For good or ill, the evangelical community has been highly politicized for the last 30 years.
The Religious Right has become a political force that has the power to sway elections and the very direction of the political conversation. But, I fear that the platform of the Religious Right seems to many to be more about power than morality.
During the nineties when President Clinton had a very public moral failing he was openly attacked for his failings. The constant claim was that personal character was an important factor in one’s leadership. The slogan “Character Matters” popped up across the country. However, these same people often seemed unbothered by politicians such as David Vitter who was caught in not only immoral but illegal activities. The hypocrisy is palpable. However, Newt Gingrich’s viable candidacy among values voters may be the height of this wave of hypocrisy. Gingrich not only personally manifests the extreme lack of personal values which were such a touchstone 15 years ago but he shames anyone for even bringing up the topic. The shocking part is that he gets applauded for this. When the world sees the Religious Right supporting this type of hypocrisy they see the hypocrisy of Christians. It destroys our witness.
I am imagining a world where the Presidential election comes down to a choice between Newt Gingrich or President Obama. For whom will the Religious Right vote? The devoted family man…or the Republican.
Comedian John Stewart is excellent at pointing out the hypocrisy that the world sees.