Watching the "Super-Tuesday" returns come in, I heard a broadcaster comment that the black vote had not all gone to Obama; nor had all the women voted for Clinton. The commentator sounded pleased, as if to say, see, these two groups can think for themselves. I would like to add a P.S. to this, "and not all the evangelicals voted for Huckabee."
Evangelicals (defined by the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, as "of relating to, or being in agreement with the Christen gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels") can also think for themselves.
Yes, of course, life is a powerful issue. Evangelicals see being pro-life as an affirmation of the unique value of every human soul. But being pro-life also means that evangelicals seek to avoid, limit the scope of, and the duration of, war. The WWJD question leads evangelicals to ask, how could war be avoided? What would disarm the terrorists? Evangelicals would like to see the US seek vigorously for alternative fuels and technologies.
An estimated 30 million children starved to death last year. Evangelicals would like to see a president building a coalition among the industrialized nations of the world to end childhood starvation.
Evangelicals are interested in both the security of the national borders and hospitality to non citizens living within our borders.
Evangelicals recognize that one of the worst unforeseen consequences of the war in Iraq has been the persecution of the Christians in Iraq.
Evangelicals believe that one of the key functions of government is to provide a stable currency. Printing money for ever increasing budget deficits results in the devaluing of the currency - making goods and services cost more. While the wealthy can simply change their investment portfolio; the poor simply have to pay more for the same gallon of milk. Evangelicals believe in a balanced budget is good for our nation, and that when budgets are not balanced, then Congress should not be allowed to vote itself another pay raise.
Evangelicals are not against technology, but we believe that every new technology just provides a new way for Satan to attack. Evangelicals see a legitimate role of the government policing society for the public good. The US ought to be able to eliminate internet pornography, internet gambling and, for good measure, the government ought to end telemarketing to private residences.
Evangelicals believe that there ought to be systems in place for the poor to be able to survive. But, like Ruth in the Bible, these systems ought to call for individual responsibility.
Evangelicals believe ....
Well I could go on. But really, these are simply my beliefs. And, as I mentioned, evangelicals can think for themselves. But to the question, "Whose side are the evangelicals on?" The character "Treebeard" from J.R. Tolkien's novel "The Lord of the Rings" gives the best answer. Pippin asks him, "Whose side are you on? And Treebeard replied, (imagine a really deep, resonate voice) "Side? I am on nobody's side. Because nobody is on my side, little Orc. Nobody cares for the woods anymore."
John Donaldson is the pastor at Newborn & Mansfield UMC. Send e-mail to