Frequent Hit & Run commenter Akira MacKenzie points to this AP story about the Democrats going after the religious vote (he adds, "I guess this secular humanist is going to have to stay home on Election Day"). Spearheaded by former Democratic Party chairman David Wilhelm, the Web site Faithful Democrats debuts today.
Because, you know, there isn't enough religion in politics today.
"It struck me as strange that people whose political world is motivated by faith had to be Republican. Democrats need to be on the playing field," Wilhelm said.
He said the site will give religious Democrats "the moral support and some language they can use."…
Over the last 30 years, the GOP has found common ground among traditional pro-business, anti-tax Republicans, small government advocates and social conservatives. Democrats, on the other hand, have been influenced by a secular, liberal bloc that advocates separation of church and state. The party's disparate groups have had more trouble finding a single voice.
It's worth remembering that basically up the very late 1970s, with the creation of the Moral Majority and the start of the Reagan years, that religion was, if anything, more associated with the Dems. Not only were they the longstanding party of Catholics, Southern Baptists, and most other forms of non-country club Protestant sects, the Civil Rights movement in which Democrats played a leading role pulsed with appeals to Christian ideals of equality before God, etc. How times have changed:
A poll by the Pew Research Center found that the proportion of Americans who considered the Republican Party friendly to religion dropped from 55 percent last year to 47 percent this year. But that is still significantly higher than the 26 percent who regard Democrats as friendly to religion.
Whole AP story here.
Blast from the past: Spectacular Jimmy Carter commercial, "Bible," from the 1980 campaign in which Gov. Peanut proclaims that nothing is more important to him than his religion (well, except for separation of church and state) and that he prays daily. Recall that it was Carter's candidacy in 1976 that helped popularize the term "born-again Christian" in the U.S.
In 2004, Reason columnist Cathy Young took a look at the new discrimination against godless politicians–despite polls showing the 60 percent of Americans rarely or never made electoral decisions based on religion. Check it out here.
In that same year, Young contrasted the different grillings JF Kennedy took in 1960 (was he too loyal to his Popish roots?) and JF Kerry took in 2004 (was he really a Catholic?) to explore how religion has become more prominent in politics over the past 45 years. Check that out here.
Along similar lines, former press secretary and self-described "libertarian Democrat" Terry Michael decried the Donkey Party's embrace of "Religion Lite" here.