John Kasich is a breath of fresh air. He has found his voice in this primary season.
While Cruz and Rubio continue to come across as culture warriors, Kasich is an evangelical Anglican with a message defined by compassion, neighborliness, empathy, and local attachments. When I heard him give his speech last night I thought about the University of Virginia sociologist James Davison Hunter’s book To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World and his concept of “faithful presence.”
As I have said before, Kasich is using his Christian faith in a subtle way. It informs his sense of human flourishing and his care for the vulnerable members of the society. He is pro-life. He connects job growth to strong families. Is he nostalgic for a world that we will never get back? Probably. But “slowing down”and social “healing” can also be seen as counter-cultural ideas in our society today.
If this guy doesn’t win the evangelical vote going forward the problem is with evangelicalism, not Kasich or his message.