11.11.2006

the "god gap"

Interesting article in today' WaPo - "Democrats Win Bigger Share of Religious Vote: Parties Disagree on Why Gap Has Narrowed."

Possible explanations?

Evangelical Christians are "fed up with the Republican leadership, particularly in the House," said the Rev. Richard Land, head of the public policy arm of the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention. "They're disgusted that Republicans came to Washington and failed to behave any better than Democrats once they got their snouts in the trough."

Or ...

And James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, issued a statement saying that "many of the Values Voters of '04 simply stayed at home this year" because the Republican Party has "consistently ignored the constituency that put them in power." [The next paragraph points out that in fact white evangelical Protestants turned out this week as heavily as they did in 2004, making up roughly 24 percent of the electorate both times.]

Or ...

People really care about right and wrong more than right and left, and their antennae were up about corruption and the war in Iraq and kitchen-table moral issues -- health care and poverty," said Alexia Kelley, executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, a group that set out this year to challenge the religious right's hold on moral issues.

Whatever the reason, I find it interesting and encouraging on several levels. For one thing, we are talking about God in more than just narrow terms and hot potatoe issues. I came of age politically when the conservative religious swing began 20+ years ago (being from a political family I was an early bloomer). I think it is healthy that we have more diversity and dynamism in our political/religious involvement in the body politic. Rather than simply using litmus tests, it seems to me that our faith calls us to look critically at the issues and vote for the common good of ALL, especially the poor and vulnerable. This will naturally stump the pundits from time to time, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Who knows, maybe we're moving in that direction?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Susan, Did you notice that your spelled potato in the same way Dan Quayle did in his famous gaffe some years ago - potatoe. Maybe that's why you didn't get 100% on the Democrat test the other day!

Terry

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

That's pretty funny ... No, I hadn't noticed. Maybe I'm getting in touch with my inner republican!

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, some of us were taught to spell "potato" and "tomato" with the "e" on the end. It wasn't until I got to college that a professor corrected me on it. I looked it up in the dictionary and there it was! It really only had the "o" ending.

AuntieD

Lee Strong said...

People of faith care about issues like abortion and gay marriage, yes, but the GOP failed to deliver.
Moreover, people of faith also care about issues like ethical behavior, the environment, social and economic justice, and so on. The GOP is losing them on those issues.

The Dems aren't perfet - they are terrible on the first two issues, though there are more pro-life Dems - but when you balance out no action overall to at least some action on the last few issues I cited, the Dems begin to pull in religious folks.