Faith to Play Big Role at Democratic Convention

From an email I just received from the DNCC:

To kick-off Convention week in a spirit of unity, the DNCC, in conjunction with the Democratic Party's Faith in Action (FIA) Initiative, will host an interfaith gathering on Sunday, August 24th, beginning at 2:00 PM at the Wells Fargo Theater located in the Colorado Convention Center.

This is the first time a celebration of this nature has been part of a Democratic National Convention and is symbolic of the Party's desire to bring multiple communities together under its "big tent." The gathering will include clergy of different faiths, Party leaders, elected officials and local community leaders. Speakers and musical guests will be announced later this summer. The event will be open to the public.

This has been in the works for a while. [More...]

The FIA initiative, founded in 2005 by Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Governor Howard Dean and Convention CEO Daughtry, focuses on ways for the Democratic Party to work with communities of faith to work together to promote the common good.

In related news, a new 527 PAC is being formed to help Obama reach out to Christian voters. It's called the "Matthew 25 Network." A $1,000 per person fundraiser (pdf) is taking place tonight.

Called “The Matthew 25 Network,” the new organization, which is still in its earliest stages, is being spearheaded by Mara Vanderslice, who was director of religious outreach for the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004 and did similar work for several statewide Democratic candidates, including Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.

I wonder why faith gatherings weren't held at prior Democratic conventions? Perhaps because politics and religion should remain separate? That's my view.

I'm going to withhold final judgment until I see the musical guest list. If it's top heavy on Christian music, I'm going to be unhappy.

So what would be a good mix? How about some Hare Krishna singers? Or George Harrison's My Sweet Lord?

Any other suggestions? This is so not my thing.

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    <sm>Jimmy Carter</sm> (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:12:26 PM EST

    When they say clergy of different faiths, (5.00 / 9) (#4)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:12:46 PM EST
    do they include Jews, Buddhists, Moslems and Hindus?

    how about wiccans (5.00 / 7) (#11)
    by mexboy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:16:02 PM EST
    They have faith too

    I love wiccans (5.00 / 5) (#41)
    by bjorn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:24:26 PM EST
    Can't you see the repubs having a field day with this...the dems idea of faith is to invite a bunch of witches to the party!  This entire idea is misguided precisely because there are so many different religious variations and once you open the door you can't start shutting it selectively to avoid criticism from the other party.

    exactly (none / 0) (#52)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:26:53 PM EST
    a problem the republicans will never have.

    I'm sure they will invite (5.00 / 14) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:17:34 PM EST
    all religions. Yes it includes Jews and Muslims, I don't know about Hindus and Buddhists. I hope the Hare Krishna's are invited.

    I also wish they would plan an alternate event at the same time for the non-faith based Democrats.


    if all those people (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:20:11 PM EST
    are put in the same room they better have armed guards.

    could they have one for logical posivitists? (5.00 / 9) (#28)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:20:22 PM EST
    Or Jungian symbolists?

    or secular humanists (5.00 / 6) (#37)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:22:59 PM EST
    As a person without faith (5.00 / 8) (#57)
    by pedestrian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:27:46 PM EST
    I would be THRILLED to be represented at a major party convention.  I wouldn't want to be included in an interfaith lineup though - lack of religion is not itself a religion.  That is a line that the Religious Right has been pushing for some time now and I don't think they need any more encouragement.

    EXACTLY (5.00 / 6) (#71)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:32:22 PM EST
    I recall a conversation with a Irishman about the strife in that country between catholics and protestants.
    I asked 'what if you are an atheist?'
    'it depends' he said
    'on what?' I asked
    'on whether you are a catholic atheist or a protestant atheist'

    You mean without an organized faith? (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:08:16 PM EST
    If so, you'll fit right in, as Democrats are people who now more than ever are in a disorganized party.

    LOL (5.00 / 8) (#59)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:28:22 PM EST

    Schopenhauers depressing followers (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:30:57 PM EST
    should be banned though.

    yes (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:31:54 PM EST
    and husserlians

    Cartesian Solipcists. (5.00 / 5) (#94)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:40:47 PM EST
    Now they would be welcome to the Obama events.

    Good one. (none / 0) (#144)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:57:24 PM EST
    Popperians (5.00 / 3) (#92)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:39:29 PM EST
    I had to look that up.  I could see some gay religion around amyl nitrate.

    LOL! (none / 0) (#116)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:47:00 PM EST
    Nope, old Sir Karl Popper, not a religion based on poppers!

    Can't wait for your live blog. (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:34:28 PM EST
    So is that what I am? (5.00 / 5) (#100)
    by suisser on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:42:13 PM EST
    A, "non-faith based Democrat"?

    Funny how that makes my stomach hurt.


    This whole thing is totally inappropriate. (5.00 / 9) (#104)
    by Shainzona on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:43:35 PM EST
    I am simply stunned.

    The Interfaith Alliance actually questioned what HRC and Obama were doing at that stupid CNN Faith event a few months ago...there is no religious test for candidates.  What is going on????


    That Was The Old Consititution n/t (5.00 / 7) (#153)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:00:48 PM EST
    This is not the party I was waiting for (5.00 / 9) (#173)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:13:01 PM EST
    and I am so glad that I officially am out today -- June 10, Independence Day! per the blog movement to let the Dems know that they've lost a lot of us with their actions in the RBC.  I sent looong letters to the DNC and my state party in the return envelopes they nicely provided with their latest fund appeals.

    Celebrate in your own way but join in honoring June 10 as the anniversary of the first state ratifications in 1919 -- by Wisconsin, then Michigan (irony) and Illinois -- of the 19th Amendment


    this is not the party I knew (5.00 / 3) (#180)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:21:47 PM EST
    How convenient (5.00 / 6) (#184)
    by echinopsia on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:26:14 PM EST
    I got an email today from David Plouffe, inviting me to "get involved" with the Obama campaign.


    I promptly unsubcribed from the Democratic Party's email list with a message about no longer supporting a corrupt, hyprocritical, sexist organization.

    I'm glad I did it on the right day.

    Since the convention's going to be here and I think it might be fun to be involved (but we'll see - this announcement is not promising) I'm going to wait until August to register to vote as an independent.


    I agree Shainzona....but maybe it will not (none / 0) (#138)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:54:40 PM EST
    come to pass seeing as how they are out panhandling for coin to put on the convention events.

    Must be one of the Changes we can expect (5.00 / 7) (#156)
    by JavaCityPal on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:02:07 PM EST
    I would be more impressed if their brought together the diversity of our people through heritage.

    If the democratic party is going to go religious, I won't have any trouble at all joining the Green party.


    That is a great idea Jeralyn... (none / 0) (#123)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:49:08 PM EST
    They'll have all kinds of faiths (5.00 / 5) (#68)
    by blogtopus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:31:42 PM EST
    Christians, Catholics, Evangelicals, Baptists, Fundamentalist Christians, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Russian and Greek Orthodox, Anglicans, and even Christian Scientists.

    Oh, yeah, and Jews. There aren't any more than those, are there? None that matter, anyway. /snark

    We play all kinds of music here, both country AND western!


    Probably all except muslims (1.00 / 1) (#27)
    by zebedee on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:20:22 PM EST
    Our nominee doesn't want to be associated with them. And we also don't want Rev Wright of Father Pfleger turning up

    ohhhhhhh grrrrrooooaaaannnn (5.00 / 7) (#7)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:14:03 PM EST
    Is he copying Blairs Christian Socialist schtick?  Anyone familiar with that strategy?

    google how Blair was the pious new Christian Socialist.  

    "I'm a progressive because i'm a good Christian. 08"

    ooooohhhh fetch a bucket.  

    Co-exist brothers! (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:14:41 PM EST
    is this for real?

    I wonder how (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:19:18 PM EST
    the blogger boys feel about this.
    particularly Atios the atheist.

    Probably the same way they always feel (5.00 / 9) (#47)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:25:39 PM EST
    Hypocritical. Any stands they have on any issues go right out the window as long as it's Obama.

    This has nothing to do with Obama (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by SpinDoctor on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:19:30 PM EST
    Here is an article that appeared more than a year ago about the Democratic outreach to people of faith:

    Changes are taking place with the party organization too. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who railed against "fundamentalist preachers" during his presidential campaign, is reaching out to evangelicals and other religious groups. Over the past 3 years, the DNC built a faith operation from scratch including a Faith Advisory Council, a research wing, polling and targeted messaging. They're partnering with state parties to bring local clergy members into the tent.

    Dean, himself, has increased his visibility at religious gatherings and conducted briefings with religious leaders across the ideological spectrum. He was the first DNC chairman to appear at the Hispanic prayer breakfast.

    "Contrary to partisan rhetoric, the truth is that Democrats are people of strong faith and we are guided by our values," he said at the breakfast.

    As they seek to increase ties to religious organizations and voters, Democrats are taking a page from the Republican playbook. Republicans have long counted on conservative religious voters as one of their core constituencies.

    But Democrats are also trying to build on some success they had in the 2006 election, when Vanderslice helped craft faith-based strategies for several Democratic congressional candidates. She urged them to speak openly about their religion, meet with members of the clergy and advertise on Christian radio.

    In one radio ad, Heath Shuler of North Carolina said, "When I was in 8th grade, my mother gave me a note that read 'Heath, make every decision as if I'm standing beside you, for when I'm not, Jesus Christ always is.'" Schuler won, and like Vanderslice's other candidates, he scored significant gains among religious voters.


    Now obviously you may disagree with this election strategy, but it began long before Obama ever announced his candidacy, let alone claimed the nomination.


    OK (5.00 / 6) (#182)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:23:10 PM EST
    Perhaps that's true. I still abhor it coming from democrats in any case.

    And I still abhor Obama's many megachurchy, preachery panderings to evangelicals during the campaign, which I'm sure will continue with the new and oh-so-progressive Joshua project.


    The FIA group of the DNC is not new (5.00 / 4) (#192)
    by americanincanada on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:33:34 PM EST
    but this crap at the convention is and it's all Obama.

    This is a link to his little 'faith meeting' today in Chicago. Check out the guest list and don't forget to gaze at the picture.



    They Love Everything That (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:03:50 PM EST
    the NEW Democratic Party and Obama loves. Doesn't matter if they were against it 5 minutes ago or not. Now it will be the most awesome idea evah.

    They will blame it on Dean (none / 0) (#72)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:32:26 PM EST
    Not Obama's idea.

    But didn't Obama take over the (5.00 / 4) (#98)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:41:46 PM EST
    DNC just last week?

    Yes, he did (5.00 / 5) (#176)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:16:32 PM EST
    But it is TOG defense all the time. 'Someone on my staff' must have done it.

    No, apparently he did so in 2005 (5.00 / 3) (#178)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:16:46 PM EST
    from the date of the founding of this Dem FIA.

    Or, as becomes more apparent by the day, this FIA group took over the Dem party then to groom Kerry's pick for the 2004 convention speech as their next presidential nominee for this year.  No matter who had put in far more work and many more decades in building the Dem party.  Sorry, but this reeks.


    Separation of church and state???? (5.00 / 6) (#29)
    by Aqua Blue on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:20:38 PM EST
    I am appalled.    This has no place in the Democratic Party.

    Will Amy Sullivan be speaking? (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:21:32 PM EST

    Will Amy Grant be singing? (5.00 / 2) (#151)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:00:07 PM EST
    I was kicked out of Sunday School (5.00 / 12) (#38)
    by samanthasmom on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:23:03 PM EST
    when I was 12 for suggesting that God had made a huge biological mistake with the Great Flood by restricting the gene pool to Noah's family.  I added that it might be amazing how smart humans would be if there hadn't been so much intermarriage. I go back to church for weddings and funerals, but other than that, I pretty much stay away. This movement toward bringing religion into the Democratic Party will probably make my current exile permanent. I can't take Matthew and Joshua in the same election cycle. I don't want decisions on education, marriage, reproductive rights, living wills, etc. to be based on someone else's faith.  Separation of church and state is not negotiable for me. You can take my guns if you keep your religion away. Far away.

    And another thing (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by standingup on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:25:09 PM EST
    The list of performers had better not include Donnie McClurkin or anyone else who expresses hatred and intolerance toward the GLBT community.  


    even I (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:28:27 PM EST
    would be extremely surprised if it did.

    I believe in separation of Church & State (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:26:39 PM EST
    I am a bad Catholic or more aptly called today, non practicing Catholic. I do not understand why they are going with this. I hope it is not because of the likes of Pennsylvania. They kept saying so many Catholics, who by the way, voted for Hillary. I know of no Catholic I know who didn't. And the majority of Catholics are Democrats in this state. It almost sounds as if they are going for the right wing religious vote. Except, the Baptist Church is endorsing McCain. If you look at history, when religion was involved in government, there were problems.

    Where has my party gone? (5.00 / 12) (#54)
    by stillife on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:27:28 PM EST
    The Dems are taking a page from the Republicans' playbook.  The writing has been on the wall for some time now.   I guess that's one of the lessons they took from the loss in 2004.

    The media has been complicit in this.  A few years ago, CNN installed a "faith and values" correspondent.  And then there was the debate where the candidates talked about their faith.  The whole thing makes me extremely queasy.

    The Dems in 2008 are reminding me more and more of the Repubs in 2004 and 2000.  Tell me again, why should I vote for these people?  It's a pyrrhic victory when you become your enemy in order to win.

    I dunno (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by pedestrian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:31:58 PM EST
    I can't see Republicans inviting people from non-Christian faiths.  When they talk about faith, they are being exclusive.  As long as we are being inclusive, I don't have a problem with celebrating what I see as just another form of cultural diversity.  I say this as a non-religious person.

    I have a problem with it (4.50 / 8) (#77)
    by stillife on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:34:22 PM EST
    It's called "separation of church and state".

    no state (1.00 / 3) (#84)
    by Laertes on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:35:49 PM EST
    There's no state involved here.  The Democratic party is not a government agency.

    Google "Lurita Doan" if you want an example of what happens when people lose track of the difference between party and state.


    What an obtuse comment (3.00 / 2) (#101)
    by shoephone on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:43:01 PM EST
    But we don't push religion (none / 0) (#111)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:45:36 PM EST
    or base our party around religion--on philosophical and moral grounds.  

    If the Public Evangelism stuff goes on too far Obmaa loses.   And if he's doing this to head off an anticipated swiftboat attack on him a megachurch convention will not prove to be a safe harbor--it's actually going to invite the swiftboat right into the marina armed with a cluster of 2000lb Torpedoes.


    Muslims uniformally voted (none / 0) (#83)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:35:30 PM EST
    Republican until 2002.

    Really? (none / 0) (#132)
    by squeaky on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:52:01 PM EST
    Not according to this:

    According to CAIR, 78 percent of Muslims voted Republican in 2000. It was a departure from previous elections, when this community tended to side with the health and education policies of Democrats. But conservative family values that Bush touted were attractive, as was his hints that he would seek to eliminate the 1996 Secret Evidence Act, which many Muslims believe targets members of their community.



    what part of 78% don't you understand? (none / 0) (#146)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:58:53 PM EST
    mind boggling.  

    I might leave a gap in my knowlegde of NOI voters but didn't you just sorta prove my point here?


    also careful about CAIR. (none / 0) (#158)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:02:19 PM EST
    What do you have beyond the opinion of CIAR about earlier patterns?   Every Muslim I had run into during the 1990s and discussed politics with hated Clinton because they thought he was a pawn of Israeli interests.  the 78% lock step voting tends to confirm rather than contradict my point.

    There's a good argument to be made that Bush got into office based on the Muslim vote in Florida.

    The big fat irony of the decade.


    From 1996 (none / 0) (#195)
    by squeaky on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:42:35 PM EST
    More Muslims identify with the Democratic party and its constituencies. Still, considering that Muslims are a minority grouping, there is a surprisingly large segment that identify with the Republican party. This finding stands in contrast to how other minority groupings view their party affiliation.


    Still, the survey shows that there is overwhelming evidence that issues of minority rights and religious tolerance stand out as primary concerns for the respondents. On these issues Muslims find themselves in natural alliance with liberal Americans.



    78 % in 2000 (none / 0) (#199)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:51:10 PM EST
    speaks volumes and has always stuck in me head.  I think they vote 90% Kerry in 2004.

    Anywat they got what the deserved for their fickled  showing in 2000.  A sociopathic president.


    WTF (none / 0) (#185)
    by squeaky on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:26:21 PM EST
    Did you read what you wrote? You made a blanket claim that the Muslim community voted GOP before 2002.

    Muslims uniformally voted (none / 0) (#83)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:35:30 PM EST
    Republican until 2002.

    According to the link Muslims only voted GOP in 2000, iow it was an anomaly. Before that the tended to vote Democratic.


    before 2002. (none / 0) (#197)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:46:46 PM EST
    2000 doesn't qualify?  i'm parsing here, but they have tended to be fairly pro GOP in my experience.

    Now you see whty having a big religious revival is a STUPID AS F__ IDEA?


    they were probably afraid (none / 0) (#145)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:58:23 PM EST
    they would be deported or otherwise targeted if they did not.
    dont laugh.  its not that much of a stretch.

    The Dems are becoming Republicans w/out (5.00 / 11) (#76)
    by kempis on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:34:15 PM EST
    blue collar workers.

    Oh, and w/out old broads and latinos and hillbillies.

    The New Democratic party is a wealthier, trendier, and I'm sure smaller version of the GOP.


    I have lived in the USA for a long time, and (5.00 / 8) (#82)
    by camellia on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:35:02 PM EST
    I understand it less every year!

    A couple of years ago, when the evangelicals were really getting going, my cousin in Australia emailed me:  "Thank heavens we got the convicts and not the Pilgrims!"  

    And no, I do not think Hillary would have done this -- she has too much sense.  This is going to be a looooooong summer and fall.

    I love your cousin (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:37:24 PM EST
    Heh (5.00 / 4) (#89)
    by stillife on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:37:37 PM EST
    My husband is from England and even after many years in the U.S., he's still astounded at what a religious country this is.  I tell him, "Yeah, you shipped your religious nuts over here!"  

    Well...I'm big on separation of church and state (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by kempis on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:41:59 PM EST
    It's one thing I used to cite as a reason for my being a Democrat all those years.

    But I actually do see the strategy. The Religious Right has been a dangerous and overly influential organization in our country since the 1980s. This has been bad for politics AND religion.

    I am not religious, but I have friends who are progressive Christians and progressive Jews, and I think it is important that they speak up and let it be known that the FRC and the evanglical Dominionists do not have the final word when it comes to theology or politics. So I actually see the growth of a progressive, interfaith movement as an important counterbalance. And it's helped. The Religious Right is weaker today than it's been in almost 30 years, since the damnable Moral Majority burst onto the scene.

    So...I'd rather politics be secular. But I can see and even appreciate the strategy here: anything to check the power of the Religious Right--as long as this isn't the start of the Religious Left.

    And that does bear watching....

    Why? (5.00 / 3) (#102)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:43:10 PM EST
    What is Obama and the Democratic Party willing to give up to lure them? I think it's time for Obama to stand up and tell the Party exactly where he wants to take it. I would hope that even the die hard Obama supporters, (Huffington, Olberman, Kos) would insist on an answer. How does this fit into the progressive program that most of their sites profess to subscribe to?

    Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Ellie on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:43:13 PM EST
    The one, the only, the Goddess.

    (Patty Smith Group doing Gloria)

    certain interpretations (none / 0) (#119)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:48:21 PM EST
    like  the white-goddess theme suggest he was tangled up in other religions beside Judaism. So maybe he died for all sorts of reasons he wasn't even aware of.

    Fan-tastic (5.00 / 11) (#106)
    by BDB on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:44:29 PM EST
    At the Democratic Convention we'll be getting religion and corporatism.  Add in the party's malign acceptance of sexism and we're getting patriarchy, too.

    It's a coincidence that all those former GOPpers supported Obama, right?  I'm sure they'll have nothing but a positive effect.

    Don't Forget Reaching Out To (5.00 / 10) (#172)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:11:38 PM EST
    "cure the gays" ministers.

    Wow this NEW Democratic Party is really bipartisan. They are taking the things I like the least about the Republican Party and making them a cornerstone of the NEW Democratic Party.


    Nooo! (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:45:20 PM EST
    this is awful.  Secularists who have been known to call theists  delusional should put a sock in it, but this goes too far.

    What a travesty!!!

    Perhaps (5.00 / 5) (#118)
    by LoisInCo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:47:59 PM EST
    it is an attempt to crib off Dubya's "compassionate conservative." Now we can be "spiritual liberals".

    I just threw up a little (5.00 / 4) (#125)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:49:20 PM EST
    in my mouth.

    Is the Flying Spaghetti Monster (5.00 / 5) (#122)
    by blogtopus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:49:02 PM EST
    going to make an appearance? I'd love to see a sign or two representing Pastafarians (and the necessity of Pirates in our ecology).

    Maybe we can sneak a few past the guards...

    On another note, is this seriously where they want to go? I used Kum-Bay-Yah as a joke when referring to Obama's Hope-they-don't-read-the-fine-print Campaign, but he's actually REALLY HOPING that everyone will just forget their differences and come together.

    Is there going to be room for the GLBT community at this convention? Honestly? Who gets to ride the axle of the Hope Bus this time?

    good point (5.00 / 4) (#128)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:50:13 PM EST
    lots of followers of the FSM.

    I think they disappeared (5.00 / 2) (#137)
    by blogtopus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:54:36 PM EST
    into the vast pit of Obamaism - FSM was a favorite of the afore-mentioned 'Creative Class'.

    Flying Spaghetti who? How DARE you mock religion!


    Hypocracy at it's worst (5.00 / 5) (#134)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:53:35 PM EST
    If we are truly this religous Christian nation that the politician and media have said we are, How come we have the death penalty? Worldwide poverty,annd intollerence, I get really disgusted when I see people blatently using religion as a whip or a tool to an end.

    I guess we all better get used to the idea of public prayer sessionns at every event we attend.

    Slightly off-topic but (5.00 / 7) (#135)
    by camellia on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:54:12 PM EST
    I don't know where to put it.  I just this minute got a call from the DNC!  "May I speak to Mr. Camellia?"  "Well, he's busy.  Who's calling?" "This is Vanessa, from a political organization"  "Which one?"  "A Democratic organization".  "The DNC?"  Long silence, before she gave assent.  (Why so coy, by the way?)

    So, I said -- "we've been waiting for you to call!!!  Do you want money? "  "Well, that would be nice" .  Then I pounced.   "Well, you've come to the wrong place.  We no longer consider ourselves Democrats after what was done to Hillary Clinton by the DNC."  Click.

    The problem as I see it. (5.00 / 10) (#143)
    by mexboy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:56:41 PM EST
    The real problem here is this: The Democrats who have worked tirelessly to create a party based in fairness and civil rights for all individuals are being thrown under the bus and ignored by Obama/Dean.

    Obama is reassuring the people who view abortion and gays as their enemy. In fact he is asking them to join the Democratic party while completely ignoring those who have been the base of the party completely.

    The evangelicals will not ever reconcile with gays or people who are pro choice. This is a real threat to people who have been under attack from the religious right.

    Why doesn't Obama reassure these loyal Democrats that he will protect their right to exist and live in a violence free environment from zealots-- while inviting people of "faith" to embrace human beings who are created in the image of God, as the Bible says, in their totality?

    I would welcome these people of "faith" if they came to value, support and embrace those who are different from themselves. I am afraid their agenda is quite different!

    Conventions (5.00 / 0) (#159)
    by wobbly on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:02:29 PM EST
    Conventions should be conventions, NOT coronations.

    Not these prepackaged themed events, that no broadcast network even covers anymore. John Kerry packaged himself at the last one as the "veteran" gave a good performance, thought he totally proved himself a "soldier", and ultimately looked like a jerk.

    Most Americans, nowadays, have never served in the military.

    Most Americans, nowadays, don't vote.  They do watch television, but don't care for the news part of it.

    Most Americans don't go to to church on Sunday.  They shop.

    With less money than they seem to think they should have.

    Please, no "faith" events.  More "show me the money" events....

    That begins to sound (5.00 / 3) (#162)
    by Molly Pitcher on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:04:36 PM EST
    like the person the literalists believe will set himself up and be welcomed as a messiah.  Like I said, the dems and their leader scare me.

    I don't have a problem with this per se. (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by davnee on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:06:06 PM EST
    Depends a great deal on the execution.  If this is just about affirming that the Democratic Party is open to people of faith then that's cool with me.  And I don't even mind pointing out the synchronicity between progressive social policy, like serving the poor, respecting everybody's human rights, and protecting the environment, and religious tenets that require the same.  But I don't want to see blurring of the lines between church and state.  That's a dangerous slippery slope.  We can't afford to have both parties happily sliding down it.

    And I won't lay this concept at the feet of Obama.  My understanding is that HRC was also interested in reaching out in order to make the Democratic Party more open to voters who prioritize their faith.  But I will say that I would be far more confident in HRC undertaking such a venture in a measured fashion that respected one of our most precious national first principles than Obama, given the way she's pretty much seamlessly  integrated her own devout Methodism with a strong commitment to separation of church and state all these years.  I surely do hope that this outreach under Obama does not take its cues from any of the following:  the McClurkin travesty, the  black liberation theology disaster, or the KY brochure nauseating pander.

    I am a Roman Catholic (5.00 / 5) (#166)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:06:55 PM EST
    I am very uncomfortable with this whole endeavor.  It is coercive and offensive to some people.  Whether or not it technically violates the separation of church and state provisions of the US Constitution (absence of "state action")is beside the point.  

    I do see this as Obama's push.  His "religion" is a defining moment in his life.  His Joshua Movement and his depiction with a halo around his head gives me the creeps.  Looks like a knock off of the classic painting - "The Light of the World."  Mind you, I am a religious person.  

    Will Amy Goodman Be Reporting? (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by tokin librul on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:09:34 PM EST

    I am sure Amy will be reporting....to my (none / 0) (#174)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:13:23 PM EST
    mind she is always one of the best out there.

    We realize all candidates have those (5.00 / 4) (#183)
    by Joan in VA on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:25:56 PM EST
    committees. The party at the convention seems harmless but what is the point? Only attendees and Denver citizens would be there anyway. The forming of these Christian-named projects seems to go a bit further than I'm comfortable with. Specifically the focus on evangelicals who are known as the most hard-core believers and the most stridently opposed to choice and gays.

    One of the things I like(d) about the Democratic (5.00 / 4) (#188)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:30:16 PM EST
    party is they don't(didn't) mix religion and politics as much.


    I am definitely an independent....

    My reaction in a word (5.00 / 2) (#191)
    by rilkefan on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:32:39 PM EST

    Religion can be progressive (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:41:36 PM EST
    When I was working for Moveon PAC for Kerry, I had a number of Nun volunteers.  We had an event where we watched the debates together.  These nuns got furious that Bush was talking about a culture of life.  They believed life included the environment, health care, and a bunch of other stuff after 9 months.  When I asked them about it, they said they were against abortion, but there was a larger picture that they looked at.  The point is, is that making abortion the litmus test for inclusion into the democratic party is very limiting and would probably throw out most of the great civil rights leaders of the last century.

    Civil Rights Leaders? (5.00 / 3) (#207)
    by Emma on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 06:06:54 PM EST
    The point is, is that making abortion the litmus test for inclusion into the democratic party is very limiting and would probably throw out most of the great civil rights leaders of the last century.

    Only if you don't count all the, y'know, WOMEN from the first, second, and third waves of feminism and in the Civil Rights movement, and let's go back a little further to the women in the anti-slavery movement.

    But who cares if the Dem Party doesn't have a bedrock commitment to choice?  After all, a commitment to LIFE is so much more inclusive, dontcha know?


    one day it's something about Roe v Wade (none / 0) (#198)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:49:29 PM EST
    next day it's virtuous liberal Nuns (prolife).

    Pillar to effing post.


    Actions speak louder than words (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by cmugirl on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:45:13 PM EST
    I personally don't care what Hillary did - she's out, remember?  If the Dems would actually put forth candidates who showed us with actions that they are good, moral leaders with their actions, they wouldn't have to keep telling us how good they are.

    It's kind of like having class - truly classy people don't have to tell you - you just know by how they act.  Those with little or no class will loudly proclaim how wonderful they are - that's the clue.  If someone has to keep telling you something so you believe it, it probably wasn't true to begin with.

    now isn't that just special! (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:55:50 PM EST
    chase out the democratic base and pander pander pander to the ones who won't vote for you in the long run. how out of touch with reality these people are!

    The point is Mathew 25 is radical stuff (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by msobel on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:59:07 PM EST
    In related news, a new 527 PAC is being formed to help Obama reach out to Christian voters. It's called the "Matthew 25 Network." A $1,000 per person fundraiser  (pdf) is taking place tonight.


    It's the parable of the talents:

     Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Of course the Religious Right doesn't focus on that they focus on:

    33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  

    Because they are sheep and they claim we have unnatural relations with goats.

    There is real reason to be concerned (5.00 / 5) (#206)
    by BoGardiner on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 06:01:50 PM EST
    If Dean's quote is the message of this event, "the truth is that Democrats are people of strong faith and we are guided by our values," it's bigoted and exclusionary.  Are we atheists not real Democrats?  And if faith=values, does that mean I am without values?

    SpinDoctor, it's very different from HRC simply forming a religious advisory committee.

    We have real reason to be more concerned about Obama's religious pandering than HRC's.  Remember this?:

    Candidates Should Not Mix Religion and Politics     

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 15, 2008) - Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama should stop distributing fliers expressing his religious qualifications to be president, says the Interfaith Alliance, a leading religious freedom advocacy organization.

    This week, Senator Obama's campaign began distributing fliers in Kentucky describing Senator Obama as a "Committed Christian" and telling voters how Senator Obama's religious upbringing will affect his decisions in the White House.  Unfortunately, this is just the latest example of political candidates from both parties misusing religion to gain support in this year's campaign.  The flier is similar to other Obama campaign publications distributed earlier this year in South Carolina.

    The Interfaith Alliance is opposed to candidates exploiting their religious beliefs to gain electoral support.  The Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, a practicing Baptist minister and President of the Interfaith Alliance, issued the following statement on the use of religion in presidential politics:

    "I am deeply disappointed that Senator Obama once again chose to distribute information about his religious beliefs in an attempt to score political points before a critical primary.   The candidates for president are running for Commander-in-Chief, not Pastor-in-Chief, and the Constitution clearly prohibits using religious convictions as a qualification for public office. There are so many serious issues facing this country from the war to health care to the economy. Presidential candidates need to spend more time outlining their vision for this country and less time trumpeting their religious bona fides."

    dnc and religion (5.00 / 4) (#209)
    by pompmom on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 06:13:39 PM EST
    so now we have to trot out our "faith" and put in on display? my faith is my own, and it is none of anybody else's business. i do not wear it on my sleeve. i do not try to persuade others of my beliefs. i thought the democratic party stood for, among other things, separation of church and state. if i werent already so disgusted with with the dnc and their agenda, this blatant, pathetic attempt at grabbing the faith based initiative, whatever that means, is the final straw. what, we cant be original? we have sunk so low that we imitate w of all people? you would think we were desperate, instead of in the position to win.

    Try this, Halstoon (5.00 / 1) (#211)
    by BoGardiner on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 06:22:06 PM EST
    Replace the phrase "people of strong faith" with "white"  in Dean's statement: "the truth is that Democrats are people of strong faith and we are guided by our values."

    Now do you see the problem?

    An interesting little sidelight -- (5.00 / 3) (#212)
    by camellia on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 06:25:56 PM EST
    in 2003, when Dean was campaigning for the Dem nomination, I helped his campaign out with some event advice (I am a professional event person) when they were planning a big rally in my town.  My dear SIL, a person who is earnestly religious, met Governor Dean during the rally and asked "Mr. Dean, what is your religious affiliation?"  Dean replied that he felt that religion was personal and that he felt no obligation to reveal his religious affiliation.   Plus ca change, plus ce n'est pas la meme chose.  

    this is it, they've (5.00 / 3) (#213)
    by cpinva on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 07:16:21 PM EST
    finally turned into republicans. no halstoon, keeping religion out of the political sphere is saying "we appreciate what the founding fathers were concerned about, enough so that they made it a point to ensure the two didn't mix by prohibiting gov't involvement in religion".

    religion should be a personal issue, not part of the political process. frankly, i don't give two nanny goat sh*ts what any politician's religion is, unless it unduly affects their capacity to carry out their required official duties.

    we all have "values", that's such a fraud. the assumption being that your religious based "values" trump my secular based "values".

    so no, i just see this as " me tooism" on the part of the DNC, desperately attempting to be just like the republicans.

    what idiot thought this was a good idea?

    Keep politics out of the pulpit (5.00 / 5) (#215)
    by joanneleon on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 07:40:28 PM EST
    Didn't anyone tell Howard Dean that religion and politics don't mix?  Or are we going to have to learn it all over again, the hard way?  

    I really don't like this one bit.  

    This party is more like the Republican party everyday.  It's one thing to study how the conservative movement came into power, but it's another thing to emulate everything they did.  

    And how do they plan to resolve the pro-choice vs. Christian values thing?  Will it be another form of "don't ask don't tell?"

    Does interfaith include agnostics and atheists or are they thrown under the bus with the New Democratic party too?

    We need a new, independent populist party in this country.  We need to get back to basics.  This party is totally screwed up.

    Why didn't they just have the convention (4.85 / 7) (#21)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:18:39 PM EST
    in CO Springs and be done with it?

    Why can't Christians (4.83 / 12) (#25)
    by standingup on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:20:03 PM EST
    just examine the candidate and the issues to make a decision on how they vote?  Isn't this the responsibility of a citizen of a Democratic society?  

    D#^m, we are electing a president.  The position is to lead the nation as the head of the federal government.  What does it have to do with any religion?  

    moonies, bogazeezees (4.77 / 9) (#6)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:13:59 PM EST
    where does it end?
    if it doesnt include atheists (pfft) it will worry me.
    I hate this.  this is not a good sign.

    I guess they will have to invite Rev. Wright (5.00 / 5) (#131)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:50:48 PM EST
    and Father Pfleger to make it all inclusive...

    It'll end like Blair's CS gambit (none / 0) (#14)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:16:22 PM EST
    A nice house in Nottinghill and a chair at Oxford.

    Just another issue (4.69 / 13) (#32)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:20:51 PM EST
    where the progressive blogs have lost their moorings.  After years of ranting about Bush-style theocracy, all of a sudden church-state outreach is the greatest thing ever.

    This much I know.  The more the Democrats flirt with breaking down the church-state barrier, the more Jewish votes they will lose.  It's a big deal to us.

    One of the reasons that Jewish (5.00 / 10) (#45)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:25:22 PM EST
    people vote Dem is that we are a secular party.   They know they welcome because we don't base our identity around Christianity.

    Party = state!? (1.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Laertes on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:33:18 PM EST
    "all of a sudden church-state outreach is the greatest thing ever"

    Here's your problem right there: You're confusing party with state.  There are all kinds of things that are perfectly acceptable when done by a party that are unacceptable when done by the government.


    Heh (5.00 / 3) (#142)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:56:29 PM EST
    Well, if you want to look at this particular event in a complete vacuum, I suppose that's a valid point.

    Bad idea (4.62 / 8) (#5)
    by JustJennifer on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:13:22 PM EST
    I don't get it at all.  

    Are we becoming a theocracy? (4.60 / 10) (#24)
    by dianem on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:19:58 PM EST
    Have we moved from "1984" to "A Handmaid's Tale"? I know... I'm just being paranoid. But what's the point of getting back in power if we have to give up what makes the party distinctive in order to do it? I wanted to see a movement to change hearts and minds - a movement to educate Americans about what government is capable of in competent hands. Something to countee the right wing media brainwashing movement of the past 30 years. Yes, it would take time. Yes, it would be expensive. But we have a powerful tool (the internet) and plenty of progressive support in various industries. However, they seem to be choosing a shortcut - a charismatic leader and a "republican-lite" policy that "reaches out" to the other side in order to convince them that they should vote for us.

    I almost want the Dems to lose in the fall, because if they win we will see more of a movement to the right in this nation. I keep wondering if this is simply "sour grapes" over Clinton, but I don't think it is. In terms of my feelings about Obama, the ultimate justice would be watching his supporter's shrieking and wailing when he doesn't live up to their expectations - because nobody could live up the varied expectations that have been placed on him.

    It's the new Syncretic interfaith. (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:22:30 PM EST
    This soooo opens up Obama to the TUCC attacks.  This sets up the religio-swiftboating like nothing else could.

    We can't win a theological fight with our type of base.


    Is this shades of Kerry's (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:24:43 PM EST
    "reporting for duty"?

    i'd say it's a bullseye (4.00 / 4) (#60)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:28:28 PM EST
    painted on Obama's backside.

    it will not innoculate him at all.


    really (5.00 / 6) (#86)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:36:42 PM EST
    the democrats dont do this stuff well.  which is why I am a democrat.
    this could blow up in their faces.

    I have not watched this yet.... (5.00 / 0) (#75)
    by Oje on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:33:22 PM EST
    But, don't leave out Born in Flames:

    "Set ten years after the most peaceful revolution in United States history, a revolution in which a socialist government gains power, this films presents a dystopia in which the issues of many progressive groups - minorities, liberals, gay rights organizations, feminists - are ostensibly dealt with by the government, and yet there are still problems with jobs, with gender issues, with governmental preference and violence. In New York City, in this future time, a group of women decide to organize and mobilize, to take the revolution farther than any man - and many women - ever imagined in their lifetimes."

    Sound prophetic to me... I hope the movie ends well!


    A Bad idea (4.55 / 9) (#23)
    by democrat1 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:19:33 PM EST
    As a secular humanist, I believe it is a big NO No.
    If it is, for me it is No Obama

    So... (4.50 / 8) (#9)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:14:54 PM EST
    ...they have money for this, but not the individual state parties?  Darn shame, that.  

    really (4.69 / 13) (#13)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:16:19 PM EST
    I think it tells you something about where this campaign is going.

    Comments by Capt Howdy (5.00 / 0) (#85)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:36:21 PM EST
    seem quite apropos in this thread, given the derivation of his screen name.

    HA (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:47:22 PM EST
    Ill take that as a compliment.
    btw the screen name is no accident.  I can turn my head around twice and spew pea soup 30 feet.

    Wow! (5.00 / 2) (#148)
    by tree on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:59:35 PM EST
    You could be the star attraction!

    Frankly I wish we could exorcise the smarmy Republican ploys from the New (Now with Faith!) Democratic Party.  


    I am so confused by the reaction here to this... (2.33 / 3) (#31)
    by festus800 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:20:47 PM EST
    does anyone doubt that this is exactly what Clinton would have done if she'd won the nomination?  First we hear that Obama has no way to appeal to people who "cling" to religion because of "bittergate," then you deride every attempt to reach out to these voters? Is it simply true that there's no way he can with you?

    Obama's argument was that (5.00 / 3) (#108)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:45:06 PM EST
    people cling to religion because of bad economic times and other social insecurities.  Is he going to use this special day to talk about economic policy and how he is going to make the country so great they won't have to cling to religion anymore? If that were true, I would not object, but I doubt it is what will happen.

    The purpose of this is to show the reliogious that Dems are sympathetic to religion-based policies and politics.  That is why I object.  I don't want religion anywhere near politics.


    Pandering (5.00 / 0) (#175)
    by zebedee on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:16:29 PM EST
    There's nothing wrong with a genuine reach-out to religious groups but this looks like pandering. Which I would also be OK with if it wins the GE but it riles that one of the ways he got to be nominee is attacking Hillary as a panderer. I have a problem with all this hypocrisy.

    I dont doubt (4.80 / 5) (#34)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:22:14 PM EST
    Clinton might have done something similar.  Obama has a lot more to prove to these folks so I expect it to go way more overboard.
    I would have bashed Hillary for this too.

    I actually don't think Clinton (5.00 / 0) (#49)
    by bjorn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:26:04 PM EST
    would have done this, not sure Obama did either. It sounds like it was Dean's idea.  It is a bad idea regardless.  

    I totally think it is (5.00 / 7) (#58)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:27:57 PM EST
    the Obama campaign.  said the day he "won" he will go to the right.
    this is the first real indication of that.

    Alongb with his (5.00 / 7) (#141)
    by oldpro on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:55:42 PM EST
    "Joshua generation" youth-group...

    Gag me...

    I knew this wasn't my party any more...


    thank you capt (5.00 / 6) (#56)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:27:40 PM EST
    nicely said.  As an atheist, I want lots of distance between religion and my gov't.

    there can not be to much (5.00 / 6) (#78)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:34:25 PM EST
    distance IMO

    Hillary is a firm believer in (5.00 / 7) (#97)
    by FlaDemFem on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:41:24 PM EST
    the separation of church and state. She cannot emphatically say so without seeming to diss religion. She would not have had this event. She might have had a seminar on faith and government, but she would never  approve of faith in government. Her own faith is a private matter and she only mentions it when badgered to do so by the media. That is what faith should be, private. It is how a person views and communicates with God, it is not something the government should have anything to do with. Hillary knows this. Obama does not.

    And if Obama has the sense God gave a goat, he will keep faith out of the equation, given the nature of his own church of 20 years. Once he opens that door and makes faith a viable issue in the GE, every single sermon of Wright's in those 20 years comes into play. And they won't play in Peoria.


    One of the things I like about her (5.00 / 4) (#152)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:00:13 PM EST
    She keeps her religion private {sigh}

    come to think of it (none / 0) (#46)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:25:32 PM EST
    this could be fun

    the honesty is appreciated... (none / 0) (#55)
    by festus800 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:27:32 PM EST
    and the Convention activity was obviously planned in advance of Obama winning the nomination so is irrelevant to him.  But I don't see what the big deal is.  Why is being a person of faith and having your view represented in a "gathering" or whatever at the convention any different than being a part of any particular interest group, like labor, LGBT, etc. The problem with the Republican use of faith is not to acknowledge and celebrate its existence, it's that they use it as a tool to pummel the left with and cleave the country in two.

    to be honest (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:29:18 PM EST
    as a person with no faith who comes from people for whom faith is enormously important, it just seem kind of smarmy.

    Hey! (5.00 / 5) (#90)
    by Emma on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:38:13 PM EST
    Are the Dems paying for a big GLBT bash?!  That would be cool!

    maybe both (5.00 / 5) (#96)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:41:09 PM EST
    in the same room at the same time.
    I would buy a ticket to that in a minute.

    I'd be interested in the GLBT community's (5.00 / 7) (#126)
    by shoephone on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:49:32 PM EST
    response. More importantly, will Donnie McClurkin be invited to this event?

    The DNC is playing with fire here. I didn't think my own party could antagonize me any more than they already have. I was wrong. This whole thing smells.


    Well, if you happen to be a (5.00 / 3) (#181)
    by Molly Pitcher on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:22:03 PM EST
    Christian, Jesus said to do your praying in secret:

    "But thou, when thou mayest pray, go into thy chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who is seeing in secret, shall reward thee manifestly."


    I wouldn't be so sure (none / 0) (#190)
    by echinopsia on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:31:30 PM EST
    I went to a DNC volunteer orientation last week, two days after O "clinched." There were many references to how crazy it's been with the sudden influx of Obama people taking over the offices and the reins.

    Separation of church and state (4.50 / 8) (#19)
    by RJBOSTON on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:17:49 PM EST
    is one the better principles of our nation. And not realy sure how this will impact the democratic party's position on such things as abortion and gay rights. For me, I may as well be a republican and maybe I'd get lower taxes with my religious politicians.

    Me either (4.42 / 7) (#1)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:09:45 PM EST
    Where do the non-believers/secular humanists get to gather?

    There is no shortage... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:16:04 PM EST
    ...of watering holes and coffee houses in downtown Denver.  

    Don't you find it odd that the thing dems (5.00 / 7) (#112)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:45:53 PM EST
    railed against Bush doing, have now become acceptable...afternoon dawg!!

    Under the bus? N/T (4.50 / 8) (#2)
    by LoisInCo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:10:33 PM EST
    How about getting their own concert.. (4.50 / 4) (#36)
    by FlaDemFem on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:22:53 PM EST
    with fun performers like Aerosmith, GunsNRoses, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Simply Red, and other colorful bands. Let the religious have their bash, and party hearty at the really fun one. Make it a Hillary rally..Heh.

    That would be fun....Hillary isn't out ya (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:46:51 PM EST
    know, much to the chagrin of many.  

    And just the band for it: Box of Crayons (none / 0) (#189)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:30:55 PM EST
    Not to go too o/t, but the following is good news for Dems, I guess:

    Fossella Gone, But District's GOP Politics Remain Wild

    Just because scandal-plagued Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.) is leaving doesn't mean crazy things aren't still happening in his Staten Island district. They are.  The GOP's top recruit to run in the New York 13th district is facing a challenge from none other than ... his own son. His own embittered son, to be sure.

    The Staten Island Advance reports Fran Powers is seeking the Libertarian nod to challenge Francis H. Powers, a.k.a. not-so-dear old Dad, who is the likely Republican nominee. Sounds like Dad thinks Junior is a wild man who couldn't be tamed. The paper quotes the senior Powers, a retired Wall Street executive, as saying he tried to help his son "live a healthy lifestyle" and "move his life in a positive direction."

    Powers the son, who plays in a Staten Island rock band called Box of Crayons and runs an indie record label, told the Advance, "I'm not out here doing heroin. I have a regular life. Do I have a beer? Yes. I'm having one now."  The 47-year-old libertarian added, "I'm not going to say that my dad treated me bad when I was a kid. I know his policies. I'm running against someone I know."

    Democrats, who see this -- the year of the Democrat -- as their best shot ever of picking up the only Republican district in New York City, are giddy over the family feud, especially considering Fossella's fate. Fossella, a married Christian conservative who has three children by his wife, had little choice but to announce his retirement last month after getting a DWI and admitting to a long-running extramarital affair and fathering a child with his mistress.

    And now comes the Powers family. "This is like watching an episode of Jerry Springer," says Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokeswoman Carrie James. "Republican candidates for Congress can't even rely on their own family members for support any more."

    In the pit of Hades! (1.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:15:23 PM EST
    That was joke. (none / 0) (#65)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:30:08 PM EST
    I'm Atheist.

    The Democratic Party Is Mostly Christians (2.00 / 4) (#39)
    by Laertes on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:23:47 PM EST
    I am great big capital-A Atheist and I'm fine with this.

    This country is overwhelmingly Christian, and both parties are largely made up of Christians.  The key difference is that one party hates my guts because I'm an Atheist and one doesn't.

    Christians are often a hyper-sensitive folk.  They quickly start to feel outnumbered and threatened and oppressed the instant they see someone who isn't wearing a cross around their neck.  If a few gestures like this are necessary to make them feel at ease, I'm fine with it.

    Wake me when the Democrats start letting Jerry Falwell choose their USSC nominees.

    church attendence is a leading indicator of (5.00 / 5) (#53)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:27:04 PM EST
    party preference.

    there are profoundly good political and moral reasons for the Dems to remain secular.

    You also have a swiftboat attack being tempted into existence if the convention turns into a megachurch.


    they are most of the country (5.00 / 5) (#63)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:29:04 PM EST
    So why do we need a special day to reassure them? Hypersensitive is right!

    How much money is the DNC spending on this?


    Yep, and how did we EVEN get this far (5.00 / 4) (#95)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:41:07 PM EST
    Without bringing religion into it. I figured the Invocation was enough and the God Bless America at the end of speeches too. My head is officially spinning. Thank goodness it is not my money the DNC is using as I gave up giving to them.

    amen (5.00 / 0) (#107)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:44:30 PM EST
    NOW they don't hate your guts. (5.00 / 6) (#129)
    by Joan in VA on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:50:31 PM EST
    Later?  I'm not on board with encouraging that ridiculous Christians-under-attack meme. As you say, they are by far the majority of any political party, yet they pretend to be a minority when they don't get every last thing they want. They will never rest until someone like Mike Huckabee is prez and the Constitution is retired in favor of the bible. So what happens to the non-Christians? Re-education camps?

    Your comment is spot on (5.00 / 4) (#170)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:09:51 PM EST
    The Christians-under-attack-and-must-be-protected meme is revolting, and should never be pandered to by democrats. This is exactly how they try to shove prayer in public schools and other things down our throats - I once had a horrifying argument with a neighbor and school board member trying to tell me that her poor kids were under attack at public school because Christians HAVE to pray publicly at school and the school won't allow it. The approach is entirely manipulative. If you go down that road, next thing you know it's the war on christmas and allowing intelligent design as an 'alternative theory' in biology class.

    Song suggestion (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:17:04 PM EST
    'Calling All Angels' Jane Siberry

    More (none / 0) (#51)
    by Step Beyond on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:26:52 PM EST
    That is a lovely song. Makes me sad thinking of the end of that movie though.

    Jesus Christ Superstar

    And on slightly less religious notes:

    Peace Train


    I love it (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:34:46 PM EST
    I associate it with the movie Until the End of the World, where I first heard it, instead of the Meg Ryan movie. 6 degrees of Wim Wenders.

    I think it has been in a lot of movies, come to think of it.

    I've been singing Jesus Christ Superstar about this campaign for months.  That is a better pick for the thread.


    It is beautiful. (5.00 / 0) (#105)
    by Step Beyond on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:43:53 PM EST
    I was thinking of Pay It Forward. The one with the boy from the Sixth Sense and Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey. With the very sad ending and this song. sob It melts my normally cold, cold heart.

    Omg, so have I (none / 0) (#124)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:49:15 PM EST
    Except the comparison of who's singing which parts isn't so great.  But some bits are right on.

    I know exactly what you mean (none / 0) (#133)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:52:49 PM EST
    One song popped up on my iPod when I was vacuuming the other day, and it was right on, but would be horribly bad to quote the singers or the last line.

    For the record I don't (none / 0) (#139)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:55:07 PM EST
    mean it would only be bad to quote some of it - I don't believe it either.

    Can't be too careful t ese days.


    thank you (none / 0) (#67)
    by bjorn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:31:35 PM EST
    made my day

    hwere's my list. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:17:55 PM EST
    Jerusalem, Amazing Grace, Men of Harlech.

    The topic is not (none / 0) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:20:42 PM EST
    Rev. Wright or Black liberation theology. Comments critical of Obama on those grounds are being deleted.

    This is about the DNCC and religion and Obama's reach-out to Christian voters.

    doesn't this (5.00 / 6) (#40)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:24:09 PM EST
    function as the same pageantry that sank Kerry?

    Fair enough...it's going to be a right wing talking point, so delete, yet one of the reasons that Kerry was sunk so badly by his Swifties is that he made our convention into a military tattoo.


    Wow. I've always said you and I think (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by MarkL on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:25:41 PM EST
    alike .. you beat me 24 sec. with this thought.

    yup, that convention just really asked (5.00 / 2) (#205)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 06:01:26 PM EST
    for the response. and this? hello the right wing machine has their guns out regarding obama's past religeous decisons.

    I just don't see (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by frankly0 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:24:56 PM EST
    how one addresses the issue of outreach to Christians by Obama without bringing into account his own religion.

    Seriously, I just don't see it.

    It's like talking about whether Romney can reach out to Christians without his own Mormonism -- questionable in the minds of many Christians as to its authenticity as a Christian faith -- becoming an interfering factor.

    You're just not talking about a basic issue if you don't discuss it. You're just talking around the issue.

    I understand that it can be inflammatory in both cases, but it's the elephant in the room.


    It will be (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by indy in sc on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:39:14 PM EST
    a tricky tighrope walk at best.  It will remind people of the controversies with his church.  I think though that Obama may use this as an opportunity to spotlight the leadership of his denomination on the national level, which is far more mainstream than Trinity United has appeared.  He will have some air cover from the fact that this is a DNC covention kick-off event and not an Obama-specific event.

    I just made a comment (5.00 / 5) (#61)
    by standingup on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:28:45 PM EST
    below about Donnie McClurkin.  I you feel it is off topic, please delete.  

    I made the comment because I believe it is a good example of how Obama's outreach to Christians in South Carolina contributed to a lot of resentments in the GLBT community.


    Many Americans are religious (none / 0) (#62)
    by Rashomon66 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:29:00 PM EST
    A good many African Americans are religious and have a strong tradition with Christianity. African Americans also by and large vote for Democrats. There is also what's called the Religious Left.

    That's fine but (5.00 / 7) (#73)
    by stillife on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:32:50 PM EST
    it has no place in politics.  To quote George Carlin, "Keep your religion to yourself!"

    I agree... (none / 0) (#93)
    by Rashomon66 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:40:37 PM EST
    I'n on board with Carlin's view. I'm just trying to lay out the facts as to why I think there is this reach-out program.

    If he's (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:34:38 PM EST
    attempting to prove anything with this he tempting a swiftboat attack like you've never seen.  Kerry to the nth degree.

    I'm astonished that he might even be tempted to turn a political convention into a megachurch spectacular.


    I'm dismayed (5.00 / 5) (#87)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:36:42 PM EST
    but not astonished. He's always had that preacher/motivation speaker vibe.

    excuse me, go look up the history of (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:59:15 PM EST
    religeous wars. it has caused more grief than almost anything else in history. there are ways of having conversations and this isn't it.

    More music (none / 0) (#110)
    by Emma on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:45:29 PM EST
    Mary, by Patty Griffin.

    Lyrics (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Emma on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:48:28 PM EST
    from "Mary"

    Mary you're covered in roses, you're covered in ashes
    You're covered in rain
    You're covered in babies, you're covered in slashes
    You're covered in wilderness, you're covered in stains
    You cast aside the sheet, you cast aside the shroud
    Of another man, who served the world proud
    You greet another son, you lose another one
    On some sunny day and always stay, Mary

    Jesus says Mother I couldn't stay another day longer
    Flys right by me and leaves a kiss upon her face
    While the angels are singin' his praises in a blaze of glory
    Mary stays behind and starts cleaning up the place

    Query: would the outreach (none / 0) (#113)
    by sher on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:46:06 PM EST
    the faith-based community be objectionable if it had been part of HRC's platform?  If this is OT, please delete.   I think the outreach is probably both prudent and cynical and ideally would have no place in politics.  But we have abdicated this constituency to Republicans so why not have a conversation.

    you call it conversation, i call it (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:57:33 PM EST
    pandering. really!

    It's worse. (none / 0) (#127)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:50:04 PM EST
    Kerry's military themed convention set up the swiftboater quite neatly.

    Is no one curious as to the sign. of (none / 0) (#114)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:46:34 PM EST
    Matthew 25?  Here's what my initial google reveals:

    The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins & Welcoming the Bridegroom

    Sheep and goats (none / 0) (#140)
    by Emma on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:55:32 PM EST
    They said it was about the sheep and the goats: for I was hungry and you fed me, etc.

    That doesn't work too well either, (none / 0) (#160)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:02:49 PM EST
    as the final judgment involves an analogy to separating the sheep from the goats.

    I agree (none / 0) (#163)
    by Emma on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:04:39 PM EST
    we could always go back (none / 0) (#121)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:48:55 PM EST
    to REM

    Dem leaders stress "unity" (none / 0) (#130)
    by Josey on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:50:42 PM EST
    and basically say "get over it" --


    When did any of these leaders ever speak out against misogyny and race-baiting?

    Many of us got over it (5.00 / 4) (#168)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:09:23 PM EST
    and left the party  ;)

    RNC response is interesting:

    The RNC responded this way: "Congressional Democrats are clearly eager to raise taxes, and that's exactly what Barack Obama would do if elected. Democratic leaders are out-of-step with millions of rank-and-file Democrats who worry that Obama does not have the judgment or experience needed to be Commander in Chief. Obama is inheriting a Democratic party that's divided, disenfranchised millions of voters, and been badly out-raised by the RNC."

    'nuff said.


    I will be very curious (none / 0) (#149)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:59:36 PM EST
    to see how my religious family and the people on the rather faith heavy arkansas dem mailing lists I am on will react to this.

    Religion and Founding Fathers (none / 0) (#150)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:00:07 PM EST
    Someone stated yesterday that are Founding Fathers were devout Christians and their faith was crucial to them.  Well, not really.  Follow this link and you will see.  


    One more try with link (5.00 / 0) (#155)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:01:34 PM EST
    Music will surely include Lift Up Your (none / 0) (#164)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:05:00 PM EST
    Voice and Sing

    One Faith (none / 0) (#208)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 06:13:21 PM EST
    The only Faith involved in politics should be Faith Hill as the entertainment.

    Your politics should not creep into your religion, (none / 0) (#210)
    by halstoon on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 06:14:28 PM EST
    but I honestly don't see how you keep your religion out of your politics. We all--whether we call it religion or not--base our political judgments on our morality. For once the Democrats are going to promote their faith--caring for the least among us, for example--and not pretend that in order to join the party you have to hide your cross under your sweater.

    I understand the uneasiness with religion in politics, especially with the way the Right has abused the Bible in the last 30 years or so to promote their agenda. That doesn't change the fact that 85% of Americans ID themselves as believers in something, and people like to vote for folks they see as sharing their values.

    If you avoid the topic, you make it too easy to write you off as an elitist athesist who simply thinks you have all the answers. That is a losing formula, and I for one am glad that Gov. Dean formed this alliance before Obama became the party's standardbearer.

    That said, it in no way should deteriorate into a Christian church service. That would only make the party look more like the GOP.

    Can someone explain to me, succinctly, (none / 0) (#214)
    by moe21885 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 07:25:14 PM EST
    why trying to get the votes of religious people is a bad thing? Something like 90% of the country believes in God, and there's been growing acceptance of progressive policies in evangelical circles since 2004 - especially on climate and poverty. The younger ones are abandoning the GOP because the culture wars which kept their parents in line are a lot less relevant to them.

    It's OK to appeal to religious voters (none / 0) (#216)
    by robrecht on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 07:52:03 PM EST
    I don't practice any religious faith, but I'm glad that Obama and other Democrats are reaching out to people of faith.  Not sure why, maybe it's just because the Republicans have abused these demographics for so long, that I think the Democrats can only help in that regard.

    I also think some Democrats are paranoid about reaching out to religious voters.  For example, in Jeralyn's previous post:

    Why would evangelicals and Catholics support a pro-choice candidate? Is he planning on modifying his position?

    There's no evidence of that.  I think it's just paranoia or perhaps entrenched Hillaryism.  Not that there's anything wrong with that!  I was a Hillary supporter too.

    When unbelievers like me (none / 0) (#219)
    by Pieter B on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:42:07 PM EST
    see things like this we get a bit suspicious.

    Remind me again -- which candidate did the conventional lefty blogosphere label "Bush Light"?

    I've kept asking the question... (none / 0) (#220)
    by lambert on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 09:55:45 AM EST
    ... "And we get?" (where "we" is the Democratic base of Hillary supporters) but it looks like I'm getting my answer.

    What "we get" is a chance to look more and more like Republicans.

    How nice for everybody that the Unity Pony has dropped this steaming load!