DATE: 4/19/2004 10:57:00 AM
The Soft Bigotry of a Sometimes Conservative - Andrew Sullivan is surprised at a recent poll showing a lack of evangelical support for the Federal Marriage Amendment.
52 percent of evangelicals said they preferred the matter to be handled by the states. So they are conservatives after all! Moreover 48 percent of evangelicals said that support for marriage rights for gays would not disqualify a candidate from their voteSullivan's snark is merely a halfhearted attempt to disguise the fact that he has no idea what evangelicals really believe. His former posts on the subject of evangelicals and their support for President Bush showed an appalling lack of information about the group of which I consider myself a member. Like so many in Washington, Sullivan was looking to the leaders of groups that claim to represent evangelicals instead of at the actual beliefs of those he was so quick to stereotype as dim-witted theocrats.
President Bush may not convince those of us who oppose the FMA to support him on this issue, but we are not going to let this affect our vote. Unlike Sullivan, who has let his disagreement with the president on this issue cloud his judgment on the administration, most evangelicals are not one-issue voters. I intend to vote for President Bush despite his support for the FMA, because I agree with him on taxes, the war on terror and abortion.
Most evangelicals I know intend to vote for the president for a number of the same reasons. Many moderates, I'm sure, are in agreement with us on this one. Sullivan is a smart man, but cannot seem to grasp that most Americans, moderates and Democrats included, do not support gay marriage. The attention to the issue has not come as a result of a grassroots effort made up of a diverse coalition, but from the impulsive actions taken by a few thousand activists in mostly liberal areas of the country. Given his situation, I can understand his hope. But hope, wishes and judicial activism will not be enough to sway those who do not agree that a long-standing social institution should be changed.
Sullivan's evangelical bashing is getting tiresome. After complaining so long about bias against gays and lesbians, one would think he would be more careful about allowing himself to feel and condone prejudice.