applause.jpgThought the news that McCain’s family values veep pick’s unmarried 17-year-old daughter is five months pregnant would dampen support for her from the family values crowd?
Hasn’t exactly played out that way. In fact, Christian RIght leaders are applauding Bristol Palin’s decision to keep her baby:

Southern Baptist Convention public policy chief Richard Land: “This is the pro-life choice. The fact that people will criticize her for this shows the astounding extent to which the secular critics of the pro-life movement just don’t get it. Those who criticize the Palin family don’t understand that we don’t see babies as a punishment but as a blessing. Barack Obama said that if one of his daughters made a mistake and got pregnant out of wedlock he wouldn’t want her to be punished with a child. Pro lifers don’t see a child as punishment.”
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson: [I commend the Palins] for not just talking about their pro-life and pro-family values, but living them out even in the midst of trying circumstances….Being a Christian does not mean you’re perfect. Nor does it mean your children are perfect. But it does mean there is forgiveness and restoration when we confess our imperfections to the Lord.”
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins: “Unfortunately, teenage pregnancy has become all too common in today*s society…. Fortunately, Bristol is following her mother and father*s example of choosing life in the midst of a difficult situation. We are committed to praying for Bristol and her husband to be and the entire Palin family and they walk through a very private matter in the eyes of the public.”
Liberty University School of Law dean Mathew Staver: “We’re all sinners…. We all make mistakes. Certainly, the ideal is not to get pregnant out of wedlock. But she made the right decision after her mistake.”
Christian Coalition of America president Roberta Combs: “It’s a matter that should stay in the family and they have to work through it together. My prayers go out to them…. We’re excited about the governor and think she’s going to do well.”

So the Christian RIght is more supportive of Palin than ever.
But God-o-Meter is more interested in seeing polls about how the evangelical rank and file is taking the news of Palin’s daughter. Are they more likely than the evangelical political classes to be put off?
There’s been a lot of talk these last couple of years about Christain Right leaders being out of step with the in-the-pews cultural conservatives whom they purport to represent. This “Palin moment” is a good time to test that theory.


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