Sunday, January 15, 2012

From on high: Evangelical leaders meet to find a candidate

When the so called evangelical leadership of America meets, should ordinary workaday folks like us (a) ignore them, (b) be wary of them, or (c) thank God we finally have a word from on high about how to conduct ourselves in the remaining 2012 Republican primaries?

Plodder quickly makes a critical executive decision to cast his ballot for (a).

In a reminder that Paul Pressler was a secular political shaker and mover before and after the SBC Resurgence, the worthies met at his Houston home for their grave deliberations. I wasn’t invited. Shucks.

Gary Bauer (a forgotten former presidential candidate), James Dobson (the evangelical star whose supernova has dimmed considerably the past few years), Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and a bunch of others finally voted to consolidate around a non-Romney GOP candidate.

They settled on, get this, the non-evangelical Rick Santorum, staunch Catholic. Go figure.

This whole thing is a delightful spectacle:

  • The most solid evangelical is Rick Perry, who had the mammoth prayer rally in the same city to kick off his campaign back in August but who has since flopped repeatedly. Our evangelical leaders evidently recognize that Perry is Texas toast as a presidential candidate. Oops.
  • Their number two top evangelical candidate was thrice married Newt Gingrich, whose matrimonial activity must have been more than Perkins and the FRC could swallow, not to mention that former Southern Baptist Gingrich is no longer an evangelical but a Catholic colleague of Santorums.
  • Ron Paul's an evangelical. His name wasn't even mentioned in reports of the summit.
  • Poor Mitt Romney, not an evangelical but, having one marriage and a pristine family life, presumably meets all the moral qualifications for Pressler and his angst ridden dinner crowd but cannot get a sniff of support.
While they meet in Texas, Romney's lead in SC is over 20 points. He is almost assured of being the nominee, but I don't want to be the one to tell the evangelical leaders that their grand summit to settle on a non-evangelical candidate probably isn't worth much except as fodder for news for a day or two.


John Notestein said...

While we are called to be salt and light in the world, we have slowly become just another voting bloc to be dealt with by the candidates. I guess that makes us a salt bloc.

William said...

Well put John. I like the 'salt block' and may steal it from you one day.

Dave Miller said...

Yeah, I may steal that one too.

Lee said...

I would vote B, be wary of them. These are self proclaimed "leaders" whose following is more "flavor of the month" than it is consistent, and who are too wealthy themselves to be very sympathetic to the majority of even their own constituency.

Paul, a Lutheran turned Baptist, isn't going to be considered by anyone in the GOP who is pushed by corporate interests. And any of the wealthier conservative evangelical leaders who are heavily invested in the stock market are going to fall in that category. Their values have been sold in exchange for the profit margin in their stock portfolio, which is why they wouldn't support Huckabee last time around.

Anonymous said...

Serious questions:

How many votes do you think will be swung over to Santorum and who will they be?

As a life-long Baptist I cannot think of anyone that I know or know about that would change because of this decision. Am I out of touch?

William Thornton said...

I'm skeptical that the Grand Evangelical Summit will amount to anything, anon.

Stephen Fox said...

I think many of you are pleading ignorant of a key factor in the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC. Richard Land is clear about what he is about and CP money funds him.
None of you discuss Giberson and Stephens The Anointed in your churches; or rather I would be quite surprised if you do.
May come back to this later, hope it takes traction after the S.C. Primary at
Its a mess. Jeremiah Wright said it well: The Chickens are Comin Home to Roost!!!!