Are Young Evangelicals Skewing More Liberal?

Mom, dad say no gay marriage; this group cares about health care, AIDS babies.

ByABC News

Feb. 10, 2008— -- A younger generation of evangelical Christians is coming of age -- and as they head to the polls, they are breaking from their parents and focusing on a broader range of issues than just abortion and gay marriage.

This weekend at a concert and a rally in New York City, a huge gathering of Christian youth came together to decry the coarsening of culture.

"What should be done to stop glamorizing the things that are destroying my friends, your friends -- like drugs, alcohol and sex?" cried a young evangelical.

The top three issues these young evangelical Christians said they most want the presidential candidates to address are Internet pornography, media glamorization of sex and drugs, and children orphaned by AIDS. Abortion and gay marriage were not at the top of their list.

Many of those who did rank abortion as their number one issue also said their favorite candidate was Barack Obama.

When asked if they were bothered that Obama is pro-choice, one young evangelical responded: "Maybe a little bit, but it's all personal preference. I mean, you can't really pass judgment on someone because that's their belief."

This is a significant departure from the older generation of evangelicals.

Only 40 percent of evangelicals younger than 30 call themselves Republicans, according to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. Two years ago, 55 percent of them did.

The study also found that they are more interested in environmental causes, improving health care and combating poverty than their parents.

Observers say traditional leaders like Pat Robertson and James Dobson are now being replaced by more moderate leaders like mega church pastor Rick Warren -- and by a young generation with a much broader agenda.

ABC News' Dan Harris reported this story for "World News."

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