Contempt for Religion
Is John Leo correct?
I have thus far restrained myself from jumping into the post-election analysis due to concerns that too much has been said too quickly regarding the role of morality and religion in its outcome. I, for one, do not yet believe that evangelicals were responsible for the re-election of President Bush, but I do believe that morality and world view are playing a much larger role in defining how people view politics. Having said that, I do agree with the following quote from U.S. News and World Report columnist John Leo in his column entitled "What Now, Democrats?
Democrats might want to tone down the contempt for evangelicals in particular and religious people in general that increasingly flows through their secular-dominated party. This is a very religious nation. If the Democrats aspire to become the majority party, why do they tolerate so much antireligious behavior and expression? They also might have a word with out-of-control adjuncts of the party like People for the American Way, whose mission is apparently to hammer away at religious conservatives, and the American Civil Liberties Union, which is always ready to descend on every 6-year-old who writes a school essay on Jesus or who says, "God bless you" after a sneeze. Do they think religious voters fail to notice?
I cannot speak for all religious voters, but I think that a large portion of the evangelical population does notice these things. The nearly successful attempt to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, the removal of prayer at commencement exercises, and other efforts to suppress religious sentiment have put Evangelicals on the defensive. Being smart enough to realize that the best defense is a good offense, you can expect them to flex more political muscle in upcoming elections if they are not respected.