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NYT Hoping Religious Right Will Go Away

by Christopher Chantrill
October 29, 2007 at 4:29 pm

IT’S as regular as clockwork: the article in The New York Times reporting that the religious right is about to go away.  This time it’s David D. Kirkpatrick’s turn.

The old warhorses of the Religious Right are dying off, and many church communities are tired of hearing about politics from the preacher’s lectern.  They are also tired and conflicted about the Iraq War.  And what about Rudy Giuliani?

[He] could hardly be less like their kind of guy: twice divorced, thrice married, estranged from his children and church and a supporter of legalized abortion and gay rights.

That is, unless he turns out to be their kind of guy.  Then comes the inevitable paragraph:

Democrats, meanwhile, sense an opportunity. Now the campaigns of all three Democratic front-runners are actively courting evangelical voters. At a White House event to mark the National Day of Prayer that I attended in the spring, Senator Clinton even walked over to shake hands with Dobson. Visibly surprised, he told her she was in his prayers.

All three Democratic candidates are speaking very personally, in evangelical language, about their own faith. What does Clinton pray about? “It depends upon the time of day,” she said. Edwards says he cannot name his greatest sin: “I sin every single day.” Obama talks about his introduction to “someone named Jesus Christ” and about being “an instrument of God.”

The trouble with this sort of wishful thinking is that it rather ignores the elephant in the room.  It is one thing for Democratic presidential candidates to make nicey nicey with the voters about their religious beliefs.  But it doesn’t change the fact that the Democratic Party is a party of the secular, the single, and the childless.

Real Democrats expect their leaders to advance the banner of Peace and Justice, meaning more and bigger government programs for slacker liberals and more and more stringent hate-crime laws to protect the GLTB community from the tsunami of gay-bashing that we all know is poised to engulf America.

Evangelical Christians just aren’t into all that stuff.  Whatever The New York Times may say.

Evangelicals are mostly nice decent married people with children who believe in being decent and neighborly and in live-and-let-live.

Most us us could learn something from them.


Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill