Over at Faith in Public Life, they have this article with a misleading title. I originally clicked it because I thought it might be an evaluation of what the Christian conservatives have received for the gift of their support over the past thirty years for the Republican Party. Instead, I saw a rather poorly written list that, if considered dispassionately, actually does answer the question in the subtitle, by saying that Christian conservatives haven't received a whole lot for all the work and prayer and candidates and organizing and so forth and so on. John Ashcroft was Attorney General for a little while, but he was so horrific that he left even when Bush was riding high.
The truth of the matter is that, when the Christian conservative movement emerged in the 1970's, it was easy to limit the agenda to prayer in public schools and abortion because, in truth, they reflected reltively recent social changes that disturbed many, and not just Christian conservatives. With the social and cultural landscape drastically different now, many of the efforts of Christian conservatives can now be seen to be futile efforts to arrest social and cultural change through political means. The fundamentalist churches are even more marginalized now than they were because those who might have joined them politically are now concerned with issues that align them with their more liberal sisters and brothers in the mainline churches, especially issues surrounding the environment and the integrity of creation.
With the rise of a new evangelicalism, whose ethical concerns are social rather than personal, the fundamentalists may find themselves moving back to their more comfortable self-imposed internal exile, leaving the rest of us to contend in a world irredemably fallen. While I do not hope that is the case (I may find their theology silly and their politics dangerous, that does not mean they should be excluded from our national polity) I fear it may be the case. Whatever may happen in the future, and I believe it may take years to discover that, alas, we are without our fundamentalist brothers and sisters, American Evangelical Christianity, and even Mainline Christianity, is evolving in new and creative ways, and I believe that Christian conservatives, still yearning for a past that is gone forever, will find themselves increasingly marginalized.