The Religion News Service has an interesting read on the future of Evangelicals now that Obama is set to take over as President. Read below:
Faced with a Barack Obama presidency and Democratic gains in Congress, evangelicals are planning their next steps in a transformed political landscape, with hopes for some common ground and plans to continue fighting for social issues that had mixed results at the ballot box.
"Where we agree, such as standing against genocide in Darfur and protecting basic human rights around the world, we're going to support him," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of Obama.
"On issues on which we disagree, we'll do our best to persuade him."
Wasting little time, conservative Christian groups have already drafted open letters to Obama stressing their opposition to abortion, and are taking steps to reassure supporters that they will fight any attempt to give the new administration a blank cheque -- especially on social issues.
"Barack Obama can clearly claim a mandate from the American people on the economy, maybe even our standing in the eyes of the rest of the world, but he cannot claim a mandate to impose or to advance a liberal social agenda," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
While exit polls indicate Obama gained ground among Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Hispanic voters, he won only one in four evangelical votes, and less than half (43 per cent) of weekly church-goers.
Though conservative Christians won't have "the same type of relationship we had with the Bush administration," Perkins said the passage of amendments in three states that banned same-sex marriage shows their values have staying power.
"This was, I think, more of a referendum on the Republican Party than conservative values," he said. "We focused upon the marriage amendments in the three states ... They passed in two states (California and Florida), which Barack Obama carried handily."
None of the state referenda on abortion -- including one on parental consent in California and a "personhood" amendment in Colorado -- passed on Election Day, but Land said conservative Christians will be undeterred by those losses at the polls.
"Pro-life Catholics and pro-life evangelicals aren't going anywhere," he said.
Here’s the good news for Evangelicals. Obama and his team don’t seem to have a huge appetite for engaging in a liberal social agenda…for now. The economy is front and center. It’ll be interesting to see what happens as his administration moves forward. Don’t expect progressive social policy to be rammed through Congress anytime soon. Right now, social conservatives need to be more concerned about what Obama can do with the stroke of a pen. Executive Orders are the big threat.