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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Tomorrow, as Republicans from around the Hawkeye State gather to vote in the Iowa Straw Poll, one group will undoubtedly exercise an outsize influence on the poll's outcome: evangelical Protestants. Motivated in large part by their concern with the state of American families, evangelicals have played an important role in Republican presidential politics in Iowa since 1987, when they helped Pat Robertson win the poll in an upset.
In 2004, an unprecedented 78% of evangelicals voted for President Bush. The close relationship between Mr. Bush and evangelicals has fueled an intense backlash. In books like Kevin Phillips's "American Theocracy" and James Rudin's "The Baptizing of America," moderate Republicans and liberal Democrats have charged that the president and the Republican Party are now in the thrall of religious radicals intent on imposing their conservative social values on the rest of the nation.
But does their "pro-family" agenda really stem from evangelicals' desire to change the behavior of others? There are at least three reasons that evangelicals are concerned about issues like abortion, sexual promiscuity and marriage. First, most obviously, evangelicals subscribe to a traditional form of the Christian faith that views the Bible as a literal and authoritative guide to family life.
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