Fitzgerald on evangelicals

Noted journalist Frances Fitgerald in the New York Review of Books on divides among evangelicals. Some of these issues have been well covered in the press, notably recent efforts by leading evangelicals such as Rick Warren and others on issues ranging from aid to Africa and global warning, and the insistence by James Dobson and others that gay marriage and abortion trump other concerns. (Fitzgerald has had a long distinguished career as an essayist, including a very early piece on Jerry Falwell.)

What Fitzgerald hints at, and what I think, is that we seem to be at a particularly combustible moment in U.S. political history. Since the late 1960s the Republican party at the national level has (by and large) been more focused on a coherent message, fielded more attractive candidates and raised more money. Indisputably, I think, they drove the national debate on economic and "social" issues. (At least this is what I tell my classes). Is this era over?

John T. McGreevy is the I.A. O'Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters and Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

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