Friday, November 5, 2004
Against all-or-nothing arguments about 'moral values.'
A lot of liberals are really overreacting to the proposals being made by us "pro-religious" Democrats. The goal is not in any way to yank the Democratic Party over to the right. Nor is it a misbegotten attempt to convert hardened Evangelical activists into liberal Democrats. (As the Mad Hatter says to the White Rabbit, "Don't let's be silly!") The people we are trying to reach are simply church-going Americans who pay an average amount of attention to the political process and who have managed to pick up the impression that the Democrats are indifferent to or hostile to their faith commitments.
Maybe this seems obvious to a lot of people, but I think it can't be emphasized enough: Many moderate voters — who share Democrats' concerns on a wide range of issues — have been led to believe that good Christians don't vote Democratic. Those voters are the people the Party needs to reach.
From a religious perspective, of course, there are other things we religiously committed Democrats need to do — especially because some of us look for all the world like we have mistaken the Democratic Party platform for the gospel. But that's a subject for another post. For now, let's just be clear about the fact that the Democrats — and especially their fired-up brighter-than-thou activists — have not yet learned to communicate sympathetically with a lot of Democratically-inclined churchgoers. We're talking about millions of people here.
And before anyone complains that the world is sharply divided into enlightened secularists and benighted fundamentalists, please first review Beliefnet's "Twelve Tribes of American Politics."
(Posting will be light this weekend; I'll be attending the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship's "Revival 4" conference in Worcester.)
Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 5 November 2004 at 8:22 AM