NY Times: Wrong about Evangelicals, Right about Giuliani

David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times
writes an interesting piece about the “The Evangelical Crackup.” The article focuses on the shifting political allegiances of evangelical Christians in America. His contention is that the Christian conservative voting bloc is about to fall apart and go the way of the dinosaur.

Although I think Kirkpatrick’s understanding of the evangelical movement is seriously deficient, he has one think right. If Rudy Giuliani becomes the Republican nominee for president, there will be a tectonic shift in the Republican party. He writes:

“If Giuliani captures the nomination despite the threat of an evangelical revolt, it will be a long time before Republican strategists pay attention to the demands of conservative Christian leaders again.”

He is certainly correct in this prediction, and it is precisely the reason that I will not vote for Rudy Giuliani either in the primary or the general election. A Rudy Giuliani candidacy would spell disaster for the pro-life movement. A Giuliani presidency would merely put the nail in the coffin of the pro-life movement in the Republican Party. The country would effectively have two pro-choice parties instead of one, and neither party would need to listen to those who stand for life. In our two party system, there would be no viable mechanism for putting an end to the regime of Roe v. Wade (which has already presided over the legal execution of over 40 million unborn humans since 1973).

A Giuliani candidacy would permanently banish the pro-life movement to the political margins. Because I care about the unborn and because I don’t want the unborn to be without a voice in our national political life, I will not support Rudy Giuliani. I continue to believe that the long-term damage done by a Giuliani presidency would be far worse than one or two terms with Hillary Clinton as president, even though she would be a disaster for the pro-life cause as well. The difference is that if Clinton becomes president over Giuliani, the pro-life movement has a chance of retaining its plank in the Republican platform. If Giuliani is elected, the plank will certainly be removed.

What difference does all this make now? It means that we must avoid a Giuliani candidacy at all costs. Pro-life voters need to coalesce around a candidate now who can beat Giuliani in the primaries. Anyone talking about supporting Giuliani now has put too little priority on the life issue. That must change, quickly, and in spite of the Giuliani apologists (like Sean Hannity).


  • Josh R

    I am not quite sure I agree with the premise.. If Gulliani wins the nomination but goes down to a brutal defeat because Pro-life voters are apathetic or vote for the other pro-choice alternative (from the democratic party) I would suspect the party wouldn’t make that mistake again. Pro-choice candidates would be considered “unelectable”.

    If Rudy where to win both the nomination and the General election, then yes, we would be irrelevant. Seems like a long shot to me that he could pull off both.

    I think unless there is a pro-life candidate, the democrats will win. If you look through the bible for voting criteria, I think that the Democrats hit more of the buttons than the Republicans do. They are just so off base on a couple of issues, that Christians by and large vote overwhelmingly against them. If you take those one or two issues that they are very wrong about off the table, all bets are off. We are choosing between the lesser of two evils, and we are going to vote for the one who hits the most right notes.

  • mlm

    Denny: Did you mean to say “think” or “thing”?

    “Although I think Kilpatrick’s understanding of the evangelical movement is seriously deficient, he has one think right.”

    FYI: It’s still Kilpatrick in this quote.

  • Andre

    I wonder how many people are really conservative? it seems unlikely that the statistics are correct (which make it seem there are way more conservatives than “pro choice” folks out there), unless it is that conservatives don’t vote. I am curious so someone respond to this or maybe Denny can write some thing over conservatives and voting:)

  • Paul


    I hope you know the following…

    (1) there are plenty of liberals that are pro-life.

    (2) there are plenty of right wing conservatives who are far more classically right wing than the people here who are pro-choice.

    (3) there are two brands of conservatives:
    (a) social conservatives, like Denny and most of the posters here, who stand by the oft touted principles of the Christian Right…


    (b) fiscal conservatives, who are often civil libertarians, meaning that they are pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, anti-gun laws and anti-drug laws.

    Please make note of these differences. I might be pro-life, but I would probably have a heart attack if someone called me conservative and meant it. On the other hand, I have quite a few conservative friends that will debate you tooth and nail over why abortion should remain legal.


  • Don

    Paul is right….Missing is conservative’s are strong on defense, strong on the border as well. I have said before; One man will not change Roe vs Wade it will have to come from the courts…Who will be best for the next 2-3 supreme court picks, clinton or Rudy. I don’t like Rudy but I am not going to sit on my hands and let clinton slide us further down the road to ruin…..

  • Paul


    first off, the whole “we as Christians don’t like the NY Times, the MSM, secular rock and roll or the gap” stuff is totally tired. The New York Times is a fantastic newspaper, and if you don’t like the editorial section (where most of the liberal-ness lies), then don’t read it. I follow that game plan with the Wall Street Journal all the time.

    Secondly, not all conservatives are strong on defense or the borders. Ask any NAFTA supporter, or most of Bush’s industrial backers if they’re pro-strong border. I guarantee you, you’ll get a big, hair raising no. If we REALLY wanted to curb illegal immigration, we’d fine businesses that hire them at $1 Million per illegal hired. Then see how long they stick around. It won’t be long. But, you don’t see that. Instead, you see Bush clamoring for 6000 border patrol agents to be spread across a 2000 mile border.

    Yeah, conservatives are REALLY strong on the border.

    And strong on defense? Tell me that when they decide to equip our troops with proper armor.

    And as for the 2008 election, let’s face facts: if Hilary or Obama get the nod on the Dem side, y’all can run a trained chimp and get him into office. Too many Americans don’t like Hilary (and honestly, with good reason) and far too many Americans are too racist to elect a black president.

  • Don

    Paul, On your last statement hil/obama… I hope your right on that the rest as usual your off base.. Humvees were not made to be tanks… That’s lib crap and you know it… You are too smart for that. Also I don’t mean so-called conservative politician’s are strong on the border.. For the most part they all stink… I mean or meant everyday conservatives, the people not the talkers…

  • Paul


    you HOPE that our country is too racist to elect a black president? yikes, dude.

    Humvees weren’t built to be tanks, but they shouldn’t be overly vulnerable either. By not investing in some extra protection for them and for our troops, this administration has proven itself to be everything that we liberals feared they might be.

    And if everyday conservatives differ so much from the people on the platform, why don’t you just vote libertarian? That’s the closest you’re going to get to true conservatism anyway…

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