Feature

The religious Right’s self-destruction

Religious conservatives are now griping that they’re stuck with John McCain as the Republican nominee, said Daniel Gilgoff, but they have only themselves to blame. The one viable candidate who actually shared conservative Christians’ positions on abortion

Daniel GilgoffUSA Today

Religious conservatives are now griping that they’re stuck with John McCain as the Republican nominee, said Daniel Gilgoff, but they have only themselves to blame. The one viable candidate who actually shared conservative Christians’ positions on abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage, and Islamic terrorism was Mitt Romney. But Romney is a Mormon, and millions of evangelicals—spoiled by seven years of having “one of their own” in the White House—simply couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a man with religious views they deem heretical. Prominent Christian leaders also shied away from Romney, since backing him would have required them to say that a candidate’s private religious beliefs aren’t relevant—a statement they couldn’t bear to make. So the votes of most evangelicals went to former Southern Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee, who never had a real chance at the nomination. These votes would have easily put Romney over the top; instead, they handed the nomination to McCain, who is hostile to social conservatives and will never support efforts to ban gay marriage and embryonic stem-cell research. As a result, the Christian Right will spend the next four years outside the White House fence, looking in—no matter who wins.  

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