Religion and the Democrats

Since I’m a little more interested in politics this year (working for a candidate does that), I’m reading up on Dean. From Dean-o-Phobe, I came across this apology by Atrios for the perceived secularism of the Democratic party:

Another thing that everyone knows is that Democrats are God-hating heathen pagan atheists. Much like gay rights issues, there’s literally nothing they can do overcome that image. Divorced Ronald Reagan went to church about as often as I do but that didn’t stop him from being portrayed as a God-fearing devout [insert your own denomination here] Christian.

There are plenty of Christians who’ll vote more Democratic than Republican. The problem is not that Democrats are secular (or that Republicans are particularly religious — they aren’t). It is simply the image that groups like the Christian Coalition have created of the two parties — an image that Republican’s have encouraged with their nominal politiking on the abortion issue.

Many of my closest friends are devout Christians who vote Democratic. My uncle is a Mennonite minister who feels much closer to the Democrats than the Republicans. I’d invite anyone to read through the pages of Creation Care for a good sampling of Evangelical Christian thinking that isn’t tightly bound to the Republican platform.

It looks like Dean has seen this weakness — his secularism — and begun to exploit his nominal Christianity by giving sermons in churches. If he continues down that path, he’s gonna sink faster than ever. People recognise falseness. Bush’s and Liberman’s religion feels authentic. Dean’s doesn’t.

There are a lot of “super-secular” Democrats who, like Atrios, think the fact is that the people who care most about this stuff aren’t going to be happy until we have Ten Commandment monuments on every street corner, but these super-secularists are just as wrong (and annoying) as the fundamentalists that they decry.

Just as Christians can’t let themselves be lulled into thinking that a government, set of laws, or political party is going work for what they believe is best, ardent Secularists can’t allow themselves to dismiss all believers as ignorant and irrelevent.

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