Saturday, April 5, 2008

Why Democrats Soliciting Religious Voters is Silly, Stupid and Suicidal

Two new books on religion and politics, both reviewed in the Washington Monthly, are promoting policies that - if not aborted immediately - will be the death of the Democratic Party.

E.J. Dionne, in Souled Out, says the era of the "religious right" is over, leaving the playing field of faith open to Democrats, and evangelical apologist Amy Sullivan, in The Party Faithful, sings Hallelujah to the Democrats' recent discovery of religion as a political tool.

Let's do a dilation and curettage on this sucker right now before it reaches viability.

I use abortion imagery deliberately, because both Dionne (Catholic) and Sullivan (Protestant Evangelical) single out abortion as the issue on which Democrats have got to get religion if they want to win over voters of faith.

Sullivan laments the fierce opposition of traditional Democratic party fund-raisers to supporting candidates who are pro-life, and criticizes those who resist both the policies and the moral exhortation needed to lower abortion rates and to persuade religious voters that Democrats understand their qualms about current abortion practice.

Well. I haven't encountered a sentence that full of euphemisms and lies covering up nasty truths since the last time I read Leviticus.

There is no such thing as "pro-life." People who say they are "pro-life" are many things - anti-abortion, anti-choice, pro-incest, pro-child-abuse, pro-marital rape, pro-wife beating, pro-abandoned-children, etc. - but the one thing they are not is "pro-life."

"Moral exhortation." Would that be the screams of "Whore!" "Jezebel!" "Murderer!" aimed at any woman who enters a Planned Parenthood Clinic? Or maybe she means the abstinence-only classes that have created an epidemic of sexually-transmitted disease among teen girls.

"Qualms about current abortion practice." I seriously doubt she means qualms about the fact that American women are denied complete medical care in 97 percent of U.S. counties. Or the fact that 17-year-old women cannot save themselves from pregnancy without the express permission of the abusive stepfathers who are raping them. Roe, schmoe.

By the way, ever check to see how easy it is to buy condoms at your local grocery store? Around here, they're behind a locked counter. At my advanced age and orneryness, I have no trouble marching right up to the pharmacist and demanding a dozen boxes, size extra-large, in a voice the whole store can hear, but I hardly expect that level of self-confidence from a 15-year-old. Makes me wanna buy a few gross and hand them out at the junior-high.

Before all you Xians started whining, let me introduce myself: I was religious before religious was cool. Many years ago, I answered the altar call, confessed Jesus Christ as my savior and was immersed baptized.

Yes, I am a recovered born-again. I've seen the Xian angle from both sides, and believe me, it's hard to tell which is uglier.

But this much should be obvious to anyone who's even glanced at political news lately:

Kow-towing to the Xian freakazoids put the repugs into power, but it's also destroying their party for the next several generations.

Copying that playbook may get dems into power for a decade or two, but it'll be their downfall, and sooner rather than later. Here's why:

Repugs and religioids are natural allies for one reason and one reason only: they are both innately right-wing authoritarian. All religions, especially all monotheisms, are innately right-wing authoritarian (RWA).

Right-wing Authoritarianism is by definition: un-democratic, un-constitutional and un-American.

Right-wing Authoritarianism is anathema to the principles of the U.S. Constitution, the United States of America and the Democratic Party.

The Founders understood this. They knew that all religions - all religions - tend toward dictatorship and away from liberty.

Free, democratic government was possible only where religion was confined to the private sphere, never permitted the slightest influence on public life.

I imagine Jamie Madison taking one look at John Yoo's memo justifying torture and searching immediately for its religious source.

Twisting our Democratic and Liberal Principles to attract the authoritarians of "faith" is an act of spiritual and political suicide.

So what, you say? All that matters is corralling enough votes to win, and then we can ignore the religioids until the next election, just like the repugs do?

You don't have to implement their medieval policies to be corrupted by them, but for the sake of argument let's look at just the practical side.

"People of faith" who are receptive to the Democratic argument that Jesus Was a Liberal and Real Christians Care About Poor People and the Environment are already voting Democratic.

The ones who aren't are never going to vote Democratic, even if Jesus himself told them to. Never, never, NEVER.

To put it another way, if you profess New Testament Christian values but don't vote Democratic, there's nothing any Democrat can say to persuade you to do so. Your hypocrisy is terminal.

Soliciting the religious vote gains Democrats nothing and will end up costing us the world.

Cross-posted at BlueGrassRoots.