It is always interesting to me how a story can be published as if it is serious work, a story that almost seems plausible until you step back from it to realize that not a shred of proof to support the supposition was ever offered. After you're done reading it you realize that all you ended up with were empty phrases like "some say" or "many are" instead of any statistics, studies or other proof. Such is the case with the Washington Post's story titled, "War Causing Split Among Evangelicals". In fact, writer Julie Sullivan flat out admits that there is no proof for her supposition that “many” evangelical Christians are turning away from the war... but she postulates the premise any way.
No polling data show conclusively that opinion has shifted among conservative evangelicals.This is only the fourth paragraph (the previous three being one sentence affairs) so you'd think she could just retire the piece right there. But, no we have to start right up with the "some say" routine.
But some national evangelical leaders say debate about -- and, in some cases, opposition to -- the war is breaking out among Christian conservatives whose support was key to President Bush's election victories.Yes and SOME Christians say that the earth is only 6,000 years old and that the end times are here right now. But that doesn't mean either of those ideas are prevailing sentiments among Christians. Next Sullivan gives what she imagines are the "reasons" all these evangelicals are suddenly turning against the GOP.
Frustration with Republicans' failure to overturn abortion rights is said to have fueled skepticism among some evangelicals. Others decry the war's human toll and financial cost and are concerned about any use of torture.Yes, Julie, and "other evangelicals" support Bush as much as they ever did. Sullivan then offers statements against torture by the NAE as more "proof" that Christians are turning against the GOP.
The National Association of Evangelicals, which says it represents 45,000 churches, recently endorsed an anti-torture statement that says the United States has crossed "boundaries of what is legally and morally permissible" in its treatment of detainees and war prisoners in the fight against terror.Sullivan fails to mention that the NAE has been focusing on left leaning causes for several years, however. She also fails to convince... or even attempt to convince... that the NAE is turning away from the GOP because of Bush. After all, it could be because the NAE is being led by Liberals who wouldn't end up in support of Bush anyway. Sullivan also doesn't mention that the NAE has been under increasing condemnation by most Christian organizations because of their leftward tilt. Amusingly, after spending her entire article lauding the anti-war efforts of a Christian couple named the Brownlows and after using her "many are saying" and "some are" conventions, even the Brownlows come to doubt her theory that "many" Christians are against the war and the GOP.
Although many churchgoers are active against the war, the Brownlows said they still feel self-conscious sharing their views with their Christian friends. People have told them that freedom isn't free or that they must support the troops. "We really don't fit anywhere," Suzanne Brownlow said. "All our friends are pro-war and think we are heretics for talking against the president."Even her spotlighted anti-war Christian couple shoots her theory down in flames. Must be hard to be a writer of fiction when confronted with so many doubters.
Warner Todd Huston