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January 01, 2010



I have to debate the assertion that Evangelicals have backed off from politics. Seems to me the Evangelicals have taken over the Republican Party--moving from being the radical right to being the driving force behind the policy statements being issued by the Party. In my anecdotal acquaintance with many rural evangelicals, there is no divide between religion and politics. God, flag-waving patriotism, war, anti-abortion,Republican Party membership, Palin-praising and Obama-bashing are part and parcel of being a member in good standing of their local congregation and God's called people.


Thanks for engaging us on a review of our past decade and it’s implication to our future. Here is my take.
The first decade of the 21 century started out in Y2K fear and a growing sense of physical security. It ended in a growing economic reckoning and fresh physical treats.
In between we had 9/11, two wars, the mainstreaming of the power of the Internet driving globalization, and the promising breakthroughs in DNA understanding and neuroscience.
The stove piped world is no more and folks are dabbling is other cultural fields in formulating life’s meaning. Even with this trend, the more ecumenically minded denominations have lost believers to more assertive faiths. Symbolic of this movement is the type of leadership from say the Anglican archbishop who would yield to sharia law, and the new pope who challenge radical Islamic thinking
One of the under analyzed stories of the decade is the world’s richest man deciding to devote the remainder of his life to charitable causes. In this process he created a massive change to the landscape of charitable giving. He got from the second richest man a nice chunk of change to be steward of. Which reporter has discovered the transcendental reason why Gates did this? At least one institution is going through transformation in an orderly fashion, and note must be given that this took place in the private economy. The middle of the decade, a national debate of renewing other institutions, such as social security, medicare was begun, but was aborted as, alas, governmental ineptitude trumped this initiative.
None the less, the US is considering an expanded welfare state, even ignoring the deepening struggles of Western Europe and Japan, which have used this model.
When we define moral goodness in terms of government action, we miss the opportunity of unleashing a fresh enablement of US expectionalism.
We are faced with empty coffers, global competition, and the decline of the largest demographic group, the boomers. I believe we can renew ourselves from this dreadful state through innovation with a social conscience. I look forward to a pioneering decade where we release the shackles of fear ,and under gird the family structure and reap the rewards of new wealth used in a purposeful manner. Yes, the church as a leadership role in enabling this.

Monte Sahlin

Trish, the data that I've seen seems to indicate that the percentage of Evangelicals in the Republican Party has peaked and the center of gravity among the religious right has shifted to conservative Catholic leadership. That is why Timothy George was highlighted in a recent NY Times Magazine cover story. But, I agree with you that has not changed much in terms of the dominance of Republican thinking among rural Evangelicals.

Chris, if we could get some idea of the interior reasons why Bill Gates made the shift to the nonprofit world that he has, we would have a scoop! I agree with you that it is a significant story. There is speculation that his wife is the key player in this transition. I have not seen much comment or news that the Gates Foundation is innovating the way things have been done for some time in the nonprofit world. They are working quietly with many partners to do things that it was generally agreed needed to be done before the came along. They do, of course, bring new resources to the party.

Ali Agins

Dominionism is on the rise.
It appeals to Catholics, Evangelicals and Mormons.
A script that calls for the domination of the world so that Christ can return and set up a kingdom for a 1000 years.
First get rid of the gays,and secular folks. Every freedom loving Christian should be informed and aware!

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