Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


Are the Centrist Tribes Moving Left on Abortion?

posted by swaldman

In the past I’ve written that the basic dilemma for Moderate Evangelicals and centrist Catholics has been that they’re liberal on the war and other issues but conservative on the social issues. They’re reluctant to pull the lever for a pro-choice, pro-gay rights candidate like Obama

Well, I’d like to revise my view. The new Twelve Tribes study shows that a sizable chunk of these evangelicals and Catholics are pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and have moved in that direction.

For instance, while only 14% of Moderate Evangelicals call themselves “liberal,” a stunning 46% of them now say they are pro-choice, compared to 41% in 2004. They are coming very close to the national average which is at 52%.  This same trend is occuring for positions on gay marriage.

And what of Convertible Catholics? 51% called themselves pro-choice in 2004; now 55% do. The coverage of the Bishops’ views on abortion can lead us to forget that this pivotal swing bloc of Catholics is now more pro choice than the population as a whole.

In other words, being pro-choice should not preclude a Democrat making sizable headway among Moderate Evangelicals or Convertible Catholics.

However, Obama was actually underperforming among both in the summer of 2008, according to this poll. If he were winning all of the pro-choice evangelicals, he’d be getting 46% of the Moderate Evangelicals, instead of the 37% he actually was getting. If he was getting all of the pro-choice Catholics, he’d be getting 55% instead of the 40%.

That may mean they’re pro-choice but view Obama as a pro-choice “extremist” or simply that they have the reasons they don’t like him.

More on the Twelve Tribes study here.



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Chana Silverman

posted October 2, 2008 at 12:25 pm


Interesting – I consider myself – pro-life and yet I am voting Democrat tho registered Independent.
Women who are raped or victims of incest should be allowed to abort or at least take the morning after” pill if they so desire. A woman who may have her own life put in danger by a pregnancy should be allowed to abort. Why should her husband and other children, if she has any, lose a wife and mom?
The soul of an unborn child goes back to G-d where it waits for another chance to enter the human experience. Still senseless killing of unborn children, because of a life style is tragic.
As for the gay rights issue – I believe people in these life styles are really missing out on G-d’s best for us. Yet I know, somehow, it is not my place to judge.
Condemnation and denying rights of people just makes them angry and ready to fight for what they believe is fair regardless if we see their life style acceptable or not.
Acceptance of people does not mean one is condoning how they have chosen to live. It means acknowledging we see them as created in G-d’s image like the rest of humanity. What they do with that “image” is between them and G-d, not them and us. Like the old saying ,”what you resist persists” resisting the gay rights people’s cry for equality under the law of a nation who considers all people equal cements them in negativity. And this negativity can close the door to considering spiritual healing and change.
Love has more power than hate and I think it is silly to imagine marriages between gays will adversely affect man, woman unions. If one’s marriage is not working it has nothing to do with this issue. The marriage between a man and a woman, we Bible believing folks know is ordained by G-d. Man/woman unions cannot be “not ordained” by anyone or because secular law decrees same gender people can marry.
To fear this issue is to doubt the all reigning Power of G-d in an ordained union. So I say – let them have what they want – and they will discover there is no “magic bullet” out there to secure a happy long lasting marriage without spiritual growth.



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