for the poor, the environment, immigrants and people with H.I.V., according to experts on younger evangelicals and the young people themselves.
“Evangelicalism is becoming somewhat less coherent as a movement or as an identity,” said Christian Smith, a sociology professor at the University of Notre Dame. “Younger people don’t even want the label anymore. They don’t believe the main goal of the church is to be political.”
This resonates with me. I've found my own spirituality to be distinctly apolitical. Possibly, this is a direct reaction to the tactics of the evangelical right; the less I am like them, the better. Quite a Christian attitude, right? In any case, I think this bodes well for the work of the gospel. I can't see anything in the New Testament that that says the mission of the Church is to engage in the politics of the day. I see a lot about feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, visiting prisoners, and making disciples. I do think there is somewhat of a tension today about politics and religion, and that may be a distinctively American phenomenon, given the First Amendment's inherent (to my mind) dichotomy between the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses. as I read the NT and the Fathers, I see a lot of distrust of government in general. Pray for them, (see I Timothy) but mostly so they'll not bother you. It wasn't until the Edict of Milan that Christianity didn't have to worry about government. Here ins 2008, as we all struggle to see what it means to be Christian in a post-Christian world, perhaps we can see the rise of the Evangelical Right in the 1980s as the last gasp of Christendom in America.
Read the entire article here.