A few weeks ago Mark Silk observed that Sarah Palin is “the first movement evangelical ever to occupy a place on a GOP national ticket since the emergence of the religious right.” Eastland commented in a blog post:
Silk doesn’t say what a “movement evangelical” is, but a fair definition would have to include being active in an evangelical church or parachurch or both. . . .
If you wonder why Palin isn’t the second movement evangelical to be on a GOP national ticket, behind George W. Bush, the answer is that Bush always went to mainline churches, the last before he was elected in 2000 being Highland Park Methodist in Dallas. Also, he wasn’t a big parachurch guy, though he knew a lot of people involved in those organizations (and pastors in evangelical churches). Silk says Bush was a “johnny-come-lately” to evangelicalism. Palin, as this story from today’s New York Times makes clear, grew up in it.