"If I'm an unborn child and I want the support of the far religious right I better stay unborn as long as possible because once I'm born I'm off the radar screen. No healthcare, no child care, no nothing, " said Jim Wallis, founder of the liberal Christian group Sojourners.
Only he wasn't labeled a "liberal" by Katie Couric. He was called a "progressive."
Wallis got the royal treatment from Couric in the October 18 broadcast. In a piece about the Values Voters Summit being held in Washington, D.C. this weekend, Couric reported a segment on whether evangelical Christians can be counted on by the G.O.P.
She went hard left after the opening statement, in which she said there was "a new kind of holy war" for the hearts and minds of 50 million evangelical voters.
Smiling, she asked Wallis,“Do you believe that evangelical Christians are still the domain of the G.O.P?”
He answered with an emphatic, “No,” adding their votes are "up for grabs."
The segment was designed to show the "chasm" between "progressive" and "traditional" Christians. But the deck was stacked for the liberal/progressives. Wallis had five sound bites while Richard Land, of the Southern Baptist Convention, and representing the "traditional" evangelicals had three.
The following excerpt is indicative of the lefty slant:
Couric started off by describing the impact of evangelical Christians in the Reagan era.
COURIC: Politics supplied the perfect bully pulpit for their conservative viewpoints, emphasizing two issues above all -- opposition to gay rights and abortion rights. For more than two decades, their support at the polls has been critical to republican victories. But that may be changing, and many younger evangelicals are behind it.
WALLIS: A whole generation says no, there are more than two moral values issues. There's Darfur. There's global poverty. There's climate change. There's human trafficking.
COURIC: And in this new agenda, the old issues aren't as prominent. A new CBS News poll out tonight shows that abortion (2%) and gay rights (0%) aren't even among the top four priorities evangelicals want presidential candidates to discuss. In fact, healthcare and Iraq dominate, which creates a chasm between progressive evangelicals like Jim Wallis, and more traditional leaders like Richard Land.
WALLIS: Why were the followers of the Prince of Peace the easiest ones to convince to go to war in Iraq?
LAND: I believe when people are at war with you, it's best to be at war with them.
(Natural sound on tape) We are doing spiritual warfare and battle here.
COURIC: Land also thinks the two issues that united evangelicals shouldn't divide them now.
LAND: The protection of the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death and everywhere in between. Secondly, protection of traditional marriage.
COURIC: But our poll shows that poverty trumps abortion as an issue evangelicals care about. In fact, Jim Wallis believes the term “pro-life” should be redefined.
WALLIS: If I'm an unborn child and I want the support of the far religious right I better stay unborn as long as possible because once I'm born I'm off the radar screen. No healthcare, no child care, no nothing.
COURIC: Different priorities may mean a new acceptance of a different kind of G.O.P. Candidate. Current front-runner, Rudy Giuliani, the first Republican nominee in three decades to support abortion rights, is almost tied for first among white evangelical voters.
Couric went on to describe the the support of abortion rights as a "G.O.P. heresy" and made sure to mention that the three leading Republican candidates "have trouble even talking about their faith and their church attnedance."
Couric closed the piece by gazing into her crystal ball and saying, "Meanwhile social conservatives may not attend this election if their enthusiasm for the candidates doesn't improve."
Kristen Fyfe is a Sr. Writer for the MRC's Culture and Media Institute.