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July 14, 2007 / Daniel

Democrats and God

I normally try to stay out of politics on my blog.  My brother Jon is the one who’s really into politics.  However, this article by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy in Time magazine this week caught my eye.  Gibbs and Duffy point out that in this upcoming elections, the Democrats are doing more to court the religious vote than they have in the past. 

When I was growing up, I definitely thought that the GOP was God’s party.    Most of the Democrats that I knew were my secular college teachers who were atheists or agnostics.   

According to this article, the Democrats are trying to make up for that.   In particular, Hillary and Obama are now spending a lot of time talking about their faith and what it means to them.  I guess that they realize that the Democrats suffered greatly in 2004 from their apparent lack of religion.  Now while I’m glad to hear that Hillary has a favorite hymn and everything, the whole thing seems to have a manipulative overtone to it.  It’s almost like I’ll tell you what you want to hear, if that translates into more votes.    What do you think?   

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13 Comments

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  1. Michael Awbrey / Jul 16 2007 1:29 am

    I suspect that this will do them alot of good in the upcoming elections, since so many are wanting anything but Bush or anything like him.

  2. fiester25 / Jul 16 2007 1:36 pm

    Michael,

    I think that you’re probably right. Most evangelicals that I talk to seem to be a little disillusioned with Bush.

    Some folks want a religious Democrat to be the next president. The question is, “Does this person really have evangelical values (i.e. abortion and the sanctity of marriage)?”

  3. Michael Awbrey / Jul 16 2007 11:38 pm

    Yeah. One thing that has aggravated me for some time is that abortion and marriage are the only “evangelical” values. What of concern for the poor, the alien, the abused. Democrats seem to have the upper hand here. Yet Republicans have co-oped evangelicals by playing up the marriage and abortion issues (though evangelicals bear a big responsibility for limiting their concerns to these.

    In short, I have never found either party more evangelical than the other. One just knew how to manipulate evangelicals better.

  4. fiester25 / Jul 17 2007 2:02 am

    Caring for the poor is definitely something that we need to value as Christians. And it doesn’t always seem like that’s a high priority on the Republican agenda.

    On the other hand, I have a hard time with folks like Obama talk about their relationship with Jesus one moment and then the next minute they’re talking about a woman’s “right” to murder her unborn child. (Not that Bush has necessarily done any better). This article seems to point that the Dems are making a comeback when it comes to manipulating “born-againers.”

    Talk’s cheap. Faith produces works.

  5. Levi Michael / Jul 17 2007 5:52 pm

    True that. I feel like the Republicans have manipulated the Evangelical right-wing conservative vote long enough, so I guess it’s the Democrats’ turn.
    It should also trouble us that the leading Republican candidates don’t espouse any Christian values: Giulani is pro-rich, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, thrice divorced, pro-war, and anti-immigrant.
    He doesn’t stand for anything I stand for.

  6. fiester25 / Jul 17 2007 6:14 pm

    Levi,

    What do you think of some of the long-shots like Mike Huckabee or Sam Brownback?

  7. Levi Michael / Jul 17 2007 9:22 pm

    Both Brownback and Huckabee have more genuine conservative moral positions in areas like abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and marriage. However, they also tend toward the ridiculous in other areas: Brownback’s platform includes a 600-odd mile fence on the Mexico-USA border, a nod to racist, anti-immigrationist militiamen, no doubt.
    And he has little or no position on the war. Was it necessary? Was it just? Is it completeable? On the plus side, he doesn’t seem to be a neo-imperialist, err neo-conservative, either.

  8. Michael Awbrey / Jul 17 2007 9:31 pm

    Not that anyone cares, but I’ll throw out my prediction on next year’s election: 1) It won’t matter who the Rep. run. 2)The Dem.s will win – either Obama or Hilliary.

    Why? One answer: the war.

  9. fiester25 / Jul 18 2007 1:14 am

    Michael,

    I think that you’re probably right. I tend to think that Obama will be the next prez.

    Levi,

    I’m curious about your views on immigration. Are you for completely open-borders? I have some friends here in Nebraska that lived on the border for awhile. They had illegals running through their yard. They said that a lot of it involves the transportation of illegal drugs as well.

  10. Levi Michael / Jul 18 2007 3:43 am

    I’m not for completely open borders, but I think 600+ miles of fence is unfeasible and unnecessary.
    We should work to change the situations (here and in the countries of origin) to make illegal immigration less attractive and we should make the naturalization process more accessible, including fast-tracking the citizenship of illegals who are here and want to be citizens.
    Lastly, we should recognize the fence/vigilante crowd agenda as what it is: racism.

    If the issue was security, we would be discussing closing the Canadian border, since all 15+ 9/11 terrorists entered the country originally through Canada. Mexicans+ latinos are the only ones who enter the US through Mexico. Terrorists come through Canada.

  11. Levi Michael / Jul 18 2007 3:48 am

    And here’s one for the “Christian nation” crowd:
    What the heck ever happened to the Biblical mandate from Genesis through Revelation to be hospitable to strangers and kind to aliens?
    Some, without knowing it, have entertained strangers. Others arrested them.

  12. fiester25 / Jul 18 2007 11:18 pm

    I think that you’re right in a lot of ways. If we worked to improve Mexico’s economy, not as many folks would come up illegally. And as far as security goes, the Canadian border should be tougher to get through as well.

    However, illegal immigration still seems to be a bigger problem than just that. A lot of the folks jumping the border illegally are doing so to bring drugs in and they want to avoid the border guards.

    What about the market that it creates for stolen SS numbers? That’s going to be a problem eventually because two people can’t draw on the same SS account.

  13. Levi Michael / Jul 19 2007 5:17 am

    Who do you think buys drugs smuggled into America?
    No matter how big the fence is, if the price of drugs in America is high enough, someone will figure out a way to bring them in. Period. And why are drugs in America priced high? One of two things: high demand or low supply. Or a combination of the two. Those are the variables that will change the ‘drug war.’ A 600 mile fence will not.
    That being said, I absolutely think our government should enforce our current immigration and drug laws to the best of their ability. I just don’t think it will do much good.

    In the Second Antiphon (from Psalm 146) of the Divine Liturgy (in the Slavic tradition, anyway) we sing something like:
    Put not your trust in princes, in sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.
    When his breath departs, he returns to his dirt; on that very day his plans perish.

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