Young and found Jesus? There's a good chance you may be saying, "yes, we can." According to a September 2007 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 15 percent of white evangelicals between 18 and 29 — those who could traditionally be counted on to vote Republican — say they no longer identify with the Republican Party. (Older evangelicals are also questioning their allegiance, although not as dramatically.) What's turning young evangelicals to Obama?
One seminary student summed it up like this: "I just keep thinking, if Jesus were alive now, he wouldn't necessarily be voting Republican." To see where the schism happens, read more.
Young Christians are just as passionate about the "family values" issues that have traditionally driven Christians to the Republican camp (a study by an evangelical polling organization shows young Christians are actually more conservative than older generations on abortion) but they're also concerned about issues such as social justice and immigration — issues traditionally addressed by Democrats. The crisis of conservatism stems from young evangelicals being "both socially conservative and globally aware." McCain doesn't speak to them on the former issue, so they're searching for a representative on the latter.
Robert Novak has an Op-Ed in the Washington Post today where he highlights McCain's faith-based problem, and questions the role of Mike Huckabee — could he be the religious savior that McCain needs, or does he have devilish intentions? Novak says this, which I find startling:
One experienced, credible activist in Christian politics who would not let his name be used told me that Huckabee, in personal conversation with him, had embraced the concept that an Obama presidency might be what the American people deserve. That fits what has largely been a fringe position among evangelicals: that the pain of an Obama presidency is in keeping with the Bible's prophecy.
Are you surprised by this evangelical phenomenon? Can McCain win over the socially conservative? Should he even try? Would an Obama presidency be a plague of biblical proportions — or heaven on earth?