Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Barack Obama continues his impressive Senate career asking the important questions.

Sen. Barack Obama chastised fellow Democrats on Wednesday for failing to "acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people," and said the party must compete for the support of evangelicals and other churchgoing Americans.

"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters," the Illinois Democrat said in remarks prepared for delivery to a conference of Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty...

At the same time, he said, "Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square."

As a result, "I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy."

It's totally true.  You can't swing a dead cat in this country without hitting a generic secularist who's all like 'Stop praying, weirdo', before handing out a Democratic voter registration card.

Thank you, Obama, for taking on this critical yet vulnerable stereotype, and reinforcing it with moral security measures.

Tags: Barack Obama (all tags)

Comments

112 Comments

Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

"It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase `under God,'" he said. "Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats."

How many readers of this site believe it is wrong to have "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance?

by Steve M 2006-06-28 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I do, so I disagree with Obama's first sentence there (of course, the whole idea of pledging allegiance to the flag seems fascist to me). But the second sentence seems reasonable.

On the quotes in Matt's post, I do observe frequent excessive freaking out among liberals over any mention of God by a politician. There are a lot of people who are understandably sick of the theocrats and thus react badly to anyone who so much as mentions religion. I'm talking mainly about conversations among liberals, especially online. It's obviously not something that happens in the traditional media.

by KCinDC 2006-06-28 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I'm not disagreeing with you, although I personally put the Pledge in the "not a big deal" category.

But I think your position is a fairly standard view, which highlights my problem with this post and some of the responses; people are simultaneously saying "how dare Obama smear us like this" and "actually, there's some truth to what he's saying about us."

There are a lot of Democrats who think that God or religion shouldn't be mentioned at all in the context of Government, no "under God," no opening prayer in Congress, and so forth.  And maybe that is a 100% correct interpretation of the Constitution.  But Obama is right to say that this is a widely-held belief, and that it's a turn-off to many religious voters.

Obama didn't say that Democrats hate America or that they are weak on national security or that they are hostile to religion.  He said that some Democrats take an absolutist view regarding mentions of God or religion, which I think is a true statement that many readers of this site would actually embrace.  And Obama doesn't happen to agree, and he is offering his own philosophy, which is that we can have separation of church and state while still permitting the occasional invocation of God's name.

I think there is a lot more truth to Obama's characterization than Matt's snarky post acknowledges.  But that's only if you think about what he actually said, rather than write this off as another stereotype about how Democrats hate religion.

by Steve M 2006-06-28 07:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I think my only disagreement with you is that I believe there's a difference between having an individual politician (even the president) who believes in God mention God in a speech or national address and having an official opening prayer for Congress. There are some people who believe that politicians should not mention there personal religious beliefs at all, as if their religion was some sort of slightly embarrassing hobby that didn't affect any other aspect of their lives.

I believe that all official governmental endorsements of religion are wrong (school-led prayers, "In God We Trust" on coins, "under God" in the Pledge, etc.). But I recognize that any politician publicly embracing that position would be committing political suicide.

by KCinDC 2006-06-28 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

My question is... is this the most important battle to fight right now.  In God we trust might offend some, but is it going to destroy their lives and the country.  This fight is the same as the GOP trying to pass the Flag burning amendment, congressional investigation into Steroids in baseball, etc... it is all a distraction from the big issues... We have kids being killed in Iraq, trillions in debt, people dying here for lack of Healthcare and a President willfully violating the personal privacy rights of US Citizens.  Maybe we should put this sort of unimportant fight on hold along with other unimportant fights and start working on BIG PROBLEMS.  Once we fix those, we can argue about the Pledge and In God we trust.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-06-28 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

It's not the left that is starting these fights.

The "under God" lawsuit in, I think, California a few years ago was brought by a private citizen, and ruled on by a judge.  It was not a ballot initiative by the Democratic party.  The same with the school prayer issue in the '60s and '70s -- schools were forced to obey the Constitution by courts, not by organized left-wing political crusaders.

Putting "under God" in the pledge was a Republican political stunt in the 1950s.  The anti-flag-burning amendment is a perennial Republican political stunt.

They are the ones who are making these things into political issues.  It's not that America is being "secularized", it's that they are trying to de-secularize it.

by Maximus 2006-06-28 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Absolutely (except that I'd prefer "less important" to "unimportant"). That's why I had the last sentence in my comment.

There are all sorts of things that I'd like to be different. But I recognize that some of them aren't possible in the current political environment.

by KCinDC 2006-06-28 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

the reason you get absolutists is because

which is that we can have separation of church and state while still permitting the occasional invocation of God's name.

this statement is a contradiction.

"Absolutists" (I'm probably one of them) recognize that w/o a clean separation, you go down the path of arguing about where the boundary is.

by dblhelix 2006-06-28 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

The problem is that if you draw the boundary where you seem to want to, saying that religious politicians must never mention their beliefs and must pretend they have no religion, then you are inhibiting religious freedom.

Politicians should be free to talk about their religious beliefs (or lack thereof), as well as to follow their values (religiously based or not) in proposing policies and laws. The line should be drawn when there's any imposition of religion on others.

by KCinDC 2006-06-28 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I would agree with you if this were a better world.

Given that politicians have injected religious beliefs into the public discussion to form the basis for legislation, I am forced to remain an absolutist.

by dblhelix 2006-06-28 10:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

The reason why your point is incorrect is because those of us who are secularists have no role in the party or in politics in general.

Name an elected Democratic politician who is an atheist/secularist.

Name a significant Democratic party figure who is an atheist/secularist.

There aren't any, or there are very few and I haven't heard of them, or none of them are outspoken.  Yes, there are some Democrats (like me) who have a low opinion of "faith" and think it has no place in politics. But none of us actually have any influence or power, so Obama's point is moot at best.

On the other hand, it does help Republicans who want to falsely paint Democrats as a bunch of God-haters -- "see, even Barack Obama thinks Democrats are hostile to religion", as well as those who wish to marginalize the non-religious. They don't need any help - atheists are already the most distrusted minority.

Obama is wrong about this for the same reason that Dean was wrong about this. When asked about Democrats vis-a-vis "values voters", the answer should be something like:

"No, Democrats don't hate religious people. Most Democrats are religious themselves, just like most Republicans are religious. But non-religious - Democrat, Republican or independent - love their country just as much as Christians or Jews or anyone else and deserve as much a role in society and public life as any other minority group. Atheists aren't the psychotic amoral hedonists some of the religious right would have you believe. They love their families and love their neighbors, work and play and put their pants on one leg at a time just like any other American."

by fwiffo 2006-06-28 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

It is wrong to have "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.  The United States was created as a non-religious nation.  The word "under God" were inserted into the Pledge during the Eisenhower administration as part of any anti-Communist red scare.  The words "under God" transform the idea of the United States from a secular nation tolerant of people of any faith to one of a nation that sees its own destiny driven by "God" and therefore hitches its wagon to one particular religious concept.  If you have any doubt about the religious intent of the law in question, read Eisenhower's statement at the time the law was passed.  

See http://www.religioustolerance.org/nat_pl ed.htm

"From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our Nation and our people to the Almighty."

I've yet to see anything from Senator Obama that would impress me.  I thought he was supposed to be smart.  

by RickD 2006-06-28 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

That's fine.  But how come, when Obama points out that many Democrats feel exactly as you do, his comments are dismissed as a stereotypical "Democrats hate religion" insult?

From Obama's perspective, minor invocations of religion like the Pledge are just fine and opposition to them is hurting our ability to build a coalition with people who would otherwise be sympathetic to Democratic values.  You disagree and you believe your position is the correct understanding of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers' intent.  There's nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't mean Obama is making some kind of unfair attack - as I see it, he is accurately describing your view and the view of others who share it.  He never said that it means you "hate" religion.

by Steve M 2006-06-28 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

That's fine.  But how come, when Obama points out that many Democrats feel exactly as you do, his comments are dismissed as a stereotypical "Democrats hate religion" insult?

He is not pointint out that many democrats / seculars feel this way.  He is not in fact pointing out that many democrats feel that its inappropriate for the words "under god" to be there because of the history of our nation, and the history of how the words were inserted into the pledge to begin with...

Instead he is disparaging and dismissing anyone with that belief when he says: It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase `under God,'"

The problem with that sentiment is that it ignores the fact that many students in a school setting will in fact feel pressure to recite the words "Under God" or risk being the stand-outs or the weirdos who dont believe in god in the eyes of their peers.  Most students will feel the pressure to fall in line and be like others -- and this in fact over the years will indoctrinate some people's kids.  You may not consider that a big deal, but if someone is trying to raise their child an atheist or some other non-God believing religion it IS a big deal...  And for Senator Obama to sit there and assert that because its not a big deal to him, a Christian and a man of deep faith, is the height of insensitivity to those who are different.  It's ignorant and its not right.

Maybe those students wont feel brainwashed, but their parents who are older and know better, might in fact feel that the schools are in a small way indoctrinating their children against their will.  That is a big deal to some people and it clearly becomes a co-ersive event -- in the same way that a mandatory prayer in which non-believers could sit out if they choose would be.

by avagias 2006-06-28 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Well, my stance is that "under God" should not be in the Pledge.  Barack Obama is quite clearly taking exactly the opposite stance, that I am wrong for insisting that religion be left out of the public arena.  He knows what he's doing.  He's trying to marginalize my viewpoint in order to make himself look better. I'm not saying that he says I "hate religion", but he's definitely trying to look "cool" and "more tolerant", rather than arguing for what I think should be a core position of the Democratic party in the coming decades.  I also think this breed of politician is killing the Democratic party.  All of these self-interested, short-sighted politicians who are more interested in pandering to what they think the Center is are actual Useful Idiots in the real struggle to define The Center.  If the Democratic Party is ever to restore dignity to the United States, the very fist step that needs to be taken is for Democrats to actually believe in the ideals of their own party.  These constant, tiny betrayals make all of us look weak and disorganized.    

by RickD 2006-06-28 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

No Rick, he is saying it is wrong for you to ask those people to leave their beliefs at the door when discussing matters such as the pledge... just as it would be wrong for them to ask you to ignore your beliefs.  He is sayign the party should not IGNORE religious people but fight to include them... after all, there are people of Faith who would vote Democrat.  They deserve a chance to speak their mind, just as anyone else does.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-06-28 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

That is sort of Revisionist History, Rick...  To think the US all of a sudden went from a tolerant secular nation to the notion of being a Christian nation is completely ignoring what has happened in this country over the last two hundred years.  Rightly or wrongly, this nation has been far worst than we are now...

Some would argue that this country was NOT created as a non-religious nation but rather as one to promote religious tolerance among different Christians (and no I doubt those people see the irony in this either).  After all, many of the Europeans who came here were Christians who were seeking to get away from the persecution of their own religion by governments and the Church.  Catholics were guilty, English Protestants were guilty of this, and these groups took their sect of Christianity to America where they were equally intolerant of those who didn't follow their beliefs.  Some would also argue that the Seperation clause was added to avoid this... so that the Government can't prosecute peopel for not following their religion.  Luckily this has involved to protect all groups over the years, but an arguement could be made that the founding fathers were not as tolerant and benevolent as you say.

Beyond that, look at the 1800's and tell me official US policy wasn't LOADED with the belief we were guided by God.  In God we Trust was added to money in 1864 (although like the pledge, it wasn't made the motto until 1956) and while it did disappear in 1883, it has been on all coins since 1938, the Government believed strongly in its Manifest Destiny (and some think the Bushies or Reagan came up with this hairbrained concept... they are simply pushing it again), and both Feds and State worked to destroy "those godless heathen savages" as well as other groups they didn't believe in.  In fact in Missouri it was LEGAL to kill Mormons.  

Were these thoughts and actions right... Of course not.  But what Stoller and many others don't seem to get is that right or wrong, there is a HISTORY to this and that people who feel strongly about them (just as Stoller and others feel strongly about their opinion) are going to fight for it and should be listened too.  I see Obama saying be tolerant of others opinions when I read his quotes, something Howard Dean has preached a lot as well... Stoller, who has a stick up his about the guy, sees the worse and chooses to ignore others who make similiar statements.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-06-28 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I do.  

It is clear to me that Obama (who I do generally like) didn't grow up "secular" or as an atheist in an otherwise religiously homogenous environment.  I don't know if I would say I felt "oppressed" when I was forced to say "under God" as a kid in school, but I sure as heck didn't feel like I was being treated in a way that conformed to the very same American principles they would teach us about in that same room.  While it might currently be politically fashionable to pretend that no such kids really exist, that doesn't make it true.

by Patton 2006-06-28 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Same here.  I can remember asking the nun about the pledge vs the Constitution.  She didn't have an answer.

by NorCalJim 2006-06-28 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I do, but that is because of the reason it was added to the pledge.  I am myself a man of faith.  To me, Obama is saying that it is a bad idea to ignore that faith is essential to many people, even if it isn't to aethiests and possibly secularists and that Dems need to listen to people of faith as well.  Howard Dean said similiar stuff when he talked about not only being a president for progressives, but a president to the Nascar dads, etc... in other words actually LISTENING to what others have to say instead of doing what the Republicans do and curse anyone who doesn't agree with them.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-06-28 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

i don't recall being asked to recite it in school until we moved to the South, ~7th grade. it is not something i ever discussed with my parents. i found it offensive, not because i am not a Christian but because i had friends in school that i knew were not. i chose a polite form of civil disobedience (i said the pledge but not the 'under God' bit). for some, saying this in the pledge is a form of apostasy. some children, deeply immersed in their family's religious faiths at a young age, face a two-fold moral conundrum: am i committing a sin? AND do i ask Mom and Dad (for sinning is dirty and who wants to be dirty or wants their parents to know they are dirty)?

i think it is a big deal because it is the tip of the degradation of Separation of Chuch and State. it is from here that we get the displaying of huge 'artistic renditions' of the Commandments in Courthouses, a brilliant and implicit way of stating 'you are like us or agin us.'

it is one thing for someone to say 'this is how i feel,' or even 'i will pray for you.' it is another to say 'this is what you must say' or 'you should pray.'

finally, to slightly correct another commenter, it wasn't right-wingers per se that put God on Money or inserted the Under God bit in the pledge, it was politicians overall that were terrified of being labeled Communist during the Red Scare.

by jax 2006-06-28 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

God was on money LONG before Eisenhower.  The official Act passed in 1908, I believe... By 1938, all money had it and has had it since.  It started though in 1864.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-06-28 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

my bad.

by jax 2006-06-28 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

And we only have REALLY had a true seperation of Church and State occur over the last Century... So it could be more accurately portrayed that the pledge and motto are remnants of a time when the government interpretted the seperation clause differently (or ignored it)... After all, school prayer was around for a long time... it has been illegal a lot less time than it has been legal (and it should not be allowed.)

by yitbos96bb 2006-06-28 08:33AM | 0 recs
Barack

this is the worst yet from him.

For someone with such obviously great political instincts in his campaign, he's shown incredibly poor political judgment since.

He must be taking lessons in bashing the Democratic party from his "mentor."

by tparty 2006-06-28 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack

Just to point out... and I am sure this will be unpopular on here... but the views of most MYDDers and Most FREEPERS are in the minority of peoples views in this country... We and the Freepers just happen to be more vocal about our opinions...  SO really while he might tick off some of you who seem to expect way too much from a Senator who hasn't been in office 2 years, one could argue that what he says appeals to MANY MANY people.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-06-28 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

This is garbage. High pitched political rhetoric for a purpose.  When we debate issues- I want examples. Now- here is one example I find demeaning and I am sure Obama and Stoller would applaud. Why should my son be required to say a "republic under God" everyday at school. And please, don't tell me he can opt out at fourth grade. All I want is for Christers to mind their own business- what is so wrong with that. Would people hold the same views if it was Wiccans or Muslims attempting to penetrate the public square?      

by RAULC 2006-06-28 06:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I think America did just fine during the sixty years that "under God" wasn't part of the pledge. For the record, we won two world wars when the pledge didn't have those two words and are in the middle of losing our second war since they have been added.

by Bob Brigham 2006-06-28 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Actually, the United States existed for almost 180 years without a Pledge of Allegiance that included "under God".

This pseudo-issue was a matter of cheap political opportunism in 1954, and it's still cheap political opportunism now.

And I say that as a religious person.

by Maximus 2006-06-28 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

And by the way, besides the important civic arguments against this kind of claptrap, there are some very solid RELIGIOUS arguments against it too.

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

-- Matthew 6:5-6 (NIV)

And the original argument for separation of church and state:

Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

--Matthew 22:21

BONUS ROUND: Here's a religious argument against posting the Ten Commandments in government bulidings!

What well-known religious text advises against this sort of thing?  None other than the Ten Commandments themselves!  Specifically, the first and second Commandments (or first, second, and third Commandments, if you accept the revisionist Protestant reading):

"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

"You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."

--Deuteronomy 5:8-11 (NIV)

The core teachings of Christianity, as laid out by Jesus, are heavily focused on attacking hypocrisy, especially religious hypocrisy.  It's always amazing to me how so many Christians seem to utterly and completely miss this point.  All you have to do is read the Gospels to get it.  But human beings of all stripes have an immense talent for overlooking the obvious.

by Maximus 2006-06-28 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

A 3 for bringing up the all-too-often overlooked Sermon on the Mount.  Try squaring THOSE teachings of Jesus with the fact that we have, somehow, a televised National Prayer Breakfast.

by Steve M 2006-06-28 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Well, yeah... but to be fair the pledge hasn't been around for 180 years... SO one could argue we did fine with out one for 100 plus years.  I say scrap the whole thing... Loyalty oaths suck and divide us and keep us fromt he important issues.  We are arguing about this instead of focusing BIG PICTURE.  

by yitbos96bb 2006-06-28 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I have faith in the belief that Obama deserves a divine can of STFU.

by Bob Brigham 2006-06-28 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Barack, selling us, and himself so short. How could he have internalized the DC storyline so quickly?

by zappatero 2006-06-28 07:04AM | 0 recs
Selling us short. Selling us out.

by NorCalJim 2006-06-28 07:19AM | 0 recs
Ok chill out

He was speaking to a group of moderate to liberal Christians, who see politics through the lens of their faith. Most Democrats don't care what a person's faith is, but there are some who (understandably) get nervous and defensive when someone starts talking about God. I've experienced it, and I'm sure others have. It's not the norm, but it happens.

Also, Obama makes a good point in another sense. When it comes to values issues, Democrats too often scorn conservatives for drawing on their faith. While I agree that Jesus is probably not anti-gay, I think we've become too dismissive of those who disagree with us on social issues because of their faith.

So calm down, people. Obama's not picking up the favorite right-wing mantle of "poor, oppressed Christians." He's simply asking liberals to take faith seriously in a new way.

BTW, I wouldn't mind seeing "under God" taken out of the Pledge. But I wouldn't go to the barricades for it.

by bluenc 2006-06-28 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Ok chill out

Shorter bluenc's arguments:  If you don't automatically defer to the moral authority of religious arguments in the public square, you are anti-religion and should just STFU.

by paperwight 2006-06-28 07:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Ok chill out

I don't "scorn conservatives for drawing on their faith".  That's how conservatives pretend the interaction is going on.  What's really happening is not that they are "drawing on their faith", but trying to use the power of the state to ram their faith down the throats of the public at large.  

Why is it so hard for right-wingers to keep their religious devotion confined to their own houses of worship?  Why do they need to insert it into schools, courts, the Pledge of Allegiance, the dollar bill, and all sorts of parts of public life?  It seems very rude to me, and intolerant, presumptuous and dismissive of other points of view.
You say "Democrats" get "nervous and defensive" when someone starts talking about God?  I see conservatives get nervous and defensive when I start talking about God.  Perhaps the lesson that should be learned is that discussions about God should be kept out of politics?  There are literally centuries of examples of how mixing politics and religions ordinarily constitutes a Bad Idea.  That's why the First Amendment was written to keep the institutions separate.  Why is that so freakin' hard?  

Also, I think it's a cop out to use "faith" as an excuse for homophobia, racism, or any other backwards social belief.  The need to use the power of the state to enforce one's religious beliefs is a sign of a lack of faith, not of faith.  A person of true faith wouldn't need to use taxes and the implicit threat of force to advance his religion.  Part of the scorn directed at the right wing stems from the belief that a lot of the people running these so-called family values organizations are in fact utter hypocrites.  Was Pat Robertson speaking "from faith" when he called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez?  Or is he simply a charlatan who has hijacked religion to advance his own personal financial agenda, and has decided to work as an ally of the oil corporations and robber barons of the Republican elite?  From my standpoint, it looks a lot more like the latter.  

by RickD 2006-06-28 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Ok chill out

While I agree that Jesus is probably not anti-gay

Do you also agree that laws in the United States should not be based on what Jesus, Moses, Muhammed (sp?) or any other religious figure believed?

The problem here is that Obama is demonizing those who believe that in the United States of America, drawing upon ones faith is not an appropriate way to legislate.  Drawing upon your faith is quite appropriate when you are deciding how to live your life and raise your children, etc.....but should not be used as a rationale for passing laws.

Most of us don't have a problem with the faithful...its when they use that faith as the basis for defining what the morals and values of our country are.  

I think we've become too dismissive of those who disagree with us on social issues because of their faith.

What is "dismissive"?  I see lots of people who make vague claims like this....how are the faithful being dismissed because of their beliefs?  COuld you provide some examples of people dismissed merely because they are people of faith?

Furthermore, lets not pretend that the majority of Democrats are not people of faith, ok?  Most Democrats are quite religious as well.  The difference is that most Democrats don't wear their faith on their sleeves.  If that is being "dismissive" than I say good for us.  

We dismiss those who go around pretending that they are morally superior and act as if they know:

  1. whats wrong with our country (a lack of morals and faith)
  2.  That they way to fix our country is by having more public displays of religion and passing more laws that prop up religious beliefs.

-- and those people rightfully deserve to be dismissed.  

by avagias 2006-06-28 07:57AM | 0 recs
It is about what guides us

When you say "Drawing upon your faith is quite appropriate when you are deciding how to live your life and raise your children, etc.....but should not be used as a rationale for passing laws," I think you fail to recognize that providing governance to a community is an extension (albeit a huge extension) of our families.  We want to live in a society that reflects our values, what ever they are (including the values of tolerance and diversity).  To say that legislatures should leave what ever compass guides them at the door to the Congress is not really fair.  You can ask a Catholic to leave his faith compass out of legislation but not an atheist's secular compass?  We all have influences, and the assumption that those who use their faith to guide them can not up hold the Constitution is a farce.  Our faith, what ever it is, has a vital place in our democracy, as long as it is applied with compassion and tolerance.  

Obama was looking to give a little bit of depth to our party, not betray it.  If we want to be true progressives, we better start practicing what we preach.  In a land of tolerance and diversity, there needs to be a place for those that believe in God.  Asking them to leave their faith at the door to democracy is asking them to be unfaithful to their own identity.  No one, even the majority, should be asked to do that in the Land of the Free.

by Nick A 2006-06-28 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: It is about what guides us

I think you fail to recognize that providing governance to a community is an extension (albeit a huge extension) of our families

That's quite a leap from family to community.  

Look, there are plenty of things that I wouldn't want my family to do or take part in, the I don't think should be outlawed for the community at large.

Just like Catholics can be against abortion personally and morally, but don't feel the need to pass laws banning it and understand that for others it should be allowed (see Durbin, Dick)

In that respect the "community" is not like my family at all.  My community is much more heterogenous and therefore I must remember that what is good for me, is not necessarily good for members of my community....

It is those people...the ones who believe that laws should be passed based on their own beliefs without taking into account wide ranges of morals and values within a community and respect for the minority beliefs of the community that should be ignored and marginalized and dismissed.

As an elected official, you represent and protect everyone in your domain, not just those who are like minded or those who share your world view.

Obama was looking to give a little bit of depth to our party, not betray it.

Maybe so, but by using GOP frames and belittling the seculars, it matters not whether he intended to betray, only whether he did in fact betray.  In this case, I felt betrayed.

by avagias 2006-06-28 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: It is about what guides us

That's quite a leap from family to community.  
Actually, it is not a leap. A community is a collection of families. They may disagree on topics, issues and politics, but most communities on basic issues agree on values (i.e. killing is bad) otherwise the would not choose to share the same community.

Just like Catholics can be against abortion personally and morally, but don't feel the need to pass laws banning it and understand that for others it should be allowed.

Before I say this, let be clear that I am pro-choice.  But if someone's moral compass tells them that abortion is wrong and would like to live in a land that doesn't promote it, they should feel free to pursue such legislation.  This idea that we need the govern by consensus is not democratic, it's socialist.  Our government was set up to execute the will of the majority, while protecting the rights of the minority.  It is an incredibly hard balance to find, but it doesn't mean the majority should abandon their values in deference to the minority.

Maybe so, but by using GOP frames and belittling the seculars, it matters not whether he intended to betray, only whether he did in fact betray.  In this case, I felt betrayed.

Asking the party not to ignore religious groups, is not belittling seculars.  I certainly believe in the progressive cause, and will do my best to support candidates that can advance those causes, but absolutist POVs on the issues that matter to progressives lead to little progress.   Claiming the phrase "Under God" in the pledge is an issue we need to carry water for, when there are so many other progressive ideals to work on, just paints us as unreasonable to the people we need to help our causes, independents and moderates.

by Nick A 2006-06-28 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: It is about what guides us

Actually, it is not a leap. A community is a collection of families. They may disagree on topics, issues and politics, but most communities on basic issues agree on values (i.e. killing is bad) otherwise the would not choose to share the same community.

Well then the logical conclusion would be that all the human race is one big family too then...Since we are just groups of communities.  But the problem isn't the basic values (don't kill??  well duh)  its the not so basic (dont drink, don't gamble, don't cheat on your spouse, dont have pre-marital sex).  And even within a small community, those kinds of values vary greatly from person to person

Furthermore, you downplay the differences between members of the community to a silly level.  I live in a mixed community where ther are lots of different morals and values represented.  A "community" is much, much less monolithic than a family would be...and to pretend that by virtue of members of a community living within a proximity of one another, that somehow proves that they share common values is just plain silly.

It is an incredibly hard balance to find, but it doesn't mean the majority should abandon their values in deference to the minority.

Again -- you seem to be confusing "abandoning their values" with "codifying their values into law"  which is quite different.  You don't need to abandon you personal values to refrain from outlawing abortion or prostitution or gambling or alcohol.   If you don't see the difference between having faith and demanding that others live up to your standards, then I don't know what else to say to you.  

It's really not a hard balance...just don't pass laws based on what you would do.  Laws should be their to protect the rights and liberties of people from infringement from others, not to control behavior, socially engineer, or forbid actions that the majority find morally questionable.  You don't limit what people can do because you and your ilk think its wrong...you should only limit what people can do because doing so causes harm to OTHERS and infringes upon their liberty.

But if someone's moral compass tells them that abortion is wrong and would like to live in a land that doesn't promote it, they should feel free to pursue such legislation

No they shouldn't.  Morality should not be regulated.  It's when government gets into the business of deciding whick morals people should live by that we as a society have these kinds of problems.  If government would stick to issues of liberty infringements, we would be all better off.
It is not the job of government to promote morals...only to protect your rights from being trampled by others.  

Our government was set up to execute the will of the majority, while protecting the rights of the minority.

No it was not...our government was set up to protect all of its citizens' liberty from infringement upon by others.  That is the SOLE purpose of government...to protect its citizens right's from being infringed upon by others.  They are not the majority's enforcer.  

Asking the party not to ignore religious groups, is not belittling seculars

I agree...

Now please point me to anyone who is asking that the party ignore religious groups.  In fact, groups like the UCC have been outright embraced by the party.  

Stop your straw-men.  Neither you, nor Obama have addressed what is really going on.  What "we" want  is for our politicians to ignore groups like Focus on Family  and Family Research Council who use religion as a justification to subvert women and gays and elevate Judeo-Christian beliefs above all else.

You tell me...why shouldn't those groups be ignored mocked or dismissed?  No one in the democratic party is intolorant of religion...its the zealots that try and codify their beliefs into law that we rightfully disdain.

Claiming the phrase "Under God" in the pledge is an issue we need to carry water for, when there are so many other progressive ideals to work on

Who claimed that???  Wow... I mean wow.  You and Obama don't have to carry water for it...you can even be against it...just don't disparage it in public comments.  Don't use that as a political wedge against people who you claim to be on the same side is.

You don't see the difference?  Obama was using that as a weapon to attack and belittle those who do think it is a priority.

by avagias 2006-06-28 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: It is about what guides us

Our government was set up to execute the will of the majority, while protecting the rights of the minority.

No it was not...our government was set up to protect all of its citizens' liberty from infringement upon by others.  That is the SOLE purpose of government...to protect its citizens right's from being infringed upon by others.  They are not the majority's enforcer.  

for all your impliciations of my naivity, the idea that government's sole purpose is to "protect it's citizen's rights" is the most naive and altruistic thing I have read today.  Take a look at the preamble of the Constitution for a minute.

We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Government clearly has more on its plate.  Sometimes societies have to tackle hard decisions, and goverment takes that role of arbiter.  While consensus is nice, it certainly is no friend to progress.  Progress tends to die waiting for consensus.  There was no consensus that led to the New Deal and if we waited for consensus to happen our country would most likely not be the place it is today.  When tough decisions need to be made, in our republic it comes in the form of majority rule, but our form of government is special.  It allows for the consideration of the minority when pursuing the will of the majority.  We should have tools that protect the nation from a tyranny of the majority (i.e. imposing social values), but suggesting the government's only purpose is to prevent such thins from happening lakes credibility.  If that was the case, who would regulate interstate commerce, build roads and infrastructure, enforce the laws on the books, negotiate with foreign powers, administer justice and arbitrate conflict?  In your world, it just happens?  

But if someone's moral compass tells them that abortion is wrong and would like to live in a land that doesn't promote it, they should feel free to pursue such legislation

No they shouldn't.  Morality should not be regulated.  It's when government gets into the business of deciding whick morals people should live by that we as a society have these kinds of problems.  If government would stick to issues of liberty infringements, we would be all better off.
It is not the job of government to promote morals...only to protect your rights from being trampled by others.  

You are too simplistic in your approach. I know you don't like strawman arguments but they have value, and the abortion debate is a great strawman for this point. Again, let me reiterate I am pro-choice.  But arguing that Pro-life/Anti-abortion proponents are "enforcing their morals on you" doesn't give the movement enough credit.  Simply dismissing them as ideagogues doesn't address their main point, The unborn child has rights before it is born and they should be protected.  They take the same approach you do, saying "the government should protect its citizens from others infringing on their rights."  You may disagree that an unborn child has rights, but certainly the argument can be held that this isn't a matter of imposing one's morals on another, but rather protecting the rights of an American.  It is vital to understand that point in the debate, and simply ignoring it doesn't make your argument any stronger.

Finally, I wish to say thank you for engaging in this debate. I wish you wouldn't try to lump me in with Pat Robertson or James Dobson and sometimes I do think you twist my words a bit to make your point. However, I think I am better person for having this discussion. I wish more people in this country had your passion.

by Nick A 2006-06-28 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: It is about what guides us

In a land of tolerance and diversity, there needs to be a place for those that believe in God

What land are you talking about?  The more I re-read this post, the more delusional it sounds.

You do understand that this is the same country whose President once said "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."  

This country not only has "a place" for people of faith, but that people of faith weild an enormous amount of influence and that it needs to be reigned in.

Why don't you show me, specifically, where people of faith are marginalized.  And explain to me how it would work to not leave your faith at the door when you are a politician in a secular country?  If you don't "leave your faith at the door", then how will any politician not vote to ban anything that is counter to their faith?

You are pulling the same crap that the religious right plays.  Playing the victim.  "A place for people of faith", please.  How many atheists have been elected?  What are the chances of an atheist being elected to public office?

This is the problem.  Religious people pretend that their religion is under attack any time people  who don't believe in their fairy tales don't want to live their lives by the faithful's standards.  It's the religious folks who get all worked up when people rightfully say "wait a minute....our tax dollars should not be used to fund a nativity scene in front of city hall".

Please...spare us the victimized comments.  No one attacks anyone for having faith....but your faith should not dictate law that others will live under.  Law should be dictated by fairness and tolerence and respect for the different values of individuals and to maximize liberty for all people, not to restrict behavior which some religions will find morally questionable.

by avagias 2006-06-28 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: It is about what guides us

Don't peg me as playing a victim card.  I neither feel victimized, nor have I portrayed myself as such.  My point is simple.  We all have a moral compass.  Some base it on faith and religion, other have a secular belief system.  It is hypocritcal to say one is ok and the other is not.  

As a society, maximizing liberty is important, but liberty is not without limits (after all I shouldn't be free to kill someone because I don't agree with what they say).  The question is how do we draw those limits in a reasonable way.  In order to do that, those interested in drawing those lines must draw upon their own values and moral fiber to determine what is reasonable.  What I was trying to communicate is don't ask people that have high regard for religion and have it engrained into their own moral compass to abandond that to participate in the process.

And don't lump me in with the religious right, they not only abuse the political process, but also the religious tenets they claim to stand for.

Your problem isn't with people of faith, but with people who abuse power.  I agree.  

by Nick A 2006-06-28 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: It is about what guides us

We all have a moral compass.  Some base it on faith and religion, other have a secular belief system.  It is hypocritcal to say one is ok and the other is not.  

Nobody said that one is ok, and the other is not -- you are attacking a straw man.

What is not ok is to codify your moral compass into laws that others have to live by.  Your moral compass should guide you and mine should guide me....so long as my compass doesn't infringe on your rights, and your ability to do as you see fit, we will never have a problem.  It is when the religious decide that their moral compass is right (correct / superior) and should be the law of the land (a problem you haven't really addressed directly  -- how do you stay true to your faith and still respect  and not restrict the rights of others who do not share your faith?)

Your problem isn't with people of faith, but with people who abuse power

Well I am glad you see that now...even though I never attacked people of faith generally.  This is the problem with many religious folks...whenever someone comes out and says they don't want religion to be the basis for laws in society, they have this knee-jerk reaction and pretend that someone just attacked their faith.  Please show me anywhere in my posts where I ever attacked "people of faith" for merely being people of faith.  The fact that you somehow assumed that  I had a problem with people of faith validatesa my assertion....many religious folks have a victim mentality.

Personally, I am a person of faith...I just don't wear it on my sleeve nor do I demand that my faith be considered the guiding force for laws in this country.  That is how it should be, IMO.  And anyone who believes different should be dismissed.

by avagias 2006-06-28 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: It is about what guides us

No I am not attacking a straw man, you said it yourself.

And anyone who believes different should be dismissed.  

Moral compass helps lead to progress.  Clearly, your moral compass leads you to believe and advocate the government's role in ensuring citizens don't infringe on the rights of other citizens.  You believe that point of view is superior and has it's rightful place in our legislative environment. However, you discount the idea of another person using their moral compass if it is in direct opposition to what you advocate.  You believe they should be dismissed.  

My premise is simple, you can not detach what guides you to distinguish what is right from wrong when it comes time to provide direction to this country.  

by Nick A 2006-06-28 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Ok chill out

Well since Jesus teaches Tolerance, love and helping others... I think it might be better if some of our laws were based on these principles, since most liberals preach them as well.  Its not Jesus, its just the morons who incorrectly interrupt him.

by yitbos96bb 2006-06-28 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Yeah, he really knocked it out of the park on that one.  Heard this all before.  When is Obama actually going to DO something worthwhile.  I don't get it: all he does is repeat politically obvious talking points, and everyone sees this guy as the saviour of the Democratic Party.  Someody help me out.    

by justinh 2006-06-28 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I happen to think Obama's a freak, how's that?

I'm sick of the Obama worship.  He's two years removed from being a two-bit state senator from Illinois.  Sorry, but he's a little green to be lecturing people on things like this.

I think Obama's a freak because he's courting people who will never vote for him in the first place, and MY and others', expense.

by jgarcia 2006-06-28 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I think there's something about this issue that causes people to find things in what people say that aren't actually there -- probably because of understandable disgust with the theocrats, but theocrats don't represent all, or even a majority of, Christians.

Who exactly are the "people who will never vote for him" that you think Obama is courting, and how is it at your expense?

by KCinDC 2006-06-28 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Thank you, Obama, for taking on this critical yet vulnerable stereotype, and reinforcing it with moral security measures.

yeah, we all know how much the party of Jimmy Carter, the REVEREND Jesse Jackson and REVEREND John Lewis dislike religion.

Good job Obama, 'cause that's working so well for Liemberman.

Sheesh

by Alice Marshall 2006-06-28 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Just so we're clear, Obama didn't say that Democrats dislike religion.

by Steve M 2006-06-28 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

And the Berrigan Bros.  And generations of Irish and Italian Catholic Democrats who supported secularization out of fear of being suppressed and burned out by whacked out Protestant ascensionists.  How soon we forget.

by NorCalJim 2006-06-28 07:42AM | 0 recs
Obama is dead in my book.

Obama, you're nothing to me now. You're not a candidate, you're not a friend. I don't want to know you or what you do. I don't want to see you at the hotels, I don't want you near my house. When you see our party chair, I want to know a day in advance, so I won't be there. You understand?

by Robert P 2006-06-28 07:15AM | 0 recs
Right the fuck on.

Bubba got it wrong too when he claimed that the Constitution gave us freedom "of" religion, not freedom "from" religion.  Of course the debate and the semantics matter because you can't have freedom of religion until you have freedom from religion.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it provide for legally imposing "values" which has never been anything more than a code word for "religion."

The plain and obvious fact is that whatever your private religion, supernatural beliefs or superstitions, it must all be left outside the entrance to the public square because any policies we adopt as a people can only be based on our common faith......our faith in reason.

The Obama train has now offically not just run off the rails, it has rolled over and come to a complete halt.  He's over.

by NorCalJim 2006-06-28 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?
Why do 'religious'  people hate democracy?
  I love the teachings of Jesus. I've read the Bible and respect the values it  represents. I have sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.  "Congress shall make no law  respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise there of;"  If I love or hate religion is irrelevant as long as there is no law made establishing it or prohibiting its free excercise.  But we have made laws establishing it.  We put "under God" in our Pledge of Allegence and "In God we trust" on our money.  We capitalize the word god so that it indicates a particular god.  That is un-constitutional according to the First Amendment.   Just as 'in Buddha we trust' or 'under Shiva' would be un-constitutional. But the tyranny of the majority love their God more than their Constitution and democracy.  They think faith is more important than law. Maybe it is to them, but it isn't to me, and it wasn't to the Founding Fathers.  Reach out to people who have no respect for the law of the land? One would ask why?  
by upperleftedge 2006-06-28 07:17AM | 0 recs
he just lost me.

my take as a black woman with Chicago ties here.

obama is rapidly devolving into a guy who seems  to do little more than piss me off.

by chicago dyke 2006-06-28 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Obama chastised fellow Dems for failing to acknowledge the power of patriotism in people's lives. "I think Dems are making a mistake when we fail to compete for the votes of superpatriot and other flag loving Americans."

Makes me wanna holler.

Since his speech everyone's been calling him the savior so he's running for president, maybe he won't run in 08 but it's his goal, to be president, the first black president, miscalculating like Hillary that the liberals will be there when he needs them, so he's playing to some mythical center, trying to preemptively counter the firestorm of bullshit, racist and otherwise, that's going to get thrown at him.

Someone needs to make him understand that to become president he first needs to be a good progressive. He's in danger of wasting his gigantic God-given talent.

by david mizner 2006-06-28 07:21AM | 0 recs
Obama and I

I hated his speech at the Convention (yes I did). This only confirms that Obama is trying to take the conservative Dem route. I can't believe we were fooled like that 2 years ago.

Everytime Bush talks about God and how he inspires him, he becomes the laughinstock of the rest of the world. Thank god (!) there still are some people in the US who believe in secularism and who believe that you should not mix politics and religion.

by FrenchSocialist 2006-06-28 07:21AM | 0 recs
Oh irony

I think the comments in this thread kind of prove Obama's point.

by bluenc 2006-06-28 07:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh irony

You're wrong.

by RickD 2006-06-28 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh irony

I think you're 100% right.  I can't believe people pile on Obama like this, especially when he's making a legitimate point.

by MattyR 2006-06-28 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh irony

And that point would be?  That he's not wacky like his base?  How does bashing the idea of a secular government help the Democratic party in the long run?  Obama is stepping on our heads to try to make himself look better.

by RickD 2006-06-28 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh irony

Actually- no they don't. They prove that there is a loud vocal minority of Dems with certain views on this issue. That doesn't equal an indictment- as Obama presents it- of all Democrats. There are Atheists who are Republicans (of the libertarian variant)- does that make mean that the Republicans as group anti religious?  The point isn't really about religion at all. it's about manipulation. A real discussion of faith would aknowledge first that 90 percent of Americans are of some faith. on that level alone it destroys his meme b/c 90 percent oft he public isn't Republican and/or idnependent. What this diary shows is that people can get off topic to talk about their own particular shit. That's nto the same as proving Obama right.

by bruh21 2006-06-28 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh irony

That people are saying there shoulod be secularism tends to prove Obama's claim taht people in the Democratic base think there should be secularism?

Wow! You're very bright. Congratulations.

Point is, secularism (NOT atheism) is a basic principle of progressivism. The Church and religion should be kept apart from politics. And people believe that whether they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, agnostic or atheist. It's as simple as that.

by FrenchSocialist 2006-06-28 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

We dems don't hate religion. We believe that religion and politics don't mix. That your religious beliefs showed be different than you political beliefs. And we are secularists, that doesn't mean that we hate religion. We also may not go to church but that doesn't mean we don't pray. And the republicans claim to be religions but their discrimination towards minorities don't show. But us secularists do. Religion, is practice by God as well as study.  And our religious beliefs are different than conservatives. They believe that religion is just about gays and abortion. We have a different set of beliefs, that doesn't mean we are any less religious than they are which is take care of the poor.  So, we are just as religious as they are, we practice it at home and we believe in taking care of the poor. They believe in going to church and only believe in  two issues.

by mleflo2 2006-06-28 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

The point is that there are plenty of Democrats, even liberal Democrats, who do go to church, and we've lost some of those churchgoers in recent years. Not all churchgoers are followers of Falwell and Robertson and Dobson. If it's possible to regain them without compromising our principles, we should do that.

by KCinDC 2006-06-28 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I am sorry but that's bs. We didn't lose any left leaning Christians. The facts- as I point out above to bluenc- simply make your claims untrue.

by bruh21 2006-06-28 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I'm not talking about left-leaning Christians, or right-leaning Christians for that matter. Obviously anyone we might recapture from the Republicans isn't on the left or the right. I'm talking about Christians who voted for Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton but aren't voting for Democrats now. I'm talking about Republican gains among Catholics, for example. And I don't see any facts in your response to bluenc that are relevant to this issue.

by KCinDC 2006-06-28 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I will keep this short- we aren't going to gaine the people you re talking about because they are single issues voters- meaning we would have to say we are anti gay anti pro choice. if we are going to have this debate let's start from where the truth lies.

and as for the factors that are relevant - I think you do see the points that are- or else why bother to reply. there is a point on this blogs where people get silly. i am not anti christian- i am anti right wing nut christo conservatives. the idea that we need to cowtow to their idealogy is where the divide is in terms of faith. it's only in recent years that republicans have made these games possible. for example jerry farwell questioning whethere al sharpton or jesse jackson are really christians b etc. if you don't understand that this is a shell game that's you, but honest requires admitting what these conversations are really about before we can have it.

by bruh21 2006-06-28 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I think you make good points, but with respect to Senator Obama's maro-level point - that we should be reaching out to religious moderates who agree with us already on most issues - do you really want to write off bringing anyone back into the Democratic party just b/c they're wrong on some social issues?  As the poster above noted, the folks we're talking about voted for Carter and - more importantly - Clinton, who is pro-choice.  So I don't think the whole single-issue thing has to be a deal-breaker.  On a lot of other issues, these people believe in progressive ideals in large measure BECAUSE of their faith.  I don't see what's wrong with emphasizing that fact as a means of connecting with a block of voters we really do need going forward.      

by HSTruman 2006-06-28 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

You are making the wrong assumption. You assuming I'm stopping them from being Democrats. It's their own single mindness that prevents them. Also, as to Obama- my central issue with him is not him making nice with people- it's that he chooses to do so by reinforcing the meme that Democrats do not support people of faith- that's just a lie plain and simple. There is this a difference between saying one respects people's faith, and cowtowing to them. That's the line that he doesn't bring up, and what's more, he does so in a way that is highly disrepectful to the complexity of the issue he is discussing. Rather than uniting people by speaking truth to them he instead reinforced a meme that somehow the Dems are against them, and that he is one of the new dem saviors that will make sure that the Dems will discover faith. It's an insulting position especially coming from someone couched in the civil rights movement. He knows full well that this isn't about Christian versus non Christian- or religion at all. It's about a particular type of idealogy that doesn't accept that we live in a diverse world. As I told a friend at work today- what's ironic often time in these debates is that its precisely the opressors trying to act like they are being opressed. No one is denying people their right to believe what they want. The issues in most of these single issue voters situation is that they want to limit the rights of ohters in the society. Or, to put it another way- my actions doesn't deny them admission into heaven. Their actions does deny me my rights on earth. finally, respect must come from both sides, but this isn't merely about respect. It's about honesty. We have to start there- playing this shell game that somehow Dems are not people of faith is just dishonest (90 percent of the population believes there is a God- this stat alone renders the debate as at best overly simplified by Obama, and at worst reinforcing a terribel meme that's not true).

by bruh21 2006-06-28 04:01PM | 0 recs
Obama's whole speach...

I didn't mean to imply that you're preventing anyone from becoming a Democrat.  My point was only that HOW one frames their stance on the issues of the day really matters, and that - as Obama rightfully points out - Democrats HAVE done a very poor job in explaining how/why PROGRESSIVE values really do parallel the views of an awful lot of religious peoples (and, of course, non-religious people as well).  And that, in my opinion, is a VERY VERY different thing than saying that Democrats are hostile towards religion, which really isn't his point at all if you read the transcript of the whole speach.  

Oh, and just to clarify -- I don't think anyone is talking about reaching out to the most conservative religious voters.  Rather, I think the goal is to appeal to the much larger portion of the religious community that has misconceptions about the Democratic party's views on religion.  A lot of those folks aren't comfortable with the single-issue focus of the religious right and are open to a new message.  I think Senator Obama is trying - perhaps inartfully - to say we ought to try and communicate with such folks.  But, obviously, that's just how I read his remarks.  I could be wrong.

by HSTruman 2006-06-29 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's whole speach...

but- how is this being framed? Look at what AOL and the AP and the news services are saying- which is should the democrats find faith- as though this is something alien to democrats. I believe that this will be spun by the right, and that we ahve to realize that

by bruh21 2006-06-29 08:27AM | 0 recs
Fair Point...

...although I suppose that's really more another example of the media's laziness and ineptitude than a fundamental problem with what Obama said.  Agreed, however, that all progressives need to be aware of how their statements will be used, spun, etc.  

by HSTruman 2006-06-29 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

You are making the wrong assumption. You assuming I'm stopping them from being Democrats. It's their own single mindness that prevents them. Also, as to Obama- my central issue with him is not him making nice with people- it's that he chooses to do so by reinforcing the meme that Democrats do not support people of faith- that's just a lie plain and simple. There is this a difference between saying one respects people's faith, and cowtowing to them. That's the line that he doesn't bring up, and what's more, he does so in a way that is highly disrepectful to the complexity of the issue he is discussing. Rather than uniting people by speaking truth to them he instead reinforced a meme that somehow the Dems are against them, and that he is one of the new dem saviors that will make sure that the Dems will discover faith. It's an insulting position especially coming from someone couched in the civil rights movement. He knows full well that this isn't about Christian versus non Christian- or religion at all. It's about a particular type of idealogy that doesn't accept that we live in a diverse world. As I told a friend at work today- what's ironic often time in these debates is that its precisely the opressors trying to act like they are being opressed. No one is denying people their right to believe what they want. The issues in most of these single issue voters situation is that they want to limit the rights of ohters in the society. Or, to put it another way- my actions doesn't deny them admission into heaven. Their actions does deny me my rights on earth. finally, respect must come from both sides, but this isn't merely about respect. It's about honesty. We have to start there- playing this shell game that somehow Dems are not people of faith is just dishonest (90 percent of the population believes there is a God- this stat alone renders the debate as at best overly simplified by Obama, and at worst reinforcing a terribel meme that's not true).

by bruh21 2006-06-28 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re:

We dems don't hate religion. We believe that religion and politics don't mix. That your religious beliefs showed be different than you political beliefs. And we are secularists, that doesn't mean that we hate religion. We also may not go to church but that doesn't mean we don't pray. And the republicans claim to be religions but their discrimination towards minorities don't show. But us secularists do. Religion, is practice by God as well as study.  And our religious beliefs are different than conservatives. They believe that religion is just about gays and abortion. We have a different set of beliefs, that doesn't mean we are any less religious than they are which is take care of the poor.  So, we are just as religious as they are, we practice it at home and we believe in taking care of the poor. They believe in going to church and only believe in  two issues.

by mleflo2 2006-06-28 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

And lastly the traditional part of the country, since we assist gays take it that we are for gays. But they don't understand, we are taking up for their civil rights not agreeing with their lifestyle and the traditional part of the country try to blur the difference, and it played itself out in 2004.

by mleflo2 2006-06-28 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Was there a point here?

by RickD 2006-06-28 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Yea, that Dems are just as religious as everyone else.

by mleflo2 2006-06-28 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

But Obama is wrong in one respect, we can't conservatives, we have to woo the independents and moderate conservatives to our camp.  We will never get conservatives.  That is all I was trying to say.

by mleflo2 2006-06-28 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

One more thing: why do dems always needs to TALK about what they're doing? Why can't they just do it? If Obama thinks Dems need to talk about faith, fine.  You're a Democrat, Obama, so talk about your faith, praise God. Just don't bash Dems in the process and reenforce an inaccurate stereotype.

by david mizner 2006-06-28 07:33AM | 0 recs
Whose Religion Are You Talking About?

Do you mean the religion of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, George Bush and his followers? If thats what you mean then the answer is yes, I sure do hate them.

Are we supposed to "respect" every fascist that comes along because they are holding a cross? There is a massive perversion of christianty going on in this country that poses a much bigger threat to the republic that Obama's and Stoller's "religion hating Democrats".Isn't the twisting of Christain values the much bigger problem here?

It is naive and stupid to pick up this bit of Republican spin and run with it. Shame on you!

by EliteWino 2006-06-28 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I grew up in the deep South long enough ago that every morning we said "the Lord's Prayer."  But I don't remember any other mention of God.  I do know the words to the Pledge of Allegiance but I don't actually remember saying it, or even seeing flags at school. Oh yes, in the auditorium there was one.

When I came back to teach, there were flags everywhere (maybe I just hadn't noticed) and, instead of a morning prayer, the Christian kids were standing around a new flagpole, holding hands, and saying long involved prayers.  It had the quality of battle lines having been drawn.  The Good, Christian kids and the Others.  I would have to say that, as a teacher, the "goodness" seemed pretty evenly distributed between the two groups.

by prince myshkin 2006-06-28 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Oh yes, more on the subject.  I think, if your faith is really important to you, you can't leave it at the door.  You are likely to quote from what you read, which might be the Bible.  You are likely to choose what to do based on your judgment of right and wrong.  Judge Roy Moore seemed very much to be playing to a crowd.  I would say his faith did not seem genuine.  But Governor Riley had the courage to face Alabama Republicans and vote against his party in support of a huge Democratic progressive tax rewrite because his faith told him to care for the poor.

I don't think we should ridicule anyone's faith or lack of it.  Our faith represents the major way we define ourselves.  But the most important thing is to stop talking of "them and us." It's hard to do because we're in a battle for the survival of the country.  But believe it or not it's not a person that is the enemy. Certainly not Barack Obama. It isn't even religion.  It's the money.  If you want to know where the problem is, follow the money.

by prince myshkin 2006-06-28 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

If a Democratic leader wants to get my appreciation for talking about a religion in a responsible manner, talk about how the right wing uses their network of Christians to pursue values that are decidedly unChristian.  Talk about Bush's callow indifference to the suffering in New Orleans, or his embrace of torture and pre-emptive war.  Talk about how a camel is more likely to get through an eye of a needle.  

If Barack Obama wanted to talk about values or morals then he would be welcome to do so, if his purpose was to highlight the fact that his party is constituted of people who have values.  But that's not what he's doing.

I'm completely sick and tired of seeing Democratic politicians try to whittle away at the sliver of "swing voters" by rejecting the core beliefs of the body of their own party.  I've said this time and again, and I'm not the only one.  Running away from traditional Democratic values only hurts the party as a whole in the long run.  The politicians who are willing to tell me that my children should be required to participate in a pseudo-religious ceremony every morning in school to appease Christians who cannot be bothered to have the humility to keep their religious beliefs to themselves are politicians who do not represent my political views.  Full Stop.  Separation of church and state is the innermost non-negotiable value I have as a voter.    

by RickD 2006-06-28 07:45AM | 0 recs
What would this mean in practice?

Perhaps Matt could offer a concrete example of what Obama's suggestion means in real terms.

I challenge you, sir. (slap with glove)

What's an example of how "reconciling faith with democracy" would not threaten separation? I'm hoping for a real-world example in which we somehow bring more Jebus under our umbrella but do not simultaneously hurt the rights of religious minorities and non-religious people...Seriously. One. Maybe two.

We can't frame this debate in terms of fluffy-cloud speechifying; we have to talk about the policy movements that Barack's ideas would actually entail.

So, Matt: Please give us some examples of how the Democrats ought to take BO's advice, and how this would respect First Amendment principles regarding establishment of a state religion and protect the rights of non-religious or other-religious citizens.

by marchingorders 2006-06-28 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: What would this mean in practice?

Uh, I think you missed the sarcasm in Matt's post.

by KCinDC 2006-06-28 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: What would this mean in practice?

My snark detector is usually pretty sensitive, and even after re-reading it I can't tell. But if Matt was being sarcastic and I missed it (consistent, indeed, with what I know of him), them I'll slap myself with the self-same glove.

by marchingorders 2006-06-28 09:32AM | 0 recs
Why Does Obama Hate Democrats?

While there is a legitimate debate about religion in politics, it only serves the GOP agenda to bash Democrats with right wing talking points.

Obama is a major disappointment -- instead of telling Democrats how bad we are on religion, he should be telling the religious how Democratic values of tolerance and inclusion serve the interests of everyone.

Doesn't the Bible take a dim view of Pharisees who loudly proclaim their faith? Didn't Jesus say the kindness of a Good Samaritan was more important than the piety of the faithful?

Why Does Obama Hate Democrats?

by ck 2006-06-28 07:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Great discussion.  I believe in God.  I also believe the Bible was largely written by oligarchs to impose social control....after all, if you need to sell your policies, you need a good endorsement so they claimed one from the loftiest personage around.

What's going on today is that the fascists are cherry picking the bible, not just to impose social control, but to maintain economic and political control.

It's about the money, Stupid.  It's about all the Larry Kudlows on Wall Street and elsewhere who are perfectly happy to let the zealots loose if it gives them enough control for a tax cut.  

And it is this issue to which Senator Obama should address himself rather than the efforts of Democrats to insist upon a rational policy making process of the kind envisioned by our enlightenment era Constitution.  And that insistence does not Constitute hatred of religion or God so much as a love of reason and fairness.

by NorCalJim 2006-06-28 07:57AM | 0 recs
Why Does Matt Stoller Use Right Wing Frames?

Matt --

While I generally agree with your post, giving it the title:

Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Reinforces the message that Democrats DO Hate Religion.

Even if your intent was snark or satire, using right wing frames hurts our cause.

/rant

by ck 2006-06-28 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

    Obama was a blank slate, and people believed what they wanted to believe about him. No we're starting to see who he really is--the Black Dianne Feinstein or Joe Biden. Better to know it now than later.

by Ron Thompson 2006-06-28 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

I wish I could get the full transcript of this, because I'm not getting the "Democrats Hate Religion" feeling from this.  I'm more getting a "Democrats Don't Understand Religion" vibe.  Which is something I fully agree with and I think is actually painfully obvious.

One of the things which stood out for me at the Take Back America Conference was the lack of any panel talking about faith, or how to talk to people of faith.  There was a table in the Exhibit hall from the UCC, talking about their progressive agenda, a few publications available, and a couple Reverends on panels about other topics, but nothing talking about how to talk about progressive values to people of faith.  

This is a real oversight, because there are many religious people in America, and progressive values tie into those religious beliefs.  Until recently, the most important issue for the Catholic Church was social justice.  Religious groups played a major role in the civil rights struggle.  Religion has been co-opted by the right, because the left did nothing to hold onto it.

There are Liberal Evangelical groups out there.  There are liberal spiritual movements.  Progressive values are values expressed in every religious text, but we don't make use of it.  My mom has started printing and distributing bumper stickers which chastise Bush in biblical terms "Pres. Bush, Thou shalt not bear false witness", that sort of thing.

If people have religious values, they should speak to them.  Democrats seem to have lost the ability to do so.  Someone above referenced Jimmy Carter and Rev. Jessie Jackson, but who is influential in the Democratic party today and talking that way?  It is an important tool to use, and a way for people to talk about their beliefs and values without talking about policy. However, as Obama said, people know the difference between faking it and really being there.  Just like we can tell when people are just giving lip service to progressive values.

That said, the excerpts in the article make his speech a little clumsy.  He is a great orator, but he did essentially run unchallenged in his Senate run.  We shall see how his political career develops as he faces some obstacles.

Micha

by Michayr 2006-06-28 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Well, I was confirmed in the Catholic Church before I left it.  I think I "understand religion" fairly well.  I just don't think it's appropriate to mix politics and religion, and I tend to be disgusted by politicans who flaunt their religion as if it were some kind of guarantor of their virtue.  Usually the ones who claim the loudest to be God's Representatives On Earth are the ones pursuing the most despicable policies.  Our current President is a great example of this.

If anybody wants to "talk about religion" by underscoring just how unChristian President Bush's policies of violence and domination are, I would be happy to participate.  But that's not really the tack Obama is taking, is it?  He's taking the Clinton tack of trying to woo the "Evangelicals" by bashing people like me.  And the reason I should tolerate this is...?

by RickD 2006-06-28 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

"Religious groups played a major role in the civil rights struggle.  Religion has been co-opted by the right, because the left did nothing to hold onto it."

MSM portrayal of religion has been co-opted, but not necessarily religion itself as you point out further along. the trick is to get the 'others' into the limelight. [example: Religious Coalition on Reproductive Choice.]

there have been several letters from panels of religious experts, clergy bodies, etc, denouncing Bush and the Religious Right, but they seem to only receive press in the blogosphere (sorry, i mean blogofascosphere). it is our job, if we wish to reframe the debate, to do a better job getting the information into MSM. take the quotes from the articles, the press releases, etc. reference them and send them to your party contacts, add them to your email signatures, write a letter to the editor.

my current favorite?

"What could be more bigoted than to claim that you have a monopoly on God?"
    -Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the liberal Union for Reform Judaism, on the Religious Right

by jax 2006-06-28 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

"I'm more getting a "Democrats Don't Understand Religion" vibe."

I'm getting a "Obama doesn't understand Democrats" vibe. Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman seem to be his role models in that regard.

Which is something I fully agree with and I think is actually painfully obvious."

The only thing painfully obvious are the RNC talking points being used by Obama and his apologists.

by Sitkah 2006-06-28 08:20AM | 0 recs
left did nothing to hold onto it
In re catholics.
I believe the Popes had a little bit to do with it by first insisting that clerics get out of politics, rejecting hundreds of years of teaching about social justice and then insisting that clerics get back into politics only with an agenda dictated by the Vatican.
by NorCalJim 2006-06-28 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?
I don't see this as "brave" by Obama at all.  Whether it's true or not, it's accepted as "gospel" by the majority of pundits, commentators (and probably the public as well.)  It's also a straw man because there isn't a significant political body out there that denies "the power of faith in the lives of the American people."  (Just because the republicans accuse democrats of this, doesn't mean that it's a position that democrats hold...)  
This is the political equivalent for declaring you're undying commitment to the defense of puppies and babies from the attacks that they constantly under.
That said, the question of faith in the lives of people is a COMPLETELY different question from the role of religion in government.  I don't understand why this is such a hard delineation to make.  (I think) it's pretty significant that the people who founded this nation, many of whom were religious, with many citizens who were escaping religious persecution, still decided to write their governmental rules and structures, without ANY reference to god or the divine.  How can this be interpreted as anything but an expression that they saw no need for there to be religion involved in the functioning of government.  And if that wasn't enough, their VERY FIRST amendment to the constitution SPECIFICALLY FORBID the government from establishing a religion.  (And i realize that the fashionable stance on this is to parse the "establish" in a restrictive way, but that seems like a stretch to me given the context...)
Short version: Obama is mostly arguing against a straw-man that doesn't exist to score easy points.  On the pledge - people can say whatever they want, but since the pledge is officially enshrined as part of invocations of public meetings (Senate, town-hall meetings, schools, etc.) it is hypocritical to have the phrase "under god" in it.  Maybe not a big deal, but the law is the law.  And ignoring widespread infractions of the law denigrates that position and respect of that law.  
by DanD 2006-06-28 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Maybe you should just take a deep breath and relax. Not every politician is going to agree with you on every issue. That's life. If they mostly agree with you, then they are probably better than their opponent. This insistence on a certain "liberal" orthodoxy in the blogsphere is ultimating counter-productive.

by mrgavel 2006-06-28 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

The idea that Jesus was some great Liberal figure that we should all point to as an exemplar of our belief system is faulty. Firstly by claiming that the figure of Jesus has some authority in the public sphere, we open the door to people who want to claim that the Bible also has authority.

Secondly, Jesus was not the great liberal figure we portray him as. He said that he "came to bring not peace, but the sword" and condemmed an entire city to hell for offending him. Is this the person we want to hold as the champion of out views?

Further, their are liberal religous people, but very few liberal religious sects and religious belief in this country directly correlates with Conservatism. The more religion you have, the more conservative you are. So, Democrats trying to co-opt religion will not work, only strengthen the conservative cause. In this country 70% of the people beleive in the devil. Some 70% or more beleive that that Bible is largely accurate and the divine word of God. 10% think Jews have too much power and somewhere around 30% believes that an apocalypse will happen in their life time. Do we really want to pull ourselves closer to these people?

by tigercourse 2006-06-28 09:19AM | 0 recs
Stop talking about ATHEISM

The issue isn't at all whether democrats are atheists or religious, but whether they are SECULARISTS.

Someone wrote above that dems should believe religion and politics don't MIX, not that there shouldn't be religion.

Those two things are so different I'm stunned to see that at least 60% of you guys are saying that people who are now bashing Obama are atheists.

There are plenty of very religious secularists. They are even organisations of religious leaders trying to work for true church and state separation.

Obama is putting into  question secularism. I am not comfertable with that. He does not gget any respect for me for copying Bush.

by FrenchSocialist 2006-06-28 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Pluralism is a disguised form of neoconservatism.  It is the last attempt to liquidate the guiding metanarratives subtending Enlightenment discourse.

by illinois062006 2006-06-28 09:48AM | 0 recs
Let's illuminate


WASHINGTON -- Sen. Barack Obama chastised fellow Democrats on Wednesday for failing to "acknowledge heterosexual relationships in the lives of the American people," and said the party must compete for the support of married men and women and other straight people.

"Not every public heterosexual relationship is a a violation of gay rights. Context matters," the Illinois Democrat said.

...

His speech included unusually personal references to heterosexuality, the type of remarks that usually come more readily from Republicans than Democrats.

...

At the same time, he said, "Homosexuals are wrong when they ask straight people to leave their sexuality at the door before entering the public square."

As a result, "I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge heterosexuals' love for their significant others in the lives of the American people and join a serious debate about how to reconcile heterosexuality with gay rights."

...

by fwiffo 2006-06-28 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

From Obama's perspective, minor invocations of religion like the Pledge are just fine and opposition to them is hurting our ability to build a coalition with people who would otherwise be sympathetic to Democratic values.  -- Steve M

I know you'll correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that Democratic values in large part run parallel to basic Christian values like helping the poor and sick and not elevating the rich to overlord status.

So why is it that atheists like me have to bend over backwards to make room for people of faith? Can't they recognize the parallels between their philosophy and a political platform, and just vote accordingly? No one is asking them to replace faith in God with allegiance to a political party.

If faith is the really important thing here, isn't freedom to practice what you believe the point? Why is there so much emphasis on the Welcome Wagon?

And assuming Obama was talking about Christians (because this debate never centers around Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, etc.) what happens when the message is (a) tailored to include Christians but insults everybody else, or (b) tailored to include everybody and then by extension insults the very kind of Christians it's meant to woo, who seem to think they should be preferred in the good old U.S. of A.?

by zinfandel 2006-06-28 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Obama seems to imagine himself as the next Baptist preacher whose going to swing into power through a coalition of the evangelicals and the progressive liberals. It is not a bad idea and it is also true that the evangelicals are overdue for being reminded that Christian principles are liberal principles. But Obama comes off as just another opportunist.

by pwax 2006-06-28 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Those of you who think that Obama is not a real progressive ought to go read his speech to the Emily's List luncheon:  http://obama.senate.gov/speech/060511-re marks_of_senator_barack_obama_at_emilys_ list_annual_luncheon/index.html

It's a brilliant statement on being a progressive.  

If you've ever seen him speak in person (as I have), you know that his intelligence, ability to connect with an audience, and likeability are not media creations - they're real.  He is a deeply religious person, and the truth is that the perception that democrats hate religion is very much out there, and perception makes reality.  Democrats, such as Obama, know that progressive beliefs are actually closer to that of many religions than conservative beliefs, and are trying to campaign on that.  

And for those who attack Obama and say he's done nothing - did you think he'd come into the Senate and fire at every GOPper every day?  He'd never accomplish anything, get excluded from any positions of power, and it would be a waste.

by drmagoo 2006-06-28 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

We can look at the immorality of the Republican party: corruption, lies, stealing, taking bribes, government services only for their cronies, paying $100,000 for "face time" with the president, and so on.  They claim to be the party of God, moral values, family values, and so on.  Democrats should not run away from those values because many more Democrats live by these values than Republicans.  The Republican Party should not have a monopoly on religion as the Religious Right would have it.  Democrats represent helping the poor, the lost, the least of these, and want to bring opportunity to all Americans in terms of health care, education, jobs, and so on.  Most Democrats do have families and are working hard to survive.  Those without jobs continue to look for work to provide for their families.  Therefore, Democrats would do a much better job leading the country.  When that time comes, the Democratic Party should hold very public official accountable regardless of party and clean up corruption wherever it may be.  Let's revive the U.S. Constitution for a new direction in America: Forward.

by David ER3 2006-06-30 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Do Democrats Hate Religion?

Someone has to bring this issue to the attention of Americans.  Sen. Obama is trying to bring opportunity to the Democratic Party, not to himself.  The Republicans are trying to hijack religion for their own selfish, greedy, divisive, hate-mongering, war-mongering purposes to conquer and destroy humanity.  Bush is preparing this world for the "End of Times" that so many right-wing Christians want to see.  They must be drinking that Kool-Aid.

It has been long overdue for someone in the Democratic Party that goes to church to speak out.  True Christian, Biblical values are Democratic values.  Many, many, many Democrats go to church.  There are some that don't, but let's agree on one thing: Drive that wicked Republican regime out of Washington and let's take the country back for Americans.

By the way, has anyone tried to guess what the "October surprise" that the Republicans will cook up right before this election?

by David ER3 2006-06-30 07:33PM | 0 recs
by tino 2006-10-25 05:43AM | 0 recs

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