Finally, Evangelical Christians—sometimes called “values voters”—are coming to realize that much of the conservative Republican agenda is at odds with Christian values.
In the Christian Science Monitor, Anna Clark writes:
A recent Pew study found that 57 percent of Evangelicals feel “Government should do more to help needy Americans, even if it means going deeper into debt.”
Rising sea levels and rising frustration with the GOP’s failure to protect the environment also mean that the evangelical vote is no longer necessarily a sure thing for Republicans. According to Pew, the majority of Evangelicals now believe that “stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost.” (1)
Evangelical groups are also weighing in on the immigration issue. The Christian Science Monitor reports:
Although most Americans associate theologically conservative Christians with cultural issues such as abortion and gay marriage, the evangelical political agenda is broadening. Immigration reform is one issue that has steadily gained momentum.
What might account for this change?
For one, pastors and religious leaders are talking more about the issue as a religious concern. Many scriptural passages relate to immigration – including the famous 40-year wilderness journey of the children of Israel to the Promised Land. But most evangelical churches and organizations have only recently begun to underscore the biblical connection to immigration. (2)
During the civil rights movement, Christians were a force for positive political and social change. But in recent years, instead of following Christ’s example and caring for the sick, the oppressed, and the poor, some misguided Christian groups have focused more on opposing abortion, birth control, or gay rights. This creates the perception that Christians want to control people, not help them, and it turns people away from the church.
It’s time for us Christians to stop fighting culture wars and start loving our neighbors.