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What does Evangelical Lobbyist Really Believe

"Should not the NAE spokesman consistently espouse traditional evangelical beliefs?" -Mark Tooley, IRD Director of UMAction


Contact: Jeff Walton, The Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org


WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 /Christian Newswire/ -- Recently, National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) chief lobbyist Richard Cizik told National Public Radio that he is "shifting" on the issue of marriage and now favors same-sex civil unions, if not same-sex marriage outright.

Leith Anderson, NAE's President, has said that Cizik's statements did not "appropriately reflect the positions" of NAE policy. In his own statement, Cizik has said that his NPR "thoughts about 'civil unions' were misunderstood and misplaced," without explaining how. A transcript of Cizik's NPR interview can be found here:

Cizik, who has in the past boasted that he is "five years ahead" of his constituency, has moved NAE away from its traditional social conservatism towards issues of the left, especially global warming.

Founded in 1942, The NAE represents churches that have membership in the tens of millions. NAE's Washington, D.C.-based Government Affairs Office sets its policy direction on issues before Congress, the White House, and Supreme Court.

IRD Director of UMAction Mark Tooley commented:

"Is Richard Cizik representing typical members of the Assemblies of God, the Salvation Army, or the Presbyterian Church in America, along with millions of other evangelicals, when he suggests, even momentarily, support for liberal issues like civil unions? If not, then why is he NAE's chief spokesman? Should not that spokesman consistently espouse traditional evangelical beliefs?"

The Institute on Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981, is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches' social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad