They're not called the "culture wars" for nothing, but still, the fact that Focus on the Family spent precious seconds of prime Super Bowl advertising airtime (and lots of money) on the abortion debate is a telling reminder that America has some issues, and deeply divisive ones at that.
And to think that anyone thought James Dobson would sit out this presidential race. The Christian right leader and his advocacy group, Focus on the Family Action, are planning a multistate strategy to help elect McCain, and to prevent Democratic gains in Congress while they're at it.
Let us remember that Republicans had long targeted working mothers as the centerpiece of the culture wars. Now their heroine is the in-your-face governor who once said: "To any critics who say a woman can't think and work and carry a baby at the same time, I'd just like to escort that Neanderthal back to the cave."
In case you think conservative Christians are just bluffing with their threats to split from the Republicans, take a gander at this clip of Sean Hannity begging James Dobson to support Rudy Giuliani. Dobson refuses, standing on principle and the promise of a more frenzied and loyal base under a Clinton presidency.
Evangelical Protestantism in the United States is going through a New Reformation that is disentangling a great religious movement from a partisan political machine. This historic change will require liberals and conservatives alike to abandon their sometimes narrow views of who evangelicals are.
Prospective presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has admitted to having an affair while cheerleading the assault on Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Hypocrisy is nothing new to Newt, who extolled family values after serving divorce papers on his wife while she lay dying of cancer. And people are worried about Hillary and Barack's electability!
Evangelical Christians, the president's base, are warning that they may withhold their support in the midterm elections unless Congress does more to oppose same-sex marriage, obscenity and abortion If you want to see where ideas like these take hold, check out Truthdig's coverage of the Christian fundamentalist BattleCry concerts (part 1 and 2) .