Dems to Try Faith-Based Message

This makes me very uncomfortable. A group in Congress is trying to reach out to faith-based voters to sell them on how Democrats are are a party of faith.

Rather than cede red states to Republicans, the party is buying airtime on Christian radio stations, with the message that Democrats are indeed a party with deep moral convictions.

Moral convictions are fine. Religious-based pitches are not.

I want the Democrats to win in November, but not by pandering to those who want to mix religion and politics.

Update: Scout_Prime at First Draft tells the G-d Dems to get out of the way. I agree. Why don't they follow those calling for the Common Good instead of Republicans?

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    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (1.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 09:32:06 AM EST
    John Mann writes:

    the party that spawned Mr. Bush and made the world the incredibly unstable place it's become in the past few years.

    Oh really? OBL had nothing to do with it? The minions of Iran had nothing to do with it?
    How the nutcase from North Korea? And then there were those Imams who called for, and still do, death to cartoonists and condone honor killings?

    John, you are as transparent as glass when it comes to attacking anyone who dares defend america and the culture of the west. Keep on enjoying your activities right up until the time they issue you a pray rug and say pray or die, infidel.

    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#12)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 11:18:44 AM EST
    Thank you, PPJ, for that highly original observation.

    Nice try, PPJ (none / 0) (#20)
    by John Mann on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 05:55:21 PM EST
    Oh really? OBL had nothing to do with it? The minions of Iran had nothing to do with it?
    How the nutcase from North Korea?

    Thanks for proving my point, Jim, even though I'm fairly certain you didn't mean to.

    Q: What do all three questions you asked have in common?

    A: They all happened during Mr. Bush's presidency.

    And spare me the bs about me being anti-American: I'm not. I am most definitely anti-the current administration's foreign policies. The fact is that I am anti-Bush because I am pro-America - and if you'd take off your blinders, you'd be the same way.


    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 12:15:23 AM EST
    Barack Obama.

    This silliness had been put down.

    Jeralyn I had a war, rhetorical, respectful and friendly, with the very good and smart Ed Kilgore over this in early 2005.

    After Schivo, Dems saw that negative branding of the Extremist Right was much more fruitful in bringing in moderates.

    But Obama is the reason for this "values" voters revival. It is why I am semi-obsessed with debunking him.

    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 12:24:52 AM EST
    Big Tent, you are so right. The Post article linked above calls Obama "the blessed one" and says:

    Barack Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, who challenges his party to make room for religion in the public square.

    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 10:00:41 AM EST
    THAT is why you saw that story.

    Obama will lead us to the promised land of religious voters. What a joke.


    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 07:35:35 AM EST
    Mixing religion and politics is dangerous and shifting ground. I think religion is one way of expressing of an inner need to define for ourselves right and wrong, but is not the arbiter what is of right or good, and what is wrong.

    Big Tent, does Obama profess a religion himself? And if so, does he advocate choosing courses of action based on religious dogma - theocratic decision making in other words - or does he try to advocate rational choices based on a sense of right or wrong? In other  words, does he confuse particular religious beliefs with "right", or does he try to find common ground with religious groups, where a "right" or "good" initiative coincides with the beliefs and tenets of those groups, to try to give them reasons to support democrats.


    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 09:59:57 AM EST

    HE professes that Dems stop being anti-religion, as if we ever were.


    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 10:31:35 AM EST
    If that's true then I agree with you. That sounds like Bush Lite.

    Too many people confuse their religious beliefs with "right". Too many people equate "morality" with the dogma of their religion.

    Here is an interesting point of view, from an atheist. Another one besides me, btw. ;-)

    BILL MOYERS: What is morality?

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: Well, it's as I see it, I think, something intrinsic in us, which wishes to distinguish between right and wrong. And I think we are hard-wired to it. You know, in the way that scientists now believe that language is an instinct. That we're hard-wired to develop it. You know. And I think that morality is somewhere in there in the DNA. That we are created, born as creatures who wish to know is it okay to do this or not okay to do this, you know. And we ask ourselves that question all the time. And religion is one of the answers.

    But it's in my view only one of the ways. It's a lot of the answers. But it's perfectly possible for me to say that we can as civilized people create moral codes to live by. We do not need that ultimate arbiter. And one answer to the question is democracy. And it seems to me that what happens in a democracy is that we don't have an absolute view of what is right and wrong. We have an argument about it, you know. And the argument never ends.

    We have a continuing argument about what's okay and what's not okay, you know. At a certain point we believed that slavery's okay, you know. At the later point the argument develops and we decide-- I mean in that case with a lot of bloodshed--we decide that slavery's not okay. At a certain point we believed that women should not have the vote. Or that people-- or that only property holders should have the vote. At another point the, the argument proceeds and we say that that's not right, and that everybody--we have universal suffrage. So it seems to me that that argument is freedom. You know, it's not to win the argument, because actually nobody ever wins that argument. But the argument itself is freedom.

    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#3)
    by Zeno on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 07:20:44 AM EST
    I am all in favor of placing ads on Christian stations, but not in favor of sucking up to the small-minded bigots. The Republicans have lost all moral authority to govern and Democrats have a case to make that could easily be cast in terms that religious people could appreciate. That is not, however, the same thing as acting like we think a continuing church-state merger is the way to go.

    I've noticed recently that Congressman John Doolittle in California's 4th District, a sleazy operator on the far right, has taken to running ads on the Sacramento broadcast of the Stephanie Miller Show. Doolittle should be anathema to anyone in Miller's audience demographic, but Doolittle is trying to peel off a few votes from the less attentive by having his praises sung to a leftist crowd. Interesting tack, perhaps an act of desperation, but perhaps a clever ploy if he has the money to spare (and I dare say he does).

    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#5)
    by John Mann on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 07:57:38 AM EST
    Democrats seem to be locked into a strategy of becoming more like Republicans than distancing themselves from the party that spawned Mr. Bush and made the world the incredibly unstable place it's become in the past few years.

    Americans face another Hobson's Choice on November 7, and while the Democrats should take back the House, I don't see anyone on the horizon who is likely to take back the White House.

    Obama the Chameleon? Please. Hillary? She becomes more like a conservative Republican every time she opens her mouth - and she's a huge front runner. Kerry? He's already illustrated that he's no different from Mr. Bush - except he is  more articulate.

    It's also unlikely to make any difference who is in the White House to the bin Ladens of the world; Mr. Bush has seen to that. Because of Mr. Bush's "Christian" ideology, America is now stuck in a religious war and there's not much chance of unringing that particular bell.

    Democrats appealing to Christians? What a remarkably stupid concept.

    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#10)
    by oldtree on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 10:33:39 AM EST
    when will we grow up and stop allowing religion?
    it is embarrassing when what appear to be otherwise rational people talk about religion, and include belief as though it were fact.
       for those of you afflicted with the need for a cosmic muffin,  please realize the rest of us think you are mad.

    you can't have it both ways.  you can either believe in magic or you can believe in facts, they don't mix.  I am not saying that there are not components of these that cross the line, but that is in history.  It is when someone figured out that they could combine the two things and create a new way to make money.   it doesn't lessen either, but their combination is the worlds oldest profession, prostitution, and not the physical type.

    remember, any time you retreat to a belief to prove a point,  you have lost the point, and the argument,  with anyone that requires proof.   As soon as you try to suggest a fairy tale means something,  you become the fairy tale.  it is a behavior

     it shames me that the people of this world are as generally stupid,  not ignorant, but stupid,  as they are.   perhaps we can legislate the requirement that everything has to be true, under penalty of law,  prison, death and torture.     Now, the only thing that could get you into such a pickle is arguing with the fascist in power.   the truth has taken a holiday

    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#11)
    by Sailor on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 10:38:07 AM EST
    try to stay on topic ppj, this thread is about dems trying a faith based message.

    I think dems advertising on christian radio is a fine idea. They might reach an audience that doesn't ever get to hear them when not filtered thru hate outlets. If they pander or try to be 'holier than thou' while doing it they should be ashamed of themselves because that is what rethugs do. (See bush, harris, rove, et al.)

    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#13)
    by Dadler on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 11:23:57 AM EST
    The approach of the Democrats on religion should be simple and go like this: "The unfathomable mystery of existence ("Why are we here?") is a question every human being grapples with, no matter their "religion", race, nationality.   No human being has greater insight than any other on this question, and we are all equals in seeking the answer.  As such, all faiths are welcome in the Democratic Party, though if you're looking to have your own religous extremism reinforced ("mine is the one true religion"), then you probably are not going to find this party of equals to your liking."

    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#14)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 12:33:52 PM EST
    Let me start by saying that I consider myself a progressive Christian, so that my bias by comments a bit.  But I am also more "liberal" than most Democrats.

    I have no problem linking religion and politics - it has always been done and it will continue.  I do have a problem with pandering to religious voters for the sake of gaining a few more votes and winning elections.  

    This is the exact same thing that David Kuo has criticized the Bush adminstration for.

    But that does not mean that politicians cannot have a religious message.  I strongly believe that most religious conservatives know little about why they vote Republican.  If they truly understood issues like the environment, the death penalty, the war in Iraq, helping and providing for the poor, etc. they would see that in many instances the Democrats represent their values better than the GOP.

    I see little wrong with grounding your political philosophy in a religious understanding.  I know that some around here do not like Obama's message of needing to reach out to religious voters, but from what I can tell this desire is not based out of winning elections as much as his desire to engage various communities on issues that they feel strongly about.

    I am very liberal in my political beliefs/philosophies BECAUSE of my religious convictions, not despite them.  

    But don't get me wrong - I do not want to see a liberal theocracy as much as I do not want to see a conservative theocracy.  But I do want liberal politicians to be able to talk about how their faith, values, and morals speaks into the political philosophies that the hold.

    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#15)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 12:44:44 PM EST
    One more thing...no one complains about the role that religion has played in politics in the past.  So many of the major movements in this country have been grounded and have had foundations in and with religious movements, churches, and leaders.  

    Think about the civil rights movement, women's suffrage, the abolition movement, Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., etc, etc, etc.  

    Faith and religion have always played a large role in politics.  The largest difference between (religious) Democrats and Republicans in this area is that Republicans tend to want to have a Christian nation, while Democrats want to engage religious voters (among whom are Christians) in order to accomplish important things like helping the poor, working to preserve the environment, end the death penalty, etc.  


    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 02:55:12 PM EST
    Scratch Abraham Lincoln from your list. HE was one  of the first politicians ever attacked for LACK of religiosity. He never attended church.

    MLK never ran for political office.

    etc., etc. I am unfamiliar with.


    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#22)
    by mindfulmission on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 10:19:26 AM EST
    Lincoln: Just because he did not attend church does mean that he did not talk (often) about faith and its  relationship to politics.

    MLK: So are you saying that MLK was not political?  So anyone can talk about religion and politics unless they actually run for office?

    As for those things you are unfamiliar with, each of those things (women's suffrage, abolition movement, civil right movement) had significant foundations in  religion, and were often led by religious leaders.


    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#16)
    by Dadler on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 01:11:25 PM EST
    I think the biggest difference is this: the literal belief in obvious metaphor (which fundamentalists of all religious stripes share) vs. belief in the metaphor as a spiritual aid.

    We should be pumping the latter while deflating the former.

    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#17)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 01:21:46 PM EST
    Hmmm...I am not sure that we should be deflating the  former as much as not encouraging it.

    I could care less if someone has a literal belief in an obvious metaphor.  But I do not want that literal belief forced on me.  I don't feel the need to deflate that literal belief though.


    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#19)
    by Dadler on Sat Oct 21, 2006 at 05:29:54 PM EST
    Deflating and not encouraging are, I think, the same thing here, so I'm pretty certain we're on the same page.  I'm only talking about a strategy for dealing with literalists when they attempt to own the discussion, the issue, the politics, of religion in the public sphere.  They have for too long, because the left hasn't had the ability to speak about this issue with both the human respect and intellectual rigor that it deserves.

    Re: Dems to Try Faith-Based Message (none / 0) (#21)
    by rob on Sun Oct 22, 2006 at 11:33:18 PM EST
    I am wondering if this fits in somehow with the new Red Letter Christians group that was started by Wallis and Campolo.