Tuesday’s public spat between an atheist advocacy group and Christian conservatives was full of bluster and drama, all over a CPAC conference booth.
This small theater in the culture wars may be of little consequence beyond Washington, but it highlights a dynamic in which non-religious voters are gravitating steadily away from Republicans, even as Democrats have made few major efforts to galvanize their support.
The evidence accumulates that the Republican Party is sobering up — cotton-mouthed and slightly disoriented — from its recent ideological bender.
No political movement can persuade a great democracy without displaying a measure of democratic grace. And any ideological movement that claims to be inspired by faith and morality is discredited by language that dehumanizes its opponents.
One can hope that Gerson is right, but only time will tell. I am; however, convinced that much of the ideological battles the party currently face lie in the religious battles that began in 2008 with Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith. It’s just not talked about now because it would simply appear too bigoted, but all this talk of “being true to…” began when a Mormon tried to take center stage and reached its zenith when such was the GOP nominee.
You see parallels to this discussion and way of thinking inside the Evangelical church when you read about people writing off the decline in church attendance to the loss of “Christmas and Easter only types,” and then contending that such is not really a loss.
This post is not the forum for deep analysis of this phenomenon, but one must react to it by saying perish the thought. Huckabee gave air to this stuff and I don’t care how much he moderates, as such he has no business being the nominee.
Mark Tooley asks, “Was America Ethically Christian for Only 8 Years?.” I got to be honest – silly question. Even Christians aren’t ethically Christian much – it’s a foundational concept of our theology called sin. Christian ethics are not the issue when it comes to national politics and policies. It is a question of aspiration, not actual practice. The current apparent ethical pullback that the nation is on is not a the bottom line issue, it is how that pullback is happening that gives one such pause. It is a discarding of ethical considerations generally that is so problematic. No longer is the debate about what is the right thing to do, rather is it simply about what people want to do and asserting that they have a right to do whatever they want to do. We no longer seem to aspire to what is good and then argue about the definition of good – we simply argue about what these people want versus what those people want – good apparently has nothing to do with it. That’s what makes this cycle amongst the many such historical cycles frightening.
Things that have a point, even if you don’t agree with the entire piece:
The word “cult” can sometimes be useful, but only with great care and this piece shows it more than most, but not sure they are all the way there.