Faith in Public Life — In One Hour

To their credit, most of the people at this morning’s Big Tent panel seemed to realize it was ridiculous to try to cover Dems and religion in 25 words or les. Highlights:

Amy Sullivan: Liberal evangelical is not an oxymoron. She said in an interview afterward that it wasn’t that Democrats didn’t respect religious people (the assertion ofPaul Rauschenbush, at whom I was contemplating throwing stuff), it was that there had been no concerted outreach like there was to veterans, union people, all those for whom there is a designated outreach effort.

Alexia Kelly: Catholic voters are a quarter of the electorate, more than 30 million of them voted in 2004, and this year there are 11 percent more “swing Catholics” than there were four years ago. She attributed this to an increase in religious outreach by Dems, but I personally attribute it at least in part to the increase in upfucking of just about everything on the part of Republicans, to the point that even people who are concerned about the abortion issue are realizing that these guys kind of suck. Catholics, though, she said are “politically homeless,” in that they don’t feel either party really speaks to their needs.

Everybody seemed to agree that Democrats need to do a better job of convincing this apparentlyvirulently anti-abortion country that they’re not all militant atheistic baby killlers. They expressed hope that Barack Obama’s candidacy would help focus people on things the party already supports which prevent abortion and unwanted pregnancies. Rauschenbush went so far as to say that “religious progressives should challenge the party to have a new position on abortion.” What that ought to be, he didn’t say. I personally don’t see the screaming emergency, but ask me again around the second week of November, maybe I’ll have come around to his point of view.

Or maybe I’ll just still be drunk.

Katrina panel coming up in about 20 minutes. More on that later.


9 thoughts on “Faith in Public Life — In One Hour

  1. . Rauschenbush went so far as to say that “religious progressives should challenge the party to have a new position on abortion.”
    If it’s anything short of “abortion should be illegal under any circumstances, along with anything that could even remotely be cast as ‘abortion'” it won’t be good enough for the single-issue voters.
    And if it’s anything short of that, the anti-choice activists will paint it as “actively promoting abortion”…so I fail to see the benefit for the Dems, really.

  2. Do please remember that there’s a difference between Catholics and the Catholic Church, but The Church is not interested in acknowledging that such a difference exists. The Church, however, does not vote.

  3. Of my friends that admit to being Catholics (I don’t insist on knowing their faiths if they don’t vol the info), all of the women are on/use birth control/prevention.
    I am an advocate for Responsibility – if you can keep from getting pregnant when you don’t want to be, there will be a very low need for abortions to be performed. But regardless of that – ob/gyns NEED to be taught how to perform them and women NEED to be able to get one LEGALLY if they CHOOSE to have one.
    And last I checked, “Faith” doesn’t have to be a Public thing. It’s actually quite a private thing unless you are trying to beat folks over the head to prove your “Holy of Holies” is better than anyone else’s “Holy of Holies” – but most folks like that are just Ass-Holies!!!
    Peace, love and the right to choose (pretty much anything as it pertains to you!),

  4. We have a lovely little anti-abortion amendment coming up in this year’s election in Colorado. It doesn’t *say* it’s anti-abortion, of course, it’s just about defining life as beginning whenever anybody has an impure thought.
    There were a potload of anti-abortion loonies out in force for the Corn Roast in my delightful little town this weekend. I had to forcibly restrain myself from plowing my little car into the long row of them strung out on the side of our major thoroughfare. One brave and hardy soul ventured to wave a flyer at me through my window as I was stopped at the stoplight. Oh, for my eyes to have been phasers! Actually, I think they nearly were–he skittered away right quick when he saw my look.
    As for Democratic outreach to religious voters, I think the problem is who do you do outreach to? If it’s the Catholics, you’ll alienate the fundies. If it’s the fundies, you’ll alienate those of us with brains. We can’t win on this front. The best we can do is be open to the 90% of Americans who don’t want their government messing about with their religion.
    The moment we act as though the most strident Christianists have a place in politics, we LOSE.

  5. re politically homeless, my knee jerk response is “boo fucking hoo” you want to talk to ME, a queer social justice peacenik” about feeling politically homeless?
    But there should be some reality based middle ground between politically homeless and thus I will not vote AND holding my nose and voting.
    Most of us live in that middle ground most of the time but so often we insist on this black and white/absolute yes or no view of the process.
    I mean, is there any one constituent that’s ever 100% happy with their party leadership?

  6. Hey, Catholics aren’t the only ones who don’t feel at home in either party. Neither do us lapsed Catholics, us fat middle aged white guys who don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, and, oh most of the rest of the country that tells pollsters they are independents. But who tells those chumps the truth, anyway?
    Anyway, nice posts so far. Don’t swallow the KoolAid. And remember the air is thinner up in Denver, som something stupid is bound to happen.

  7. Don’t forget us moon-dancing, tree-hugging, male/female/any-blend-thereof accepting (not boundary limiting), Goddess/God CELEBRATING Pagans/Witches – I am in the same “politically homeless” situation as Virgotex, but under an adjacent overpass.
    All this Christianist mess is pissing us off – WE matter and VOTE, too!

  8. I would be a fan of the Sacramento Kings, but they never reach out to my group. I would read my local paper, but they have no outreach group for me. I would view films at my local theaters, but their outreach misses me. I would be a good patron of the local libraries, but they never reach out to me. All of those fine folks just don’t know what they are missing by ignoring me.

  9. Atheists are politically homeless; there is no way you can be elected as an atheist, and as a voter you’re considered something embarrassing to hide in the closet. We don’t even have a Barney Frank or a Tammy Baldwin.

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