Friday, June 22, 2012

This is not going to end well for the NAE

Marvin Olasky and Mark Tooley are reporting on a disturbing alliance between the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, an organization funded by the pro-abortion Hewlett Foundation. Preliminary information suggests this is a marriage bought and paid for in hell.
Here are several items worth considering now, beginning with the money trail. During the past decade the Hewlett Foundation, one of the nation’s largest abortion promoters, gave The National Campaign nearly $50 million. The National Campaign in turn gave $1 million to the NAE in 2008 and is now negotiating with the NAE a new grant that would “continue the work started under the previous grant,” according to National Campaign chief program officer Bill Albert.

The $1 million (apparently for use over several years) was not much by Hewlett or National Campaign standards, but it’s big for the NAE, which had a total budget of about $1 million in 2009, 2010, and 2011, according to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. And what exactly is “the work” that will continue if the NAE gets another grant?

Here’s an example: The NAE sponsored a panel in April at the Q Gathering in Washington, D.C., where young evangelicals gathered to hear speakers and panels address numerous topics, including abortion reduction. According to Q founder Gabe Lyons, the NAE “highly recommended” for inclusion in the panel the speaker who ended up dominating it, National Campaign CEO Sarah Brown—without disclosing its financial connection to her.

Brown urged contraceptives for the unmarried as well as the married. No one on the panel disagreed. When it concluded, 372 audience members had the opportunity to answer electronically this question, "Do you believe churches should advocate contraception for their single 20-somethings?" Almost two-thirds voted yes.

News reports trumpeted that result as evidence that the debate over contraceptive use by the unmarried is over, since even evangelicals favor it. In this and other ways, the National Campaign’s grant paid off.
The NAE has had its share of public relations problems ever since the downfall of its infamous former president Ted Haggard. However, its leftward slide began with the unholy crusade of its former director of government affairs Richard Cizik, who resigned under pressure in 2008 after stating that he was "shifting his views on same sex unions." Current president Leith Anderson now appears to have also gone wobbly on the subject.
Meanwhile, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Anderson, who retired last year as pastor of a large Minnesota church, will not take a public stand on that state’s upcoming vote on the definition of marriage. “When churches start getting really politically engaged, they often lose focus over what is their primary mission,” Anderson told the newspaper. “There are appropriate times to do it [be politically engaged]. I think churches should, but they need to be careful about what they do. I especially think churches should seek to be nonpartisan in their approach to teaching moral truths.”

Anderson recalled he had stated his opposition to same-sex marriage in 2004 while at the church. NAE officially opposes same-sex marriage. But in recent years NAE has moved away from its traditional focus on social issues and increasingly has endorsed more politically liberal causes. Under Anderson’s presidency NAE has opposed U.S. enhanced interrogation techniques, called for nuclear disarmament, and endorsed Comprehensive Immigration Reform including legalization for illegal immigrants. Last Friday, Anderson publicly backed President Obama’s decision to stop enforcing U.S. immigration law against illegal immigrants under age 31 who assert they came to the U.S. as minors.

If Anderson is quoted correctly, he seems to believe the church should not vigorously affirm laws upholding the traditional definition of marriage. But he thinks the church should publicly espouse very specific positions on issues like immigration law and national security, where Christian teachings are not so traditionally defined.
It gets worse. In 2010, the NAE adopted a resolution seeking "common ground" and "fresh national dialogue" on the subject of reducing the number of abortions in the United States. Cizik's successor, Galen Carey, said at the time that partnering with notorious pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood was a possibility. It would seem logical to conclude that the alliance between the NAE and the Campaign is an outgrowth of the 2010 resolution.

This is not going to end well. No story involving the selling out of principle for political expediency and social acceptance ever does.