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A Note Of Evangelical Dissent

A NOTE OF EVANGELICAL DISSENT.... The outpouring of support for Sarah Palin in evangelical circles has been overwhelming, but it's not entirely unanimous.

Mark DeMoss' name may not be familiar in secular circles, but BeliefNet recently described him as arguably "the most prominent public relations executive in the evangelical world." He's perhaps best known for years of work alongside Jerry Falwell at the Moral Majority.

This week, DeMoss is watching the hullabaloo surrounding Palin, and he's worried.

Mark DeMoss, former chief of staff to Jerry Falwell and now a leading Christian public relations executive, is hoping that Palin turns out well but has been shocked and worried by the reflexive Christian embrace of her."Too many evangelicals and religious conservative are too preoccupied with values and faith and pay no attention to competence. We don't apply this approach to anything else in life, including choosing a pastor." Imagine, he said, if a church was searching for a pastor and the leadership was brought a candidate with great values but little experience. "They've been a pastor for two years at a church with 150 people but he shares our values, so we hired him to be pastor of our 5,000 person church? It wouldn't happen! We don't say, 'He shares our values, so let's hire him.' That's absurd. Yet we apply that to choosing presidents. It blows my mind."

Right now, DeMoss is in the minority, but it's worth watching to see if others start expressing similar doubts. Keep in mind, religious right hostility for McCain has been intense for several years, and up until last week, he really, really wanted to pick a pro-choice running mate. Now the religious right suddenly thinks he's a genius? That this is a match made in heaven?

We'll see. McCain has picked a governor with an extreme ideology and a thin record, and the religious right is doing cartwheels. If DeMoss is any indication, there may yet be some buyer's remorse.