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March 10, 2005

Since the MSM Can’t Beat the Evangelicals, It is Refocusing Its Spotlight on Their Greens and Blues

It’s taken a few months for the mainstream media to figure out just how to deal with the extreme makeover that seems to have left evangelicals muscle-bound and primed for battle.

But now there is an emerging MSM strategy for neutralizing the evangelical impact on American politics. While not abandoning the stratégie de guerre of featuring old-line fundamentalists and evangelical firebrands in an unflattering and embarrassing light, there’s a new plan.

Find the evangelicals that are espousing liberal positions and position them in a radiant glow.

How else do you explain the media fascination with Jim Wallis, a barnacled vessel of 70’s evangelical liberalism? Wallis is everywhere and his book God’s Politics is the new holy grail of the MSM.

Now today, The New York Times is painting the Christians green.

“A core group of influential evangelical leaders has put its considerable political power behind a cause that has barely registered on the evangelical agenda, fighting global warming,” the Times gushes.

The Washington Post leads a similar article

with a quote from a Washington-area pastor:

Such "creation care" should be at the heart of evangelical life, along with condemning abortion, protecting family and loving Jesus. He uses the term "creation care" because, he says, it does not annoy conservative Christians for whom the word "environmentalism" connotes liberals, secularists and Democrats.

I am in favor of expanding public understanding of the concerns of evangelicals beyond the hot-button issues of abortion and same-sex marriage. Some of Wallis’ cautions are worth considering and I agree that care of God’s creation is a valid Christian concern.

But isn’t it interesting that the most prominent and positive glow surrounding 2005 evangelicals features issues the MSM know and love. As evangelicals reach into the liberal pockets and pick up issues of legitimate concern to them, it is those who lean left that are getting the spotlight.

Since the MSM doesn’t like the entire painting on the evangelical canvas, it will shine its spotlight on the greens and blues.

Posted by Jim at March 10, 2005 03:16 PM

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fascinating, it's the "if you can't beat them, join what you can" mentality. I have something they can join...check out the newest approach Samaritan's Purse ( is taking on helping tsunami victims. If liberals want to help, so much the better. If God's work is done, that is what matters.

Posted by: Paula Whidden at March 10, 2005 04:51 PM

There are few more entertaining hobbies that rhetorically knocking around liberal Christians, but they do serve one critical purpose: they frequently remind us of Jesus' command to serve the needs of the poor. We might see it as a place for charities, and they might see it as an activity of government, but it is a command from God.

I think that too often conservative Christians yield social justice issues to the Left. Liberal Christians might have a creaky sotierology or play fast and loose with Biblical interpretation, but they do tend to take economic obligations seriously. Let's hope that they continue to poke us with this stick.

Posted by: John at March 10, 2005 04:51 PM

"We might see it as a place for charities, and they might see it as an activity of government, but it is a command from God."

Amen John. I prefer the charity route, but the fact is - PEOPLE ARE STINGY. If Americans, including Christians, prefer to let an inefficient, wasteful government fulfill what should be their responsibility to their neighbors, then so be it.

If we took our responsibility seriously and didn't whine about the government taking too much from us so that we cannot give (while we conveniently ignore that we have 3 TVs, 2 Computers, 3 cars, a boat, packed fridge and closet, etc.), then the government couldn't justify taking our money.

"We" (I'm talking Americans, not just Christians) have to lead on this issue and serve our communities through giving of time and money. Only then can "we" go to the government and say - "Why you taxing "us" at a level disproportionate need? Frankly, we are not taxed and the government does not spend anywhere near the need. So when tax increases come and spending proposals come, I say - serves "us" right. "We" (again - Americans) asked for it.

Posted by: Rick Brady at March 10, 2005 05:23 PM

Give me a day or two, and I'll be back on soapbox.
Tax cuts = good
Government programs = bad

Posted by: Matt at March 10, 2005 06:33 PM

Ok - just a question. Who here has read Wallis' new book?

Posted by: Ray Grieselhuber at March 11, 2005 01:22 AM

I confess. I haven't read anything for recreation in a few months.

Posted by: Rick Brady at March 11, 2005 01:40 AM

I've read about half of the book and skimmed more. It's a good read. I disagree with almost all of his proposed solutions, however.

Posted by: Jim Jewell at March 11, 2005 08:26 AM

Like what, for example? (What solutions did you disagree with?)

Posted by: Ray Grieselhuber at March 11, 2005 09:27 AM