In his most recent blog post, Mark Tooley laments what he sees as the tendency of “evangelical elites” to “launch as a crusade any pressing cause of the day without a strong sense of spiritual or political priority.” It’s worth the effort to reconstruct Tooley’s argument:
According to Tooley, Evangelicals lack a “clear tradition” that “explains a hierarchy of public issues” because, as he puts it, Evangelicals lack “much of a tradition” at all. This is as opposed to Catholics, who have received the rich deposit of Catholic social teaching. (By contrasting “Evangelicals” with Catholics, Tooley clearly means Evangelical Protestants.)
What results, Tooley suggests, is an Evangelical Protestant vulnerability to the shifting agendas of “elites,” such as those in charge at the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). Those “elites,” themselves tossed to and fro by forces Tooley doesn’t name for reasons he doesn’t describe, lead the masses astray or misrepresent the opinions of the populace. The most pernicious effects include an emphasis on entitlement and immigration policies and an apparent lack of concern about marriage and abortion.