“Social conservatives have long road ahead”



Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska.

Some social conservatives signaled that they are ready to rally around Palin, who helped energize the party’s base.



Abortion rights will also continue to galvanize them. For many evangelicals and conservative Roman Catholics, opposition to abortion remains the defining issue of their age.

“I look at what (Obama) wants to implement and it scares me … He wants no restrictions on abortion whatsoever,” James Dobson, founder of the conservative advocacy group Focus on the Family, said on Thursday on his radio show, which reaches millions.

While Obama strongly advocates abortion rights, he also wants to reduce the number of abortions by expanding access to contraception to lower the risk of unplanned pregnancy.

Conservative culture warriors are girding for battle with the Obama administration and have their eyes on the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), now before the Democratic-led Congress, which would further entrench a woman’s right to an abortion.

Conservatives say it would sweep aside most restrictions on abortion rights, such as parental notification laws.

“If Obama signs FOCA you will have a culture war the likes of which you have never seen before,” said Bill Donohue, president of the conservative Catholic League.

Obama has promised to sign it into law if it passes through Congress, which should not be a problem with Democrats firmly in control.

“The challenge starting first thing … is raising awareness about just how extreme his (Obama’s) agenda is, starting with (FOCA),” said Charmaine Yoest, president of the anti-abortion group Americans United for Life Action.

She said her group was reaching out to Democrats who are also against abortion rights, signaling a departure from past social conservative strategies that relied heavily on the Republican Party to push its agenda.

Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals, said some members were excited by Obama, a devout Christian himself.

“I think evangelicals should know that Barack Obama understands evangelicals better than any president since Jimmy Carter (a former Southern Baptist who left office in 1981). It doesn’t mean he agrees with us on all of these hot button social issues,” he told Reuters.

But he said Obama recognized that challenges like climate change, homelessness and poverty were “moral problems” and that the president-elect, who often evokes his Christian faith as a driving force in his life, could work with evangelicals on those kinds of issues.

There are clearly some evangelical leaders who will not work with Obama because of abortion and other topics.

But Cizik said that was a mistake, saying a strategy of confrontation “would further isolate and marginalize them.”

Some social conservatives signaled that they are ready to rally around Palin, who helped energize the party’s base. But her strident opposition to abortion and “God and guns” persona upset many moderate Republicans and independent voters.

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One Response to ““Social conservatives have long road ahead””

  1. calli Says:

    Sara Palin 2012 or Hillary 2012 !!!

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