August 25, 2008
Are evangelical votes up for grabs?
Faith in Public Life is holding a panel this morning to discuss the roles of evangelical and Catholic voters this fall and the energy around a common good agenda.
The panelists are Steve Waldman from Beliefnet, Ron Stief from Faith in Public Life, Alexia Kelley from Catholics In Alliance for the Common Good, Zack Exley from the blog revolutioninjesusland.com and moderator Amy Sullivan from Time.
Here are a few snippets that give you an idea of what they're saying.
Steif: People of faith are embracing a broader agenda. We’re seeking common ground, and we’re seeking new dialogue. The religious right no longer controls the values debate in this country.
Waldman: In 2004, I think there was one faith caucus meeting. It was a sad little affair. The key line from the last convention speech was John Kerry’s speech. He welcomed people of faith. It sounded like it was some other group that he was welcoming. In this case, they’re saying ‘we are people of faith.’ It’s a big open question, which way this goes. There’s a de-alignment of evangelicals, but they have not yet gone over and signed with the Democrats. They’re right in the middle.
Exley: A few years ago, I stumbled in from the secular left into this white, evangelical, most of these suburban, working class culture. I sort of married into this. I became an accidental anthropologist in this culture. I was just shocked the first time I went into these megachurches. The young people are becoming pacifists. I know there are a lot of people who voted for Bush in 2004 and will vote for Obama.