Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 7 Apr 2013
A recent US study has questioned the presumed cultural connection between evangelical Christians and conservative politics.
The study, by Erin McAdams and Justin Earl Lance of Presbyterian College, compared survey data on the political views of evangelical Christians in the US and Brazil.
They found that political dynamics in the two countries delivered quite different results. For example, Brazil has a multi-party system and the so-called evangelical vote is not easily captured by a single party. And no party in Brazil advocates legalising abortion, which neutralises it as a political issue.
It’s not hard to imagine a political climate in Australia in which the biblical Sermon on the Mount is cited in support of progressive health or tax policy, or the scaling back of defence spending, or a radical rethink of immigration policy.
There are Christians in every political party, and evangelicals come in all political stripes. To claim otherwise is to reduce the Christian gospel to politics.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.