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 Post subject: Consultant Helps Democrats Embrace Faith
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:40 am 
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As Democrats turn toward the 2008 presidential race, a novice evangelical political operative is emerging as a rising star in the party, drawing both applause and alarm for her courtship of theological conservatives in the midterm elections.

Party strategists and nonpartisan pollsters credit the operative, Mara Vanderslice, and her 2-year-old consulting firm, Common Good Strategies, with helping a handful of Democratic candidates make deep inroads among white evangelical and churchgoing Roman Catholic voters in Kansas, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Exit polls show that Ms. Vanderslice’s candidates did 10 percentage points or so better than Democrats nationally among those voters, who make up about a third of the electorate. As a group, Democrats did little better among those voters than Senator John Kerry’s campaign did in 2004.


We have to come to grips with religion in this country. Absolutes are a danger to us all, on both sides of the religion question.

More at link.

New York Times

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:43 pm 
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Democrats have got to learn to express themselves in the religious area. They have got to start equating health care, social security, medicare etc.. with moral values. For most of us it is the moral thing to do and think of as being moral to want a national healthcare system. However for others it isn't. My guess is dems will have to start using various scripture language when they discuss programs for the poor or healthcare for all.

The party of greed hooked up with the con artist televangelists like a charm and we have to break their hold over people. Like it or not very good people believe and send money to charlatans simply because they believe. They hope god is working miracles through people like Robertson. We have to be there as much for them as the other side is.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:00 am 
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We have to be there as much for them as the other side is.


Yes, Mighty, we have to be able to get their attention as well as the rightwingers do. That is the trick. It doesn't matter what is right or wrong, it matters who can convince people 'we' are on your side.

That is the only way the rightwingers have an advantage over us. We have the right attitude, they have the shiny glass and whistles.

We need more shiny glass and whistles...

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:25 pm 
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I suppose I can agree that if Dems want to get more people, they need more shiney glass and whistles, but I have to say I don't think should be done by putting more religion into political speeches and certainly should not be done by quoting biblical scriptures.

Healthcare and all that are certainly moral imperatives, but they need not be equated with religious imperitives. If anything on earth can be learned from the complete debaucle in Iraq, it should be what a terrible thing it is when religion dominates the secular field.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:30 pm 
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lefty wrote:
I suppose I can agree that if Dems want to get more people, they need more shiney glass and whistles, but I have to say I don't think should be done by putting more religion into political speeches and certainly should not be done by quoting biblical scriptures.

Healthcare and all that are certainly moral imperatives, but they need not be equated with religious imperitives. If anything on earth can be learned from the complete debaucle in Iraq, it should be what a terrible thing it is when religion dominates the secular field.


I think the best way to address this issue is to state that faith, much like political philosophies, can inform ones values. For example, a leader of the Moral Majority was removed from his post because he felt that his faith required him to focus more on such issues as poverty and healthcare.

Also, to be blunt, it is not religion or secularism that is the enemy, but fanaticism. Pol Pot, Stalin, and Mao were perfectly capable of causing great misery by the pursuit of their objectives without concern for others - -- and had no use for religion.

There are religious progressives such as Rev Dr. C. Weldon Gaddy, Rev. Barry Lynn, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Eric Yoffe and others whose spiritual values include respect for the beliefs of others. There was a great speech by Barack Obama earlier this year on the issue of faith in the publc sphere in his Call to Renewal Keynote speech at the Sojourner's convention:

http://obama.senate.gov/podcast/060628-call_to_renewal_keynote/index.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:14 am 
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I agree what has to be expressed is the matter of values. It is surprising to me that churches don't seem to care much about good values, only about status and money. I never have figured that out.

But it wouldn't hurt to equate the values of Jesus or whatever religion one follows to the problems we are facing. I just can't see the Jesus of the Bible advocating more tax cuts for the rich while taking helping programs away from those who actually need help.

It isn't much of a leap to see how religion can be an asset--but doesn't need to be the entire picture. Yes, fanaticism is the enemy, we must be able to present our values in a sensible way, not try to copy the fanatics.

It can be done...

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