Monday, October 23, 2006

R-39 Religion - Politics - In god we Trust... Ahhhhhhh..... Change that.. In OUR God we Trust...

Conservatism doesn't need God

That was the nearly universal advice to Democratic politicians after the publicly pious George W. Bush vanquished the more religiously reticent John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. The largest plurality of voters - 22% - had told exit pollsters that "moral values" (left undefined in the poll) were their most salient concern. Add to this enigmatic survey finding the fact that 11 states passed amendments banning gay marriage, and the result, according to gleeful Republican pundits and not a few Democratic consultants, was the exposure of a Democratic God gap....... Ever since then, Democrats have been trying to show that they, too, have God in their hearts and in their caucus rooms.

What does faith reveal?

What are we supposed to learn when a candidate talks about his faith: That he is a good person? The rich history of religious bounders and charlatans should give the lie to that hope. Nor has a sincere belief in God prevented behavior we now view as morally repugnant. There were few more religious Americans than antebellum slaveholders and their political representatives; their claim to a divine mandate for slavery was based in unimpeachable Scriptural authority.

Or perhaps a politician's discussion of his prayer habits should reassure the public he'll make the right decisions in office. But what if opposing candidates declare themselves supplicants of the divine will - how will a voter decide who is most likely to receive divine guidance?


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