Interesting piece by Alan Wolfe over at The New Republic about Rick Warren’s efforts for his church to welcome both parties. Warren wants to be seen as the “anti-Falwell”, and move towards a place where churches are no longer seen as connected to any one political party. Wolfe clearly sees how this benefits Obama in the short term, and Warren and America’s churches in long term.
But as I read Wolfe’s argument it became clear to me that if he is right, and I think he is, this movement spells disaster for the Republican party long term. The religious right fueled the rise of the Republican majority from Reagan to Gingrich and beyond. If Warren succeeds in moving America’s churches towards non-partisanship the Republican party loses any chance of becoming a majority party over the long haul. It may turn out that Warren is as big a threat to the Republican party in future election cycles as the progressive netroots are today.
From Wolfe’s piece - “If Rick Warren is successful in linking both political parties with his church, he will pave the way to a situation in which churches will no longer be identified with any political party. Then and only then will evangelical Protestantism become the moral and spiritual force it ought to be, urging its members to manifest their compassion, reminding them of their inclination to sin, and helping them find ways to reconcile their conviction that their God is the one and true Lord with those who adhere to other faiths or none at all.
The joint appearance of McCain and Obama at Saddleback is only one event in a long political campaign. But it is also a significant antidote to the poison that the religious right injected into American politics. The United States is unlikely ever to be as secular as Western Europe. If a better balance between religion and politics is to come about, it will because of what religious leaders do, and not because of what non-believers such as myself want to happen.”
cross posted from joetrippi.com