After a slow slip to obscurity following the demise of the Moral Majority, fundamentalism may end up back in the public eye in the coming days as the star Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (Wash.) continues to rise. This scrutiny will not be due to the fact that McMorris Rodgers herself still identifies as a fundamentalist (she is a member of an Evangelical Free Church) but rather because she graduated from my own alma mater, Pensacola Christian College, in 1990. If my own views have had time to change in the last decade I can only imagine that Cathy herself has had the same opportunity for review but the stigma remains.
However, now that Cathy is Chair of the House Republican Conference and recently gave the rebuttal speech to the State of the Union address, the party and the nation seem to be taking an interest in her and with the field for the 2016 Presidential race very sparsely populated it’s not a huge leap to think that we may be seeing a lot more of her in the coming days.
If Cathy McMorris Rodgers does continue dwell in the national spotlight it could lead to two basic outcomes:
1. PCC and colleges will tout this as an example of exactly how fantastic an education they provide. One of our grads made it all the way to sort of near where you can see the top! You can too (if you leave here and then go to University of Washington).
2. A whole lot of folks in the media will start asking the question “What is this movement all about anyway?” That could get interesting in a hurry.
While I am ambivalent about Cathy McMorris Rodgers’s politics in general, I will be nonetheless following her career with some interest. Where she ends up could have wide-reaching influence back to the halls of fundamentalism.