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New evangelicals retreat from politics

Nov. 15, 2007 at 11:56 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A paradigm shift among evangelical Christians in the United States is turning the once-influential group away from the political sphere.

Some younger Christian conservative groups have expressed apprehension about embracing political agendas as rhetoric from some longtime evangelical leaders has grown increasingly divisive and ostentatious, the Los Angeles Times said Thursday.

"They're tired of the hard-edged politics that the Christian right has practiced in the last couple of generations," John C. Green, of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, told the Times. "They see all this division, all this anger, without a lot to show for it."

The short-term consequences affect the campaigns of faith-based candidates such as former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee while offering GOP candidate and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani the chance to compensate for his relatively liberal past, the Times said.

The reluctance of evangelicals to get involved with politics is leaving the once strong conservative GOP base divided.

Marvin Olasky, editor in chief of the Christian magazine World, told the Times, "Anyone who talks about delivering the evangelical vote might as well apply for a job as a herder of cats."

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