A Religious-Right Revival

Since 2004, the story goes, evangelicals have softened. Sure, they still care about abortion and gay marriage. But a new, outspoken generation also cares about global warming, Darfur, illiteracy, human trafficking, preventable disease. The era of divisive religious rhetoric, characterized by James Dobson and Jerry Falwell, is past. Eager to help care for the planet, these Christians are building bridges between left and right, between the secular and the devout, even among subscribers to different holy books. These “new” evangelicals, according to the mainstream press, are exciting now because they’re politically powerful. As Frances Fitzgerald put it in The New Yorker this summer, they have the potential to “change the Republican Party beyond the recognition of Karl Rove or doom it to electoral defeat for many years to come.”