(Photo: The Christian Post/Napp Nazworth)
Some Christian groups are worried the Republican National Convention (RNC) may be distancing itself from conservatives after they failed to discuss their longstanding relationship with conservative Christians in a 98-page report on retooling and expanding the Party, which was released on Monday.
The report calls for greater outreach to minority communities in light of the Republican Party's crushing defeat at the polls in 2012. It, however, makes very little mention of outreach to conservative Christians who have been the backbone of the Republican Party since the days of Ronald Reagan, says Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association.
"If you are going to think, if you're somebody who is analyzing the Republican Party… If you think a way to grow the Party is by distancing the Party from the very issues that finds you millions and millions of foot soldiers, then you're nuts," said Wildmon in an interview with The Christian Post on Thursday.
"You want to be a permanent minority Party? You start making social conservatives feel unwelcome, you'll see what a minority party really looks like," he added.
Evangelical radio host and Fox New contributor, Sandy Rios, echoed the concern in a BuzzFeed report on Tuesday.
"They (RNC) should be deeply concerned they're going to be alienating their base," said Rios. "It seems to me that the leadership of the party is intent on that course. Most Christian conservatives are not going to be party loyalists over principle, and so the GOP has a lot more to lose than Christians," she warned.
Wildmon explained that while the road to victory for the Republican Party is looking very difficult it isn't impossible. Several factors are currently stacked against the Republican Party, like more big states with more Electoral College votes like New York, California, Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania leaning Democratic. A growing number of Americans' survival is also tied to government programs.
The first thing the RNC needs to do to improve its outcomes is to "stop trying to get rid of the people," who have served them so faithfully, said Wildmon. They also need to focus on putting forward better candidates and improve their messaging.
He noted that he wasn't sure what to do on the issue of immigration and Hispanics because Ronald Reagan had an "amnesty" program in the 1980s and that didn't "get him any loyalty from the Hispanic community."
In the BuzzFeed report on the discussion, however, Sean Spicer, communications director for the RNC, said the conservative base isn't being marginalized.
"They are a critical part of our party, and moving forward, they have to continue to play that essential role," said Spicer. "The goal of the report was to look at areas where we could do much better, and in areas that needs that substantial improvement [working with conservative Christians] may not be at the top of the list because they've always done a fabulous job."
He added, however, that "a political party is not a church and its function is not to promulgate and support a religious doctrine."