Liberal evangelical Melissa Rogers thinks that this LAT article, written from a city just down the road from Chez Knippenberg pere, provides evidence that some conservative evangelicals are maturing politically. The leadership, she says, is surely willing to overlook theological differences in order to make common cause with allies in practical political conflicts. An increasing number of folks in the pews are as well, though, all things being equal on the policy (and electability?) front (are they ever really equal?), they’ll choose an evangelical over a Mormon.
I’m not troubled by this; indeed, I’m encouraged. First, it shows that the charges of "theocracy" hurled at religious conservatives are overblown (and probably not seriously believed by many of those who make them). Indeed, they’re probably just a way of objecting to moral conservatism, attempting to make illegitimate (or unconstitutional) what really isn’t. Second, the development of people’s views is an encouraging sign, not of increasing secularism, but rather of the capacity to distinguish between matters immediately relevant to politics and matters that belong in the sanctuary, confessional, fellowship hall, or small group.
This is not a hard-and-fast distinction, however. A person’s character and credulity are legitimate considerations when it comes to voting. What he or she believes, how he or she behaves in "private," and whether and to what extent he or she thinks that human reason and human power are self-sufficient are certainly matters about which voters might rightly want to know.
Update: This isn’t the right way to raise these questions.