Sunday, October 09, 2005

Leftists Wonder Why We Right Wingers Won't Simply Come To Jesus

Pretty good American Spectator article.


Now flash to my in-laws' countertop where sits a Democrat Party bumper sticker that reads: "Jesus cared abut the poor / So do we." (Note, curiously, that it does not reside on their car bumper.)

It's not hard to discern what's going on here. After years of getting their hats handed to them by the so-called Religious Right and after losing the "moral values" voters by a margin of 82% to 18% in the 2004 elections, Democrats and the political Left have resolved they can't beat 'em, so they'll join 'em. Their policies are now inspired and endorsed by the Big Fella Himself.

They have a tough row to hoe. Fewer Americans (29%) today view the Democrat Party as "friendly to religion" than did last year (when that figure was 40%), according to a Pew Research Center poll from late August. Indeed, after three consecutive years of decline in the "friendly to religion" department we can detect an inversely proportional relationship between the Democrats' use of religious rhetoric and their public image on religious amiability.


First, merely slapping the Jesus label on stale social welfare programs won't make them popular, particularly when the vast majority of Democrat leaders in Washington oppose efforts to invite churches of all denominations to take part in the welfare game through President Bush's stagnant Faith Based Initiative. According to Pew, allowing churches to apply for public funding to help fight poverty is viewed favorably by 66% of the American people.

Second, Democrats have been breathing their own exhaust regarding Republican greed. Yes, the GOP is viewed as disproportionately favorable to business, particularly big business. And yes, many Americans are skeptical of any claims of altruism by big business. But the resultant fallacy that most Americans are searching for their inner Karl Marx and all they need is the Democrats to tell them raising taxes is What Jesus Would Do is an absurd leap, which, frankly, leaves many Americans shaking their heads.

Third, most Americans of faith know full well Jesus cares deeply for the "least of these" (by the way, try to imagine the Bill Bennett-style firestorm of controversy if a Republican politician referred to African-Americans as "the least of these" as the above referenced reporter did). But they also know that nowhere did Christ prescribe compulsory charity as a remedy for poverty. The liberals' attempt to buy their way into Heaven by extirpating indulgences from others is not what Jesus has in mind.


[F]inally, the political Left is deeply conflicted internally on the matter of religion in public life. To begin with, there exists within the Left a powerful secularist element that would love to exclude any mention of Christianity from the public square. These are the folks who run those obnoxious anti-Christmas campaigns every December and shriek about church-state separation whenever anyone breathes a word about Intelligent Design...How are these folks going to react if the Religious Left ever gains any momentum within the Democratic Party?


But why does it all matter anyway? Well, because for lack of anything else to discuss about her, Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers's Christianity has become the topic of the day. It is likely her alleged literalist Biblical worldview will be a subject of great speculation as to how she might view the U.S. Constitution and vote on key issues of morality, abortion being the most high-profile. And now that it's okay for reporters and liberal activists and politicians to quote liberally from the Bible and invoke the name of Jesus to promote their political agenda, it will be interesting to observe how they behave during the coming Miers battle.

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