When the evangelical does it, it’s not illegal

Eric Loomis gets credit for isolating this quote in the New York TImes account of the anguish felt by Alabama evangelicals watching the fall of Governor Robert Bentley:

“The idea that moral hypocrisy hurts you among evangelical voters is not true, if you’re sound on all of the fundamentals,” said Wayne Flynt, an ordained Baptist minister and one of Alabama’s pre-eminent historians. “Being sound on the fundamentals depends on what the evangelical community has decided the fundamentals have become. At this time, what is fundamental is hating liberals, hating Obama, hating abortion and hating same-sex marriage.”

There is, as Loomis remarks, no better encapsulation of modern conseravatism. If tomorrow a Baptist preacher in Tennessee riles up his congregation enough to decry Senator Lamar Alexander’s eating of bologna, then you can expect Rush Limbaugh to demand fealty to Ronald Reagan’s Twelth Commandment, Thou shalt not eat bolgona when ham is available.

Paging Richard Nixon and David Frost.

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