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15 August 2008

"I grew up believing an evangelical couldn't be a Democrat."

Those are the words of Duluth resident Jonathan Merritt, 25 years of age and the son of a Baptist preacher, who has started to question the Republican Party.

... in the past year, as the presidential campaign has focused on the country's problems, [Jonathan]Merritt has begun to question the party of his father. There was his recent revelation that "God is green," a mission trip to orphanages in Brazil that caused him to worry about global poverty, an encounter with a growing strain of politically liberal evangelicalism that has taken off online, and a nagging sense that Bush's unpopularity has been an embarrassment to the evangelicals who overwhelmingly voted for him.

"When you look at the political party that has traditionally championed poverty, social justice and care for the least of these, it's not been the Republican Party," said Merritt, who now considers himself an "independent conservative" and is unsure whom he will vote for in November. "We are to honor the least of these above even ourselves. It's very difficult to reconcile totally."
[Source: Washington Post, "GOP Loyalty Not a Given For Young Evangelicals", August 15, 2008]

The article goes on to detail Merritt's worries including a concern about the loss of life in Iraq and the toll it is taking on families, economic and environmental issues.

After reading this Washington Post piece about young evangelicals, I'm not so sure John McCain and the Republicans can win over these voters just by running on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion.