Progressive pastor Doug Pagitt recently wrote an article for THE HILL which he titled, “Evangelicals Are No Longer a Sure Bet for Trump.” This is wishful thinking on his part.
A column in THE NEW YORKER sheds light on Pastor Pagitt’s efforts to attract Christian support for Democrat candidates. In her piece, “Teaching Democrats to Speak Evangelical”, Eliza Griswold explains that, in recent campaigns, “moderate evangelicals” have been overlooked by the Democrat candidates. To remedy this, she says, Doug Pagitt launched an organization called Vote Common Good to tap into the religious Left’s disappointment over Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016. Post-election statistics showed candidate Clinton failed to woo religious voters, with the dropoff “especially sharp among evangelicals.” So, for the 2018 midterms. Doug Pagitt and fourteen other members of Vote Common Good held political/religious revival meetings across the country in support of Democrat candidates.
Vote Common Good also trains candidates in speaking to evangelicals. At a gathering of candidates in D.C., the organization’s Political Director Rob Ryerse advised his audience that ”Trying to memorize John 3:16 in the car on your way to the event and then quote that is probably not the best way to connect with faith-based voters.”
Neither is being wrong on important moral issues.
In her NEW YORKER piece, Ms. Griswold writes, “The exodus of religious voters from the Democratic Party over the past several decades is typically explained by the culture wars, most notably over abortion.” But Doug Pagitt and his group aren’t buying it. He says those voters need to be courted.
Does he really expect to convince evangelicals to support candidates whose party allows little or no deviation from pro-abortion, secular-progressive dogma? Remember, Bill Clinton touted his motto for making abortions “safe, legal and rare.’ In 2016, Hillary dropped the word “rare”.
Courting evangelicals must include a robust defense of the sanctity of human life. Evangelical-speak that leaves this out is not believable.