Faith and politics

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on April 16, 2008

Color me confused.

For the second time this presidential primary season, Democrats gathered Sunday night at a forum where they each spent better than 30 minutes talking about their faith.

John McCain was invited to take part, but declined.

The so-called "Compassion Forum" had both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama giving their testimonies and calling the crowd to follow them -- not in giving their lives to Christ -- but into the voting booth to vote for them. I was mildly surprised Rev. Billy Graham didn't get up on stage afterwards for an altar call.

It was an odd maneuver for a party whose candidates have cried foul every time a Republican has said "Jesus" -- even if he was just thanking the guy who cooked him his carne asada burrito.

Democrats have been lamenting their inability to get religious voters (defined as those who attend church at least weekly) to vote for them for decades. Apparently, the fact that this exodus from the Democratic Party began when it embraced pro-abortion absolutism has completely eluded party bigwigs.

So, this is an effort to reach out -- but I don't think it's fooling anyone. A play for religious voters would require a sort of moderation on the abortion issue that is more substantive than Sen. Clinton's "safe, legal and rare." Obama's got an even bigger problem -- as an Illinois state senator he voted against a bill that required the products of failed abortions, commonly known as "babies," be given medical treatment.

At least Obama was consistent Sunday night when he told forum attendees that he doesn't pretend to know when life begins.

All this God talk has the secular left holding their noses -- and some of them can't even manage that.

In the past few decades, the GOP has won the "values voters" because they have respected people of faith and they have espoused values that most religious people can embrace.

Democrats, on the other hand, have often had people like Bill Maher, Rosie O'Donnell and their ilk out slamming religous believers and belittling their concerns.

This is what Sunday night's forum was intended to remedy.

There's a line that really shouldn't be crossed when it comes to politics and faith. I'm not so worried about faith's effect on politics as I am politics' effect on faith.

Democrats are desperately trying to reach out -- and their desperation has caused them to cross that line.

I think it's more than enough for candidates for public office to disclose their religious beliefs in broad terms and how that influences who they are and how they vote. That's what has happened in every election I can recall -- and every election I've ever read about.

It's usually the GOP that gets all of the criticism for dealing in "code words" aimed at religious voters. Democrats skipped right over that and are basely using their religion to attempt to win votes. The Pharisees praying in public had nothing on this display of religiosity.

The Democrats are trying to hold a religious revival. They're bringing religion into their politics to a degree that it dirties both -- and considering the state of politics, that takes some doing.

There were several reverends and pastors who participated in Sunday night's forum. Why? Is there anyone who will stand up and say that this is wrong? It would be wrong if Republicans did it. It's wrong that Democrats did it.

I don't agree with John McCain on much, but his refusal to take part in this event was the right thing to do.

0 comments on “Faith and politics”

  1. [...] I mentioned several months ago that Obama had voted against a bill as an Illinois state senator that would’ve ensured that babies who survived botched abortions were human beings and wouldn’t be left to die. Obama has countered that the bill in question didn’t have language in it that explicitly acknowledged that the bill in no way sought or pretended to confer any rights in violation of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade. [...]


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