It’s taken a few months for the mainstream media to figure out just how to deal with the extreme makeover that seems to have left evangelicals muscle-bound and primed for battle.
But now there is an emerging MSM strategy for neutralizing the evangelical impact on American politics. While not abandoning the stratégie de guerre of featuring old-line fundamentalists and evangelical firebrands in an unflattering and embarrassing light, there’s a new plan.
Find the evangelicals that are espousing liberal positions and position them in a radiant glow.
How else do you explain the media fascination with Jim Wallis, a barnacled vessel of 70’s evangelical liberalism? Wallis is everywhere and his book God’s Politics is the new holy grail of the MSM.
“A core group of influential evangelical leaders has put its considerable political power behind a cause that has barely registered on the evangelical agenda, fighting global warming,” the Times gushes.
The Washington Post leads a similar article with a quote from a Washington-area pastor:
Such “creation care” should be at the heart of evangelical life, along with condemning abortion, protecting family and loving Jesus. He uses the term “creation care” because, he says, it does not annoy conservative Christians for whom the word “environmentalism” connotes liberals, secularists and Democrats.
I am in favor of expanding public understanding of the concerns of evangelicals beyond the hot-button issues of abortion and same-sex marriage. Some of Wallis’ cautions are worth considering and I agree that care of God’s creation is a valid Christian concern.
But isn’t it interesting that the most prominent and positive glow surrounding 2005 evangelicals features issues the MSM know and love. As evangelicals reach into the liberal pockets and pick up issues of legitimate concern to them, it is those who lean left that are getting the spotlight.
Since the MSM doesn’t like the entire painting on the evangelical canvas, it will shine its spotlight on the greens and blues.