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?
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.