Only “Moral Failures” Care About Peace and Justice

Before he resigned from his position as President of the National Association of Evangelicals, Ted Haggard had been overseeing an organization that was trying to broaden its agenda beyond the standard anti-gay, anti-abortion issues that mobilize most religious right political organizations.

In early October, NAE unveiled a document entitled “For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility” which, according to the project’s co-chair

[C]alls evangelicals to a biblically balanced concern that reflects the full range of God's concerns for the well-being of marriage, the family, the sanctity of human life, justice for the poor, care for creation, peace, freedom and racial justice. No longer dare one accuse evangelicals of being 'one-issue' voters focused exclusively on one or two issues.

As part of this new mission, NAE had become active on everything from global warming to the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. 

NAE’s attempts to focus on broader issues created a significant amount of tension between the organization and the old school, hard-line right-wing groups such as Focus on the Family.  

As such, it is not surprising that some of the most ardent Religious Right activists would seek to use Haggard’s downfall to discredit the NAE’s attempts to broaden its agenda  

The Reverend Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK), president of the Evangelical-dominated National Clergy Council in … released the following statement today on the resignation of the Reverend Ted Haggard from the presidency of the National Association of Evangelicals:

The moral failure of recently resigned president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Rev. Ted Haggard, may explain in part the leftward drift of the organization over the last several years.

Apparently, Schenck thinks that only those suffering from “moral failure” could possible care about poverty, inequality, the environment, or human rights.