TNR on THE AIR FORCE SCANDAL, DEMOCRATS, AND RELIGION
Faith Healing by Kenneth Baer
Only at TNR Online | Post date 06.24.05
Since last November Democrats have been debating how to deal with religious voters. Some say the party must be more inclusive--opening the tent to social conservatives like Bob Casey, Jr., the pro-life candidate running against Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania. Others embrace the views of minister and best-selling author Jim Wallis, who maintains that religious beliefs can be used to promote liberal causes. Still others are defiant, arguing that the party should not change its positions in response to a reactionary minority and instead should stick to meat-and-potato issues.
"Less than a year since Bush's reelection, evangelicals--in fights over judges, abortion, end-of-life care, stem-cell research, and the legal status of gays--have made clear they want their views written into law. But as seen in the dwindling popularity of the House Republicans after the opening rounds of these battles, there is a religious middle--faithful and tolerant, God-fearing and fully aware of their own human fallibility--that is searching for a political home. Adopting the mantle of religious pluralism, as opposed to accepting the mantle of secularism with which they are so often tagged, will allow Democrats to reach these voters--if, that is, the brand of pluralism they push is an affirmative one that acknowledges the contributions different faiths bring to the public square. Many religious Americans don't want to live in a secularized European country, but they don't want to live in an evangelical Christian country either. And with any luck, by November 2008, they will be ready to bid the Republican Party and its fundamentalist base Godspeed."