Young people have been turning away in larger numbers from the extremism, hate and intolerance of the religious right in recent years. In 2008, for example, polling showed that Barack Obama doubled his support among young evangelicals compared to John Kerry’s performance with the same group in the 2004 presidential election. From a New York Times article shortly after the 2008 election:

“There is definitely a generational division,” said David P. Gushee, professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University and author of “The Future of Faith in American Politics: The Public Witness of the Evangelical Center.”

“Young evangelicals,” Dr. Gushee said, are “attracted to a broader agenda” beyond abortion and homosexuality, that includes the environment, poverty, human rights and torture.

Now religious-right pooh-bah Ralph Reed, former head of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, says young people will become conservatives as they get older. The chairman of the newish Faith & Freedom Coalition, which seeks to unite tea party and religious-right activists, says time is on the religious right’s side:

“There are three things that will happen that will make them far more receptive to the conservative values of faith,” Reed said. “No. 1, they’re going… Read More

Here they go again — another effort to drag churches into partisan politics.

This fall Vision America, a religious-right group based in Texas, is sponsoring “40 Days to Save America” — which calls on Americans to pray, fast and repent for “our national and and personal sins against the God of Heaven.” Rick Scarborough, Vision America’s president, says of the event:

“While we are deeply troubled by the direction in which our nation is headed this is not a political effort. The political problems which beset us are symptoms of a deeper spiritual malaise. In times of national tribulation, our people have often been urged to humbly turn to God in prayer.”

It’s not a political effort? So then why have those 40 days stretch from September 28 to November 6 — election day? And the official list of supporters includes right-wing Republican congressmen and a virtual “who’s who” of religious-right groups that typically back GOP candidates, such as the American Family Association, Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America. Of course this is “a political effort.”

“Our national survival is at stake,” the organizers declare on the “40 Days” website. And in what has… Read More

From a religious-right group’s email to activists today:

“Rick Santorum is from God and will win with Christians and Catholics uniting for Santorum.”

“Christians and Catholics”? As if Catholics aren’t Christians?

Of course, it’s bad enough that religious-righters try to deify their favored political candidates (like Santorum). But the suggestion that Catholics are something other than Christians should tell you what they really think about even their supposed allies.… Read More

Jeremy Reynalds, founder of an emergency homeless shelter in Albuquerque, calls on fellow evangelicals to practice the compassion they preach: I'm an evangelical Christian, although I'm hesitant to use that word because of the negativity it routinely engenders. I prefer to think of myself as an ordinary person who loves Jesus and wants to spend his remaining days helping people. At one point not so long ago I considered myself a proud conservative evangelical Republican Christian. Now I'm just me, conservative in some aspects, liberal in others and loving Jesus in all. So what happened? Well, I'm no longer willing to subscribe to the political correctness which dominates so much of evangelical "orthodoxy." To be honest, I don't think some of it is very, well, "Christian."…… Read More

A new Christian-themed specialty license plate, approved by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles board last December, went on sale this week. Here’s what we told Fox News about our concerns:

“I think you want to be very careful when you give government the authority to favor a particular religion in an official way such as this,” Dan Quinn, communications director for the Texas Freedom Network, told FoxNews.com.

“That’s what bumper stickers are for,” Quinn said of religious decorations on vehicles. “We support religious freedom for everybody. The question is: Do you need government approval for that? We don’t want government having that authority.”

The group had previously blasted the plate as “disrespectful,” saying in a December press release on its website that “It’s become pretty clear that our governor [Rick Perry] is dismissive of religious beliefs other than his own, and now his governmental appointees have voted to send a message that Texas is unwelcoming to the religious faiths of some of its citizens.”

Our hate mail typically spikes when we’re quoted by Fox. (Go figure.) In any case, the writer of the following email apparently checked out our website, including the section on our… Read More