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“Reed’s Digest”: A Puck News Interview with Faith & Freedom Chairman Ralph Reed

To read Puck’s full interview with our Founder and Chairman Ralph Reed, click here. Excerpts below. 

Tina Nguyen: Voters have overwhelmingly turned out to enshrine abortion access in their state constitutions, and… the issue will be on the ballots in swing states like Colorado and Florida in November. What do you make of the backlash to Dobbs?

Ralph Reed: I think the answer is that we respond in the post-Dobbs environment exactly the way we did in the post-Roe environment, in the sense that it’s all about state legislative action. The Democrats are the real extremists here—and Joe Biden is the real extremist—because they’re for abortion on demand. You can debate when [life begins], but for all practical purposes, [they claim that it’s] at any stage of pregnancy, and they want to pay for it with tax dollars—which means repealing the Hyde Amendment, which Joe Biden supported for 42 years. If you do the polling on this, by the way, the majority of the American people are fine with restrictions, at the absolute latest, after the first trimester. 

Tina Nguyen: We’re seeing a stronger tie between evangelicalism and conservative politics, but it’s also a fact that church attendance in America is in decline. Do you see evangelicals retaining an influence in public life if they don’t have the numbers?

Ralph Reed: …. I like to remind people that, unlike gender, ethnicity, and age, evangelicals are the only constituency in the electorate that grows based on a spiritual conversion. And you can never look at the size of the evangelical voters in raw numbers, or as a share of the electorate, and engage in straight-line reasoning, or extrapolate current trends into the future, because you just don’t know when you’re going to have another spiritual awakening. I’m not saying this as an advocate or a partisan. Robert W. Fogle, who is a brilliant historian, argues the period roughly from 1975 to 2000 constitutes a fourth Great Awakening [a historical term for American religious revival periods] that it was largely driven by religious broadcasting and by the growth of religious broadcasters on television. A number of people who were exposed to the Gospel got involved in the religious right because of television audiences that they became a part of, or actually experienced a spiritual conversion. That’s not that long ago.

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