February 19, 2005
SECULAR IS AS SECULAR VOTES IN CONGRESS:
Whither Dean’s Dems?: To be called ‘secular’ these days is more of an insult even than getting labeled liberal. That’s why the new chairman of the Democratic Party has to begin defining its policies in moral terms (Eleanor Clift, 2/18/05, Newsweek)
The Left is uncomfortable talking about spiritual matters, which puzzles Wallis. He points out with wonderment that the Democrats, a party that during the time of the civil rights movement was led by black churches, allowed itself to get defined as secular. "Where would we be if Dr. King had kept his religion to himself?" he asks. The hard truth dawning upon Democrats is that this is a profoundly religious Christian country, and that’s a political reality that will relegate Democrats to the ash heap of history if they don’t figure out how to respond. A New Yorker cartoon captures the current mood with a church bulletin board asking, “What would Jesus do about Social Security?” [...]
Politics is about connecting. It's no accident that the two Democrats elected president in recent years have been Southern Baptists. Jimmy Carter is a born-again evangelical, and Bill Clinton has a deep appreciation and knowledge of religion. Voters want to know about the moral compass of their leaders, and religious expression is one of the guideposts. Dean understands the challenge, and it doesn’t mean that he has to take a press pool with him to church on Sundays. But he has to begin to define Democratic ideas and policies in moral terms. For starters, Wallis says budgets are moral documents. They reflect the values of a family, city or nation. Democrats should do a “values audit” of President Bush’s budget—who wins, who loses, who suffers, who benefits.
Dean's chairmanship of the Democratic Party is a victory of the grassroots activists over the party establishment, which did everything to stop him and failed. One Beltway Democrat called the elevation of Dean "an office-warming gift for Rove," now that King Karl has been named deputy chief of staff and moved closer to the Oval Office.
Were Democrats to follow the moral leadership of the black churches again they'd come out against gay marriage and abortion....likely? Posted by Orrin Judd at February 19, 2005 9:10 AM