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Monday, November 15, 2004

Democrats get religion

Kathleen Parker responds to recent statements by Democrats that their party needs to reconnect with religious voters by having its leaders talk more openly about faith:

[F]ashioning politico-religious message is problematic. People who are deeply religious fashion their lives, not just their messages, in certain ways, according to deeply held convictions. Religion isn't a political strategy; it's a belief system that guides one's lifestyle.

As this discussion evolves, I keep associating to that memorable scene from "When Harry Met Sally" when Meg Ryan, sitting in a deli, convincingly fakes "That Very Special Moment" to prove that women can and do fake their lovemaking satisfaction. Co-star Billy Crystal is duly impressed, as is an older woman sitting nearby, who tells her waitress: "I'll have what she's having."

The Democrats apparently have decided they'll have what Bush has been having. I half expect to see aspiring Democratic Presidential candidates showing up at Promise Keepers conventions, high-fiving for Jesus, and photo-oping with little Baptist blue-hairs on their way to Wednesday-night prayer meeting.

Of all the things one can pretend in order to win a voter's confidence, religious devotion seems the least likely. Moreover, until the Democratic Party's policy positions reflect beliefs consistent with the values held by America's religious moderates and traditionalists, their newly fashioned messages are going to sound like what they are. Faked.

Much like Paul on the road to Damascus, the Democrats appear to be having a religious conversion in an attempt to reach the White House ("Golly, I've got to get me some of that there Jesus stuff -- it's fantastic!"). While some of the more cynical among us may say such actions smack of opportunism, the Democrats have been quick to couch their religious call-to-arms as a need to "talk openly" about their faith or to "remember" (wink, wink) that there are areas of the Bible that Liberals can use to bash Republicans.

By attempting to scrape off some of the Republican Party's religious base,the Left only shows how little it understands this country's Christian community. Evangelicals don't view their religion as a tool or some sort of moral exemplar to be pulled out every now and again to score political points, nor are fundamentalist Christians going to start voting blue just because Nancy Pelosi is somehow able to link Jesus and the story of the loaves and fishes to the future of welfare reform. Moral values spring from deeds, not words, and no one expects the Left's deeds to change one iota.

The most compelling evidence of the intentions of the Left comes from its own supporters. There has been no hue or cry from the increasingly secular Democrats regarding the attempt to reach out to the devout, because they know that this is all an act. They know that Hillary Clinton will not push for abstinence education, a ban on gay marriage, or any other morality-based legislation, but they are willing to allow the nod to values if it brings in precious votes.

The mere call for Democrats to show their moral bona fides, however, only demonstrates how intellectually bankrupt they are on questions of morality. It is a secular mantra of the Left that "religion has no place in politics." With the Republican Party once again riding religious voters to victory, the Democrat politicians are now telling us that it is fine to bring morality into the public sphere as long as it's their morality. Now that's what I call a principled stand.

Update: La Shawn over at Red State has a good article on the Dems "getting religion."

Centinel 1:00 PM #


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