A May 3 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston attacks the Associated Press for reporting that an upcoming manifesto claiming that "faith is now too political" is being released by "conservative Christian leaders." Writes Huston: "But a little investigation proves that 'conservative leaders' is not a very good description of those who have signed onto this 'manifesto.' In fact, many of the most well-known conservative Christian leaders in the country have decided not to sign onto the "manifesto" and many more weren't even consulted or included in the creation of this highly political document that pretends it stands against politics."
But Huston never details how those evangelical leaders whose names have thus far been linked to the manifesto don't quailfy as "conservative" even though they are named in the AP article he criticizes; in fact, he never names them at all, even as he quotes an article listing those evangelicals (who all appear to be mixing faith with politics) who said they didn't sign or weren't involved in the drafting of the document. Indeed, a little investigation -- the kind which Huston shows no evidence of actually having done -- shows those linked thus far to the manifesto have at least some conservative cred.
Chief among them is Os Guinness, described by the AP as "a well-known evangelical author and speaker." Guinness is conservative enough for WorldNetDaily to have quoted him personally smearing Frank Schaeffer for being critical of right-wing evangelicals.
Another is Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary. Wikipedia describes Fuller as progressive-leaning yet "welcoming both to the evangelical conservative and the theologically liberal," adding: "Fuller instructors have been cited as seeking ways out of the conservative/liberal debate: 'We need to be the voice of a third way that flows out of biblical values, instead of buying into the political ideology of either the right or the left.'"
We can cite WND here too; not only has it never forwarded attacks on Fuller for being too liberal, it anecdotally noted that one favorite WND conservative "grew up without religion, but during seven years of academic study at Bethany University and Fuller Theological Seminary accepted that the claims of Christianity are true."
Despite this, Huston goes on to write:
This project is beginning to look more like a group of Christians with anti-conservative views attempting to steal the mantle of leadership away from those who are now associated with Christianity in America. But to what end? We know that over the last year the political left has made major attempts to claim Christianity for themselves.
The left has made a concerted campaign to take over Christianity and use it for the purposes of the Democrat Party and the cultural left in America today.
Is this "Evangelical Manifesto" just another attempt by the far left in America to co-opt Christianity in America? It's a bit hard to believe otherwise since the people that put this project together studiously excluded so many prominent conservative Christians.
But one thing is for sure, the MSM will present them as "conservative Christian leaders" even as hardly any known and real conservative leaders are involved in this project.
But haven't right-wingers already co-opted Christianity in America and used it for the purposes of the Republican Party and the cultural left in America? And, again, Huston never demonstrates that any of those linked thus far to the manifesto are not "real conservative leaders."