Radio host and columnist Frank Pastore interviews Tony Perkins, former Louisiana legislator and president of the Family Research Council.
Frank Pastore: There is a huge effort by the mainstream media and on the left … to get you convinced that conservative Christianity is on the way out. Folks in the mainstream media are trying to pound that message down your throat. There are some willing accomplices at seminaries and even denominations and so it is important to hear from “the leadership” on what is actually is going on. How are we doing on the battle, in the culture war? Are we having an influence? …
It’s not time to get discouraged—now is the time to rally and to realize that we are not about a political party. We are about God’s Kingdom, and that is really the larger theme…. You know that there is an effort to try to discourage the conservative evangelical voter—that, “You know what? You don’t count anymore. You don’t matter. Your agenda’s old hat, look what the Republican Party is doing. You conservative Christians, go have a holy huddle on Sunday morning and go back to doing that, because you don’t have any influence on culture.”
Tony Perkins: It’s fascinating. You see these stories that cycle [through] about every four to eight years. I am actually working on a book with Bishop Harry Jackson, “Personal Faith, Public Policy” and our first chapter is “Is the Religious Right Dead?” I went back and did some research. Newspaper articles almost every four years or eight at best write the obituaries of these social conservative Christians. Saying the movement is over, it is never going anywhere.
The fact is, as you set the stage for this discussion, what we are doing in terms of the Religious Right, to use their terminology, we are the apologists for the values that the vast majority of Americans share. What we talk about as mainstream is mainstream, was mainstream. Our groups really emerged on the scene 25 years ago to defend what was normal only because the other side began to attack them. And there is a big push, you’re right; there is a big push by the left to draw unwitting evangelicals into these other issues like global warming. Let me say that it is an issue of concern to Christians—the environment is an issue of concern, poverty is an issue of concern. The Bible is very clear about that, and as Christians we are involved in that, but it is how we address it and the priorities which we give it. Those on the left, they want to focus exclusively on issues of poverty, exclusively on this issue of global warming.