Saturday, August 16, 2008
The Saddleback Civil Forum
Rick Warren interviewed both major party presidential candidates for a nationwide TV audience earlier tonight. For Obama, it represented his continued outreach to white evangelicals, a demographic that has helped Bush for that last two presidential elections. For McCain, it represents his effort to shore up the support of this group as they have become increasingly disenchanted with the Republican party.
Tonight's event also represented a turning point, I believe, for evangelicals themselves. It used to be that when the media would seek the evangelical viewpoint, they would turn to Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. Now, Rick Warren has emerged as the media's go-to-guy. Warren is much different than Robertson and Falwell, especially in tone. For instance, he spoke before and after the event about the need for civility in our public life, "we need to learn to disagree without demonizing each other." This demonization was often embodied by Robertson and Falwell.
If you watched the event, please feel free to leave your general impressions in the comments section below.
Stay tuned for more of my thoughts on this topic.