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Combs said she chose Hunter because of his pragmatic outlook, and "his leadership skills and his knowledge of politics and why Christians should be involved in the political process."
"This is a brilliant move on the part of the Christian Coalition, because Joel is a brilliant communicator and a thoughtful spokesperson for Christian values," said the Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals.
The Rev. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, thinks Hunter's approach is folly.
"When people try to pretend there is consensus where there is no consensus, they lose their credibility with their constituency and eventually they lose their credibility with Washington," he said.
"For the most part, the religious right has been limited to the Republican Party. . . . A voice of biblical values cannot be in the pocket of one party. . . . Christians can decide for themselves how God would want them to come down on any issue."
Hunter also wrote, "There ought to be more than just gay marriage and pro-life issues, because the Bible is concerned with all of life. We need to do everything we can to relieve poverty, to heal the sick and to protect the Earth."
Like Combs, he believes evangelicals can find common cause with mainline and progressive organizations on issues such as immigration, raising the minimum wage and providing prescription drugs to the needy and elderly.