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Religious right runs for third

By Alexander Carpenter

This weekend, while Adventist Forum members debated the finer points of Adventist sectiness — can it increase with maturity? — the old goaders of majority evangelicalism met in Salt Lake City to express their discomfort with Giuliani’s dominance in the GOP presidential primary.
Now the religious right’s lockstep support for the Iraq war is coming back to hurt the old leadership of James Dobson, Tony Perkins and Richard Viguerie.  In expending their moral influence on hyping the post-9/11 neoconservative clash of civilizations fantasy, they have confused their believers and lost their more reflective members: pro-life and pro-pointless slaughter?
Because pro-choice Giuliani is also running to be the president of 9/11, as both the Onion and Thomas Friedman note, the religious right is getting split by its own rhetoric. As Chris Matthews notes, what these religious right leaders really care about is raising money on pro-life issues and wielding influence over GOP candidates.  Now a new generation of Christian conservatives care about a broad range of issues, pro-life and pro-poor and pro-stopping global warming.   
According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, evangelicals 18-29 have gone from a 55% GOP party affiliation in 2005 to 40% in 2007. (Interestingly, during the Adventist Forums conference Keith Lockhart noted Adventist party affiliation has shifted in the last 15 years from a majority Republicans to now about only 35% of Adventists identifying with the GOP.
In this six minute interview, David Kuo, a contributer and former Bush official, notes why this has-been guard, which come out of Salt Lake City threatening to form a “pro-life” third party, is losing ground.

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