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Votes of the Faithful

Most evangelicals are not following the leftward lurch of some prominent Christian groups.

12:00 AM, Oct 31, 2008 • By MARK D. TOOLEY
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Hoping to affirm the traditional political focus of evangelicals and other active religionists, conservative clergy have dispatched the "Judeo Christian Review", in the form of a letter and online journal, to over 325,000 places of worship. Its publisher is O'Neal Dozier, a former player with the Chicago Bears and New York Jets who now pastors an evangelical church in Pompano Beach, Florida.

"If a politician holds that homosexuality is not immoral, if he pushes for homosexual unions, gay military integration, 'same-sex citizenship' and complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act--which protects states from forced recognition of 'gay marriages' performed elsewhere--then we as leaders have both the right and the sacred, affirmative duty to somehow make sure our congregations know the documented facts," reads the opening blast from The Judeo Christian Review, which was mailed to every available church and synagogue address. "If, like ancient King Manasseh or Herod, a sitting or aspiring leader endorses child sacrifice--especially by bloody, excruciating means such as Partial Birth Abortion--we must not only preach from the Bible on the sanctity of innocent human life, we are honor-bound to alert our congregations to precisely what sort of barbarism that person stands for."

The language from The Judeo-Christian Review is obviously blunt. But it may resonate more with typical evangelicals than the more appeals of the elite evangelical left based on environmental concerns and hostility to the U.S. war on terror. McCain has not made strong personal appeals to evangelicals, beyond his selection of evangelical Sarah Palin as his running mate. But the long established conservative voting habits of white evangelicals, which are motivated by but are not limited to social issues, may be enough to ensure solid majorities for the Republican, irrespective of the rest of the electorate.

Mark D. Tooley directs the United Methodist committee at the Institute on Religion and Democracy.