Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Purpose Driven Presidential Forum

It appears that the first face off between John McCain and Barack Obama will be August 16 at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church.

They say in real estate that it's all about location, location, location. And if the location of this forum meant anything to this election cycle, John McCain by virtue of having an (R) next to his name would have the advantage. But we've seen a fracturing amongst evangelicals over what they're still considering "bread and butter issues" of the movement.

Surely Abortion and Gay Marriage still top the list of many older evangelicals - carte blanche, but they're on par these days as the environment, AIDS, poverty, etc., especially among younger evangelicals who are finding their influence waxing and who have found the old culture war paradigms ineffective in efficating any sort of substantive change.

Perhaps this then will help Mr. McCain who has always considered himself a Maverick, playing at times against the Republican Machine, and yes even at times against the Older Evangelical Establishment.

These issues, which Mr. Warren has stated will be the focus of the forum, tend to garner more enthusiasm for democrats which would indicate, if not an advantage - certainly, a point for Mr. Obama.

But Both candidates have a problem and that's religion.

Mr. McCain tends to shy away from sharing his faith with the public, a hallmark more of early 20th century Americana and has taken shifts decidedly right that appear to show his record as either calculating or disingenuous as he moves to pander to older evangelicals - which alienates the younger types, especially as he moves right on issues like taxes, and global warming.

Where as Mr. Obama has made his views (and associations) known which in the primaries caused some back fire because his brand of Christianity was slightly more left of center even than these young Evangelicals, and his supposed shifts to the center have been decried (mainly by the far left) as flip flops, despite them being consistent with his own writings.

It's difficult to gage who will come across more sympathetic to the congregants and folks in attendance and therefore garner their votes come November one thing is for sure - it will be both a moment of Cognitive dissonance within the evangelical umbrella and become a moment of clarity as folks like Mr. Dobson (who may or may not finally endorse McCain) and Pat Roberts, the paragons of the old ways finally become obsolete.

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