Pivoting off an essay by Marcia Pally about evangelical Christians who have “left the right,” Joel Hunter – a pastor and former President-elect of the Christian Coalition of America – describes his own shift to a less partisan political stance:
[M]ore and more evangelicals are expanding the definition of pro-life. They are including in a pro-life framework concern with poverty, environmental pollution, AIDS treatment, and more. And issues like abortion are being expanded from focusing on only “in utero” concerns—increasing numbers of evangelicals now see prevention of unwanted pregnancy and support for needy expectant mothers as pro-life. More evangelicals simply want to live our lives according to our spiritual values—unselfishness, other-centeredness, non-presumptuousness—so that when people see “our good works, they will give glory to our Father in heaven.”
Meanwhile, in another response to Pally, David P. Gushee notes that the conflation of evangelicalism and conservative politics was a strange historical accident:
[T]he odd disturbance of global evangelicalism by right-wing Southern Strategy American politics is an aberration that has not quite run its course but is beginning to weaken. What is emerging instead is the robust political polyphony that was there all along. The politicized parachurch lobbying groups of right-wing evangelicalism are weakening relative to the educational, congregational, and missional efforts that have shaped a healthier evangelical public ethic for decades and will do so well into the future.