At least four points can be drawn from this Washington Post article today, with a disclaimer it was written through an MSM prism and may not accurately reflect the situation.
Pastor Harry R. Jackson Jr. [pictured right] will often exhort his congregation to “stand against” abortion and same-sex marriage….
Blacks overwhelmingly identify themselves as Democrats and typically support Democratic candidates, but optimists in the GOP think one way to become a majority party is to peel off a sizable segment of black voters by finding common ground on social issues….
In the 2004 election, there was evidence that an appeal aimed at those differences could work. President Bush nearly doubled his share of the black vote in Ohio…. But it’s unlikely that the 2008 Republican presidential candidate will be able to consolidate those gains….
During the last presidential election cycle, Jackson prayed for Bush and crisscrossed the country pressing conservative social issues. Now he’s pushing an issues agenda rather than “carrying the water for the Republican party,” he said. “They are not reliable enough.”…
[R]eligious conservatives, black and white… fear that Republican voters will nominate pro-choice candidate and former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and are still chafing at the headline-grabbing sex and ethics scandals involving Republicans….
Other conservative black preachers raise a different issue.
“Morality is different in terms of the way we see it and white evangelicals see it,” said Pastor Lyle Dukes of Harvest Life Changers Church in Woodbridge…. “[W]e also think equal education is a moral issue. We think discrimination is immoral.”…
Bishop Timothy J. Clarke, leader of the 5,000-member First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio, said… he and his members care as much about health care and livable wages as they do about conservative social issues….
Stephen Peagler, 27, said he is a faithful churchgoer who believes that abortion and same-sex marriage are wrong. But… he’s looking for a candidate who will address issues that are more relevant in his everyday life….
Only 5% of blacks in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll called abortion or moral or family-values issues their top concerns for the upcoming presidential election. By contrast, more than four in 10 highlighted the war in Iraq, 38% health care and 33% the economy and jobs….
“One of the misnomers that we labor under is the line of demarcation between social issues and moral issues,” Clarke said. “For us, they are almost one and the same.”…
Jackson… thinks the GOP pays attention to evangelicals when it needs their votes but has not delivered when it comes to advancing their causes…. [A]fter the 2004 election, he attended a White House meeting of evangelical leaders and listened as Rove said he didn’t think the church vote had won the election for Bush.
Jackson told him: “I am a registered Democrat. The only reason I am here is because I thought you were working on issues of faith and that it would be better for my folks than the promises, promises of the Democratic party.”
Democrats, he said, “come to us under the cloak of darkness at the last hour, get what they want and then act like they don’t know us the next day.”
That got a big laugh from the conservatives, he recalled. Then Jackson said he told Rove: “You all are doing the same thing to the evangelicals.”
HT: Family Research Council, which added this editorial comment:
While the Republicans experienced the powerful pull of social issues on African-Americans in 2004 because of the marriage issue, they are increasingly distancing themselves from these key issues that speak the true language of faith and bring Christian voters into the fold. If issues that are important to so many Christians, both black and white, are ignored by both parties then ultimately both parties may find they are ignored by many Christians.