Saturday, October 23, 2004

In the Popular Imagination Democrats are Atheists?

I'm originally from a little town in east Texas. My mom still lives there. She tells me that she's nervous about putting a Kerry/Edwards sign in her yard because people in this little town equate Kerry/Edwards support with atheism. My mother is a committed, essentially orthodox Methodist. She's been a go-to-Church-every-Sunday type her whole life. She reads her Bible daily. She supports Kerry/Edwards, but she's anything but an atheist.

Why do people in this little town believe that voting against the President is tantamount to sacrilege? I think it because the Democratic Party has failed to articulate with sufficient persistence and clarity a progressive faith vision. Private groups have done so. See, for example, the group Vote ALL your values:

Some vocal religious groups are claiming that our faith requires us to vote based on a narrow set of issues and values. We need to stand up as progressive people of faith and call Americans to vote ALL their values, including truth at all times, justice for all people, and community among all nations and faiths.

Why hasn't the Democratic Party seized upon this vision? The Democrats have most of the right ideas for people of faith, but they must learn how to explain them in terms of faith.

I'm highly frustrated with the Democrats strategy here. (Do they have one?) The Republicans have catch phrases like "compassionate conservative." The Democrats need something similar: a heavily-repeated soundbite that will have some real staying power in the popular imagination. What do you think? "Godly progressive"? "Family values progessive"? Any suggestions out there?


At 10:01 AM, Blogger david said...

Speaking as a Canuck I really would like to know how the conservatives ever managed to seize control of the Christian agenda.

Let's face it if you asked what kind of politics the Jesus of the gospels, the book of Acts, or pretty much the entire entire New Testament advocates, it would pretty much make Ralph Nader look like a Republican.

Sell all you own and give it to the poor. Common melas and shared property. It the rich who oppress you.

And yet Republican politicians point at Canadian efforts to provide health care to all citizens regardless of income as if we were some kind of bat-winged creature crawling out form the Abyss.



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