Thursday, November 27, 2003

Dems on the run...

A Spiritual Struggle for Democrats: Silence on Religion Could Hurt Candidates, in the Washington Post today treats religion simply as a demographic statistic whose qualities can somehow be maximized by politicians, in this case - Democrats, to their advantage. Comparisons to how George W. Bush has supposedly used this leveraging feature are given. "The nine Democratic presidential candidates all consider themselves religious, though most keep their faith and spiritual views to themselves when campaigning. Their silence stands in contrast to President Bush, among the most overtly religious presidents in generations, and could undermine the Democratic nominee, as polls consistently show that voters want to hear more about faith from their national leaders." Herein lies one of the many problems with this viewpoint: Religious views are a good thing, as long as you keep them to yourself. This is, in a word, ridiculous. Whatever philosophy structures your Worldview must express itself in your life. This applies whether your Worldview is structured by Christianity or Atheism. "Bush's faith plays a big part in his political strength, pollsters say, as he receives high marks from the public for providing moral and trustworthy leadership. Bush is a born-again Christian who frequently studies the Bible, prays and candidly discusses his faith in God. "If you can connect with people spiritually, that is an important connection," said retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, a Catholic who frequently attends Presbyterian services. "That's what George Bush tries to do."" Another problem: Treating some spiritual connection as the means to political ends. What should be evident from someone positing that approach is that they follow their particular philosophy / religion simply because they like it... not because they truly consider it to be True. "In some ways, Democrats see their opening revealed in the philosophical splits dividing the Episcopal and Catholic churches in the United States. On the one side are conservative Christians who interpret the Bible more literally and see abortion and homosexuality as incompatible with scripture and, therefore, incompatible with their political views. This group leans strongly Republican, pollsters say. On the other side are the millions of Episcopalians who supported the confirmation of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire and Catholics who support abortion rights. These voters are considered very gettable for Democrats." Yet another problem: Simply viewing religious blocks as political fodder. A while back I criticized the Dems for courting the Arab-American vote while ignoring the Evangelicals. Am I contradicting myself here? No. The reason why is that, when courting the Arab-Americans, the Dems were attempting to sympathize with the concerns and desires of the Arab-Americans. Here we find the Dems chasing after voters that belong to religious denominations that already ascribe to Liberal philosophies... under the guise of being spiritually connected with them. "This is the camp the Democratic candidates mostly fall into. In interviews, those candidates who described themselves as Christians said homosexuality and abortion are not sinful, and all described the New Testament as focused on helping the poor and needy. They mostly talked about it as a broad guide of principles not to be taken too literally. It is a very "different set of teachings some in the more fundamentalist parts talk about," said Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.), a Baptist who once considered joining the seminary." Final point: Equating selected social concerns in the New Testament with Evangelical Christianity. Liberals are very selective in their reading and interpretation of the Bible. It is flat out wrong to consider that, according to the Bible, homosexuality and abortion are not sinful. Regarding abortion, check the resources found at Stand to Reason. It is also flat out wrong to state that the New Testament is focused on helping the poor and needy. One wonders if they have ever heard of the word Gospel? While Jesus helped the poor and needy he did not consider them to be of utmost importance. The writers of the Epistles were very concerned with the poor and needy but their writings were focused on fulfilling the Great Commission - namely - making disciples. Within that context is the act of helping the needy... something Christians in America need to revisit - but that's a topic for another time.

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