The Evangelical Vote of 2008

In 2004 they went overwhelmingly for George Bush over John Kerry. In the 1990s Clinton got 40-45%. This time around Evangelicals are up for grabs; or are they? And if they aren’t then why aren’t they? I consider myself a Christian, I accepted Jesus as my lord and savior, I’ve read the bible, I pray before I rest my head; the whole deal, but this time it seems being Christian isn’t enough. You just can’t vote on the basis of “Pro-Life” or “Pro-Choice”, pro or anti gay marriage. This time Evangelicals are looking at the bigger picture. Young Christians are leading the way and this time it looks like Barack Obama is their destination; at least for most of them, naturally. The issues that mean most to them: The environment, climate change, poverty, and war. Classic leftist views that found there way into the minds and hearts of America’s Christian youth.

Between the two candidates Obama is the one who seems more open and relaxed when professing his religion and religious views. His support for George Bush’s Faith based initiatives proves it. Although, my cynical ways lead me to believe he’s merely pandering to older Evangelical Conservatives. I’ll keep you updated. It’s funny how he’s never mentioned Faith Based Initiatives since his press conference on Religion a few months ago. I guess he saw the recent poll numbers showing McCain to have a 3-1 lead with Evangelical voters. I wonder why that is. If the media proclaims Obama to be the first Democrat since Bill Clinton to receive 40% or more of Evangelical votes, and if the E-voters are “toss ups” then why is McCain, who by all means isn’t as vocal about his faith, and who called Evangelical leaders such as Pat Robertson, “Agents of Intolerance” winning E-voters hand over fist? I’ll tell you why.

Traditional issues such as abortion and gay marriage reign supreme as the chief issues in which E-voters support a candidate. McCain’s consistent Pro-Life record, largely ignored by the press in an effort to highlight Obama as a “Friend of Evangelicals”, a Bipartisan if you will, holds strong for him. Obama, who has about 27% of the E-vote has his consistent Pro-Choice record to blame for that. He not only voted against a ban on partial birth abortion, a bill in which his fellow Democrats voted for in the Illinois State Senate, he used the famous Sermon on the Mount as justification for his pro-choice and pro-gay marriage stance.

So in the end I doubt the E’s will stray far from home. But that’s not to say they won’t ever leave in the future. More and more young Christians look to move past the old cultural battles that so engulfed their parents in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the era of anti-porn, anti-gangster rap, and anti-Penthouse rallies lead by the late great, and controversial Jerry Falwell and other Evangelical leaders is over. Republicans can no longer rely on the influence of the old Christian Right; because their influence is fading.

I’m supporting John McCain not because he’s pro-life and I’m pro-life, but because I believe he’s the best man for the job. I’m not supporting Obama because he’s pro-choice and I’m pro-life, I’m not supporting Obama because he’s an empty suit, an elitist, and he’s a progressive with Karl Marx tourettes. Even though I’m a Christian I don’t consider myself an Evangelical voter. Abortion and the sanctity of marriage are important, but I put my personal beliefs aside when I vote for a president. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know.