This weekend, NBC will air a special edition of Meet the Press addressing “Faith in America.” The only two guests scheduled are evangelist Rick Warren, author of “Purpose Driven Life,” and Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, author of “American Gospel.” NBC says the two will discuss the questions, “Can religion unite the country for the greater good and what role will God and values play in the 2008 presidential election?”
Though Rick Warren recently invited progressive Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) to speak to his California megachurch, Warren’s position on cultural issues skews far-right:
Warren is entirely orthodox when it comes to the culture wars: Like other evangelicals, he opposes abortion, gay marriage, stem-cell research, human cloning, and euthanasia. What’s more, on the eve of last year’s Presidential election, he wrote that those five moral issues are “nonnegotiable” and “not even debatable.” Leaving no doubt about his political leanings — Bush allied himself with evangelicals on all those issues — Warren urged pastors to “encourage every Christian you know to vote” and “pray for godly leaders to be elected.”
As MediaMatters has documented, Meacham has also espoused conservative views on a wide range of issues. Some notable points:
– During an appearance on The O’Reilly Factor earlier this year, Meacham stated he believed in “the secular battle against Christmas, against Easter,” calling it “one field” on which the purported struggle between the secular “left” and “the Christian Right” occurs.
— Meacham did not dispute O’Reilly’s claim about “the ACLU jihad…against Judeo-Christian tradition in this country.” Meacham said the country’s founders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would have opposed the ACLU’s efforts because “what they wanted was religion in the country.” [Link]
Polls have shown the moral concerns of the American people do not mirror those of the religious right. Asked to name the most serious moral crisis in America today, 22 percent said “corruption in government/business” and 17 percent said “greed and materialism” or “people too focused on themselves”; only 3 percent cited “abortion and homosexuality.”