Jesus Was a Democrat

Ruth Marcus in today’s WaPo worries in “The New Temptation of Democrats” that in reaching out to evangelical Christians, the Democratic Party might sell out some of it’s core beliefs (yes, I realize this means accepting that Democrats actually believe something). Nevertheless, she acknowledges that the exercise may be worthwhile:

To some extent, Democrats could help themselves with evangelicals simply by showing up — at the megachurches, on Christian radio and in other venues where Democrats have been scarce. Whether the Democrats are deploying the right messengers is more questionable: a liberal San Francisco Democrat and a civil union-signing Vermont governor may not be the party’s best bet with evangelicals. More important, occasional drop-bys and clunky dropping of biblical references aren’t going to do the trick. These voters weren’t born again yesterday.

This latter point is the real risk for the Dems — that they will look clumsy, opportunistic and foolish trying to woo evangelical voters. Keep sending Dean, Pelosi or any of the other tone-deaf party aparatchniks to be the messenger, and this risk becomes nearly a certainty.

Any appeal to religious voters must be based on a sincere belief that Christians and Democrats have important things to say and do together. The Gospels provide myriad examples of the overlap between Christian ethics and progressive policies intersect. The Dems would do well to identify one of their own with sincerely held beliefs, or at least a sincere respect for the beliefs of others, and send him/her/them on a non-stop outreach tour from now until November.

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4 responses to “Jesus Was a Democrat

  1. Carville and Begala go to great lengths in their book, “Take It Back”, to point out that Jesus was, in fact, a Democrat.

    I blog often on Christianity and “the Christian thing” to do. I’m tired that my Jesus has been turned into a totem for fascism.

    I suspect Jesus is, too…

  2. That’s the rub. Can the Democrats stay disciplined enough to reach out based on our own ideals, or will we be tempted to try to be ‘almost as conservative’ as the radicals on the right?

    Nice blog.

  3. The Midwestern Gentleman

    Delighted and flattered to have my first readers. Thank you sincerely for coming by.

    To expand a little on the post — I worry that the Democratic Party is having difficulty figuring out how to have an honest conversation with religious folks about shared values. There is this perception out there that evangelical Christians, in particular, are two-issue voters (i.e. abortion and gay marriage), and that if you can’t placate them on those issues, the rest of the progressive message is lost. That certainly is true of some people, but it’s simplistic and shortsighted to assume that about everyone. Imagine what might happen if maybe, just maybe, a party representative (for that matter, of any party) sat down with people of faith and said, “you know what, I understand that we disagree on some things. Here’s why we believe X & Y. Now tell me why you believe A & B. OK, now let’s talk about M,N,O, & P, which I think we both share.” Maybe it wouldn’t do anything. But just maybe…

  4. Hi
    Came over from Shakespeare’s Sister! See, someone is paying attention. 🙂

    Anyway, I am a Democrat and a Christian. I believe that the progressive values of feeding the hungry, health care for all, responsible spending, no pre-emptive war, etc. are Christian values.

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