RNS photo courtesy Gage Skidmore.

Evangelicals voting in record numbers in GOP primaries

(RNS) Evangelicals are turning out in record numbers in the GOP presidential primaries — a full 50 percent of GOP voters — and providing crucial support and momentum to the campaign of Rick Santorum. By David Gibson.

The President as Pastor

It was, I’m afraid, a classic example of Freudian denial when, back in 2007, the dean of Bob Jones University endorsed Mitt Romney as the GOP presidential nominee with the phrase, “we’re not electing a pastor–we’re electing a president.” The phrase, which became something of a commonplace among Romney’s backers on the religious right, pointed to the fact that during the presidency of George W. Bush evangelicals did indeed come to view the president as pastor-in-chief. Remember that scene in the 2006 documentary “Jesus Camp” where the children do spiritual warfare before a cardboard cutout of President Bush? By then evangelicals had become accustomed to referring to him as “our Christian president,” and the hope was that he would not be the last of his kind.And that’s where the anti-Mormon rubber hits the road. It really does bother a lot of evangelicals that the occupant of the White House should manifest the spiritual potency of the office on behalf of a religion they consider beyond the pale.