An earthquake is rocking the Evangelical world as the longtime spokesman and Washington leader of the National Association of Evangelicals has resigned over comments he made to NPR revealing that he voted for Barack Obama (heresy) and he could support civil unions for gays and lesbians (double secret heresy):
“I’m shifting, I have to admit,” he said. “In other words, I would be willing to say I believe in civil unions. I don’t officially support redefining marriage from its traditional definition, I don’t think.”
Despite the success of anti-gay rights initiatives on Election Day past, the backlash and the surveys showing support for gays among younger voters seems to indicate this issue–and evolutions such as Cizik’s–will be the next major internal flashpoint for the so-called “religious right.” (The quote marks are to indicate that the NAE as always been seen as a bit mushy, supporting things like climate change concerns and other issues that conservatives don’t cotton to; moreover Cizik has always been one of the most accessible and effective spokesmen for evangelicals–which pretty much made him a big target for fraggers.)
Adelle Banks at RNS has the full coverage, and Sarah Pulliam at Christianity Today has a complete roundup, including a link to an interview with NAE head Leith Anderson and excerpts from the “Fresh Air” interview that got Cizik canned.