there are two great lies that i’ve heard:
“the day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die”
and that Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class republican
and if you wanna be saved you have to learn to be like Him
–Derek Webb

I spend a bit of time in my car on any given day, and during that ride I either listen to National Public Radio’s classical music shows or news talk programming (and also — I admit — Radio Maria and Neal Boortz…strange combination, I know). But at the bottom of every hour, I flip over to AFR for their five minutes of news.

That’s American Family Radio, not Ancient Faith Radio; one is evangelical music and programming on the broadcast waves, and the other is an internet-based Orthodox chat and liturgical music channel.

I listen to American Family Radio to — to borrow a buzzword — stay “conversant” with evangelicals even as I am more and more in line with the folks at the other AFR.

But in an effort to remain conversant, I am increasingly puzzled at what constitutes the evangelical’s worldview and its end conclusion — the culture war. While I completely understand why everyone is so riled up about abortion (and they should be) or gay civil unions (though their insistence on using the word “homosexual” instead of “gay” or “lesbian” is at times chortle-inducing), I don’t understand some of the battles they choose.

What I mean is this — what do guns have to do with the soul of America? What about school vouchers? The trade deficit? I’m not saying these aren’t important issues, but…are they Christian issues?

There are somes issues — like immigration — you could argue are Christian issues. But AFR’s take on it isn’t exactly Exodus 23:9.

Technically, AFR doesn’t take a stance during its news cast, but that’s only technically. Rarely — and I mean rarely — does the AFR news cast differ any from the secular talk radio shows talking points, and the way things are reported definitely points listeners to the right…err…Christian view of the news. Who knew it lined up so well with the Republican party’s platform?

It’s not just AFR that this bothers me about. AFR is a symptom of something larger than their broadcast audience, larger than the moral majority, bigger than soulless capitalism and bigger — for good or for ill — than Sarah Palin’s defunct vice-presidential campaign’s wardrobe.

So why has American evangelicism so bought into the idea that the American Republican party best represents what they believe in the political arena?