Decline of the Religious Right?

Mark Barna of Colorado Spring’s Gazette believes that the influence of the religious right is in decline.

“The Christian Coalition of America, founded in 1989 to give Christians a stronger voice in government policy, is struggling financially,” he writes. Has the funding gone to some similar group, or is funding for Christian-right politics dropping in general?

Barna adds:

Some polls show that young bornagain Christians are more tolerant of gays and lesbians. According to a 2007 Barna study, 28 percent of born-agains, of which evangelicals are a subset, under age 42 think it is morally acceptable to have sex with someone of the same gender, compared with 13 percent of older born-agains.

And nearly 33 percent of young Bible believers support abortion rights, compared with 27 percent of older believers – a surprisingly high percentage for both age groups, [David] Kinnaman [Barna Group president and co-author of “UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity”] said.

My guess is that the difference of views regarding homosexuality is more pronounced than what the survey suggests. My guess is that younger Christians, even when they claim to have a moral problem with homosexuality, don’t have as great of a problem, don’t want laws against homosexuality, and are more open to gay marriage.

Regarding abortion, another poll I recently cited indicates that 60 for “Mainline Protestants” and 51 of Catholics support legal abortion.

The real question, though, is whether religious as such is having a greater or lesser influence on politics. If the religious right is faltering — and that’s a big “if” — the religious left clearly is on the upswing, led by Barack Obama. Much of this is merely repackaging standard leftist views in Biblical wineskins. Yet clearly there’s a market for that.