This LA Times news story cheered me. The soon to be president of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition stepped down over a differences with the organization’s focus. Joel C. Hunter wanted to move away from the over-emphasis on gay marriage and abortion and broaden the focus to environmental issues and poverty.
The Rev. Joel C. Hunter, who was scheduled to become president of the coalition Jan. 1, said his departure was sparked by “just a basic philosophical difference …. I saw an opportunity to really broaden the conversation and broaden the constituency. I’m really over this whole polarization thing.”
“I think the board just got scared,” said Hunter, senior pastor of a mega-church in central Florida and the author of “Right Wing, Wrong Bird: Why the Tactics of the Religious Right Won’t Fly With Most Conservative Christians.”
Roberta Combs, who is the incumbent president of the coalition and presides over its board, said that the board of directors was willing to branch out from the coalition’s signature issues of abortion and gay marriage, and that the coalition has weighed in on a variety of issues, including Internet access and the tax burden on the poor. But she said that Hunter was acting too fast without consulting his superiors.
Acting too fast, eh? Aren’t their biblical mandates on some of this stuff that’s nearly 2000 years old?
I am not cheered that this man was forced out of his position, but that there are conservative Evangelical leaders like Hunter who are willing to do more than follow the party line. Such a risk though. It may cost you your job.