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Is a New Generation of Christians Finished with Politics?

James Dobson, former chairman of Focus on the Family.
James Dobson, former chairman of Focus on the Family. (Charles Dharapak - AP)

Moore says: "In the modern era of the Christian right, we have traded these proven methods for a mess of pottage . . . and often in a shrill and nagging manner, which makes our God look weak in the eyes of the world."

Amen to that, says Thomas, who made similar points in his 1999 book "Blinded by Might," co-written with Moral Majority platform architect Ed Dobson (no relation to James Dobson). Thomas, who speaks with a stand-up comic's clip (and wit), has long maintained that the religious right is in left field.

"If people who call themselves Christians want to see any influence in the culture, then they ought to start following the commands of Jesus and people will be so amazed that they will be attracted to Him," Thomas told me. "The problem isn't political. The problem is moral and spiritual."

Whether James Dobson's admission of failure -- or Deace's challenges to Minnery -- foretells a crackup of the older Christian right remains to be seen. But something is stirring, and it sounds like the GOP may be losing its bailout money. God apparently has his own stimulus plan.

"You have the choice between a way that works and brings no credit or money or national attention," says Thomas. "Or, a way that doesn't work that gets you lots of attention and has little influence on the culture."

It is hard to imagine a political talk show without a self-appointed moral arbiter bemoaning the lack of family values in America.

But, do let's try.

kparker@kparker.com


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