Uh oh. Someone pissed off the evangelicals:
A prominent evangelical lobbyist resigned yesterday over his remarks in a National Public Radio interview, in which he said he supports permitting same-sex civil unions.
The Rev. Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), later apologized for the remark, said the Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the 30 million-member organization.
But, Anderson said, “he lost the leadership’s confidence as spokesman, and that’s hard to regain.”
Asked by Terry Gross in a Dec. 2 interview on NPR’s Fresh Air whether he had changed his position on same-sex marriage, Cizik responded: “I’m shifting, I have to admit. In other words, I would willingly say that I believe in civil unions. . . . We have become so absorbed in the question of gay rights and the rest that we fail to understand the challenges and threats to marriage itself — heterosexual marriage. Maybe we need to reevaluate this and look at it a little differently.”
The remark, anathema to most evangelical Christians, who believe that the Bible permits marriage only between a man and a woman, caused an uproar in the group and in other evangelical organizations.
The NAE statement is priceless:
Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals, explained in a letter to the members of the board of directors of NAE that “in a December 2, 2008 broadcast interview on National Public Radio, Richard responded to questions and made statements that did not appropriately represent the values and convictions of NAE and our constituents. Although he has subsequently expressed regret, apologized and affirmed our values there is a loss of trust in his credibility as a spokesperson among leaders and constituents.”
Tolerance is not an evangelical value.