Been talking to people about the Bristol Palin story. How will McCain’s newly-enthusiastic evangelical supporters react to is? My feeling is that they are simply not going to be judgmental. The whole tone of contemporary evangelicism seems to involve a lot of non-judgmentalism, at least in matters like this. My guess is that the only people who will partake in fire-and-brimstone rhetoric will be the left-wing blogosphere.
As far as evangelicals are concerned, I spoke this morning to Marlys Popma, who is the well-known Iowa evangelical leader who is now the head of evangelical outreach for the McCain campaign. Turns out Popma herself had a child out of wedlock nearly 30 years ago — it’s something she’s talked about publicly in the past — and it changed her life. “It was my crisis pregnancy that brought me into the movement,” Popma told me. “My reaction is that this shows that the governor’s family is just like so many families. That’s how my first child came into the world, and I’m just thrilled that [Bristol Palin] is choosing to give this child life.”
I asked Popma what she thought the larger reaction among evangelicals will be. “Their reaction is going to be exactly as mine,” she told me. “There hasn’t been one evangelical family that hasn’t gone through some sort of situation. Many of us are in this movement because of something that has happened in our lives.”
By the way, I talked to someone in the Obama campaign today, and there is no way in the world they are going to comment on this.