The Rev. Jerry Falwell's passing seems to have traumatized the mainstream liberal press. Absent in its coverage of the event is even the normal pretense of objectivity.
Take your choice. According to Newsweek, Falwell's "influence on American politics has been vastly overstated." His role, the article concludes, in the rise of the Christian right was not "significant." And according to Time, evangelical Christians are now moving into a big non-ideological tent, where all points of view are welcomed, and the evangelical movement has "left Falwell behind."
I think a brief visitation with facts and reality might be in order here.
The point of the Moral Majority, which Falwell launched in 1979, was to transform a politically dormant Christian evangelical universe into a political force.
Today, approximately one of every four American voters is a Christian evangelical.
We've had over recent weeks three debates of presidential contenders -- two Republican, one Democratic. Despite the fact that massive entitlement programs are bankrupting the country, that health-care costs are going out the roof, that public education is in bad shape, abortion is among the main domestic issues that these candidates are being grilled on.
The Pew Research Center reported last year on attitudes on religion and politics.
In response to the survey question "Should houses of worship express views on politics?" 51 percent responded affirmatively. However, 63 percent of white evangelicals and 68 percent of black Protestants said "yes."
Assessing Falwell's influence, the Pew Center's executive vice president, Paul Taylor, wrote: "... (I)f the key goal of his movement was to encourage a formerly apolitical group to become politically engaged -- and to do so in part through the guidance of organized religion -- then he leaves behind a powerful legacy."
According to Pew Center senior fellow John Green, "Falwell changed the way that evangelicals think about political activity."
What about allegations that the evangelical movement is no longer the movement of Jerry Falwell? According to Time and others, the edge is disappearing and more evangelicals are buying into the so-called "progressive" agenda.
Now remember that "progressive" is today's code word for "liberal." Suggesting that this increasingly defines today's evangelicals tells us more about the wishful hallucinations of left-wing journalists than reality.
In last year's elections, supposedly a case in point for the great transformation in our political landscape, 72 percent of white evangelicals voted Republican and accounted for 22 percent of the overall vote.
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