Thursday, April 27, 2006

CA-50 Evangelical Support for Roach?

The 50th Congressional District is solidly Republican, but it is also solidly evangelical Christian in its church attending constituency. The district is the home to numerous mega-churches and a large number of ultra-conservative start-up congregations, many with extreme Pentecostal leaning.

A key characteristic of evangelic congregations is their belief in the infallibility of the Bible. To these congregations, the Bible is the word of God and it is the cornerstone of their faith. This faith based constituency followed "born again" Randy "Duke" Cunningham for years. Cunningham frequently spoke at Christian schools and was very open about his evangelic, conservative Christianity. Of course, bribery and whoring don't fit directly with that faith, but Cunningham took the right positions on abortion and other hot button issues and the faithful stuck with him.

A key question in the 50th District today is whether fundamental Christians will be able to stick with Eric Roach. Roach is a devout Mormon. His only claim to public service in the district is through his church. So, will fundamental Christians, who believe that the Latter Day Saints are a devil inspired cult, be able to support Roach with the ardor that gave to the extremely flawed, but born again, Duke Cunningham? Is it easier to vote for a Republican, despite their association with an apostasy, than an honest Democrat? Or is it easier to stay at home? That is an important consideration in the faith based community.

Check out this article from the Washington Monthly. The subject is Republican Mitt Romney, but the key factor is still the capacity of fundamental Christians to support a Mormon. Here is the money quote from the article:
Evangelical Christians consider Mormonism a threat in a way that Catholicism and even Judaism are not. The LDS Church, they charge, has perverted Christian teachings to create a false religion. As John L. Smith, a Southern Baptist who runs Utah Mission�an organization that tries to convert Mormons�told Christianity Today: "Mormonism is either totally true or totally false. If it's true, every other religion in America is false." To be tolerant of Mormonism is to put evangelical Christianity at risk.
Will Roach's conservatism overcome his religion or will fundamental Christian voters stay at home?