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Faith in Public Life Embraces the RIC

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There is already an abbreviation for a term fast making its way into our political lexicon: RIC (great for headlines) is, of course, short for religious industrial complex. Blogger Dan at Faith in Public Life, a member agency of the RIC and roundly criticized lately for it, embraced the term today in response to the blogospheric discussion that has broken out about the RIC. However, in the manner of industrial PR writers everywhere, he responded to exactly none of the points raised, declared that “the discussion seems to have run its course,” and thanked everyone for their participation.

Blogger Scott Isebrand, meanwhile, shows that far from being over, the discussion has just begun:

The RIC, he writes, is

“cultivating the public personae of a new generation of religious leaders,” a public personae of a “values voter” who is “no longer shackled to a ‘narrow agenda’ of abortion and gay marriage, and [is] voting on a ‘broader agenda,’ including poverty, the environment, and global HIV/AIDS.” The constellation is also claiming that Democrats need New Evangelicals in order to win elections.

But the New “moderate” Evangelicals are ultimately…conservative. They still oppose reproductive choice. They still oppose full civil rights for gay Americans. Consider, alongside Joel Hunter, two other leaders of the “broader agenda,” New Evangelical, conservative Christianity. Rick Warren of Seattle’s Saddleback church denies the simple scientific fact of evolution, and Jim Wallis of Sojourners, as Schultz points out, has actively combated the idea of an organized religious left.

The only thing new about New Evangelicalism is how it’s a conservative Christian movement that’s made inroads into the Democratic Party.

Written by fred

December 16th, 2008 at 9:16 am