Cal Thomas, Mitt Romney and Evangelicals

Cal Thomas penned a sober and pragmatic assessment of the typical conservative, Evangelical Christian, pro-family voter (if there is such a specimen): The Maturing of the Right.

After a factual and fair rundown of the candidates for President on the Republican side, Thomas concludes with this analysis:

That substantial numbers of conservative evangelical voters are even considering these candidates as presidential prospects is a sign of their political maturation and of their more pragmatic view of what can be expected from politics and politicians. It is also evidence that many of them are awakening to at least two other realities — (1) they are not electing a church deacon; and (2) government has limited power to rebuild a crumbling social construct.

I think Mr. Thomas has it right here, which would explain why Giuliani is polling so well among social conservatives. But, he doesn’t stop there and points out that, perhaps rather than simply voting “right,” professing believers need to live “right.”

Until this election cycle, most social conservatives supported candidates and policies based on the married with children “ideal” family model. It may be the ideal, but it is no longer widely practiced, including by many conservative evangelicals. Researchers have found many conservative Christians live in states where divorce rates are highest. These states overwhelmingly oppose same-sex marriage. Too bad they don’t do a better job supporting opposite-sex marriage in which they claim to believe.

Thomas interjects a potent dose of pragmatism, when he writes:

While “character issues” can overlap with other concerns when considering for whom to vote, conservative evangelicals are beginning to see them as less important than who can meet the multiple challenges faced by the nation. Put it this way: if you are about to have major surgery and your only choice was a church-going doctor with a high mortality rate, or an agnostic with a high success record, which would it be? I’d choose the agnostic.

I think this would square well with Paul the apostle of Jesus, who recognized the God-given role of secular government and who appealed to his rights as a citizen on a number of occasions. He never seemed to care if he was heard by a pagan, a Jew or a Christian. He simply sought basic human and civil rights.

What does Thomas’ column have to do with LDS week here at He seems encouraged that some Evangelicals will overlook Romney’s peculiar beliefs, and consider his position on issues.

Romney, a Mormon, is the poster boy for family values: one wife, handsome children, and no apparent personal skeletons in his closet, but some, not all, evangelicals can’t get over the Mormon belief that Jesus once visited America.


  1. Oh wow. I considered doing a quick post on a Drudge Report link I read this morning:

    Dobson recently sat down with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at Focus on the Family’s Colorado Springs headquarters, marking his only meeting to date with a top-tier Republican presidential candidate. While Dobson would not comment directly on the Romney meeting, he stood by comments he made late last year that many evangelicals would find it difficult to support Romney because of his Mormonism.

    and Dobson also bags Sen. Frank Thompson

    “Everyone knows he’s conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for,” Dobson said of Thompson. “[But] I don’t think he’s a Christian; at least that’s my impression,” Dobson added, saying that such an impression would make it difficult for Thompson to connect with the Republican Party’s conservative Christian base and win the GOP nomination.
    Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Thompson, took issue with Dobson’s characterization of the former Tennessee senator. “Thompson is indeed a Christian,” he said. “He was baptized into the Church of Christ.”
    In a follow-up phone conversation, Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger stood by Dobson’s claim. He said that, while Dobson didn’t believe Thompson to be a member of a non-Christian faith, Dobson nevertheless “has never known Thompson to be a committed Christian—someone who talks openly about his faith.”

    How do you feel about Dobson being a political spokesman for evangelical Christians?

    March 29, 2007
  2. pietyhill said:

    I really don’t mind… I don’t pay much attention to him on issues where he’s out of touch, as he is here. The media loves him, because they can use him to bait the liberals and progressives. If you will notice, Evangelicals are going for Giuliani right now (it’s still early). I think Cal Thomas, who became disillusioned with the Moral Majority debacle, is absolutely right in this piece.

    Christians who know their Bibles and who vote (there’s no commandment to vote, you know), will vote for anyone of any party who looks like they will wield the sword more justly and more firmly than the others:

    Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Romans 13:1 – 4

    I’m convinced that if the liberals and progressives could have just held their noses, Joe Liebermann could have beat Bush in 2004 and we’d have a Democrat in the White House right now.

    While we’re on the subject of loose lips, what did you think of David Ehrenstein in the LA Times labeling Barack Obama the Magic Negro?

    March 29, 2007
  3. “He has no past, he simply appears one day to help the white protagonist,”

    What the heck?
    I have never heard of that before and I can not think of anything that would be more insulting than that particular label.
    How strange that most of the other men he mentioned are all actors–and really, really good actors too.
    That label takes the talents and personalities of each man and blends them into some fantasy–“magic negro”–stereotype.
    *shivers* That was a pretty sick article–I’m going to do a quick Google blog search to see if any other bloggers picked up on it.

    March 30, 2007
  4. OK> I did more research and I think I understand the “Magic Negro” thing a little better. I didn’t get it at first–it just seemed insulting but after reading about 5 different blogs, it’s actually pretty funny. I just don’t think Barack is fulfilling the “Magic Negro” requirement as well as Morgan Freeman’s character in the Shawshank Redemption.

    March 30, 2007

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