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Old 09-26-2007, 05:20 PM   #16
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washingtonpost.com

Can She Reach Religious Voters?

By Michael Gerson
Wednesday, September 26, 2007; A19

During a question-and-answer session at Tufts University immediately after the 2004 election, Sen. Hillary Clinton identified the alienation of religious voters as one of the Democratic Party's main problems. And the appeal she proposed was straightforward: "No one can read the New Testament of our Bible without recognizing that Jesus had a lot more to say about how we treat the poor than most of the issues that were talked about in this election."

There was a stiff dose of political calculation in her remarks -- but also a streak of sincere liberal Protestantism. As Clinton methodically consolidates her hold on the Democratic presidential nomination, Republicans are facing, in the words of her spiritual biographer Paul Kengor, "the most religious Democrat since Jimmy Carter." And this introduces an unpredictable element into a wide-open election.

Republicans are accustomed to Democrats who are either frankly secular -- Howard Dean once asserted, "My religion doesn't inform my public policy" -- or so uncomfortable with religious language that, were the sound on the television switched off, you'd think they were admitting a sexual vice instead of affirming their deepest beliefs.

Clinton is neither secular nor awkward about her faith. She cites her Methodist upbringing as a formative experience, with its emphasis on "preaching and practicing the social gospel." As a teenager in 1962, she heard and met the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago -- what would have been a profound experience for a spiritually alert youth -- and was later politically radicalized by his assassination. The likely Democratic nominee participates regularly in small-group Bible studies and is familiar with the works of Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich and Dietrich Bonhoeffer -- the theological heroes of mainline Protestantism (and of some stray Evangelicals like myself).

In a nation obsessed by the influence of religious conservatives, it is easy to forget that liberal Protestants were once the dominant cultural influence in America. Beginning in the early 20th century, the social gospel advanced swiftly through most American denominations. Progressive presidents such as Woodrow Wilson spoke in the cadences of this movement: "Christianity was just as much intended to save society as to save the individual, and there is a sense in which it is more important that it should save society."

This high-minded theological liberalism had many successes. It opposed the harsh excesses of industrialization, embraced the civil rights movement, resisted the Vietnam War and led opposition to apartheid in South Africa. It also had debilitating weaknesses -- a preference for democratic socialism, a soft spot for Marxist strongmen, a flitting fascination with trendy causes and a theological shallowness that caused millions to flee the pews.

As an heir to this religious tradition, Hillary Clinton combines two traits that seem contradictory but really aren't -- moralism and social liberalism.

As a moralist, she has been willing to work with conservatives on issues such as religious freedom in the workplace and highlighting the destructive impact of pop culture on children. She has joined congressional efforts against human trafficking and was an early supporter of public funds for faith-based social services. None of this indicates a privatized religious faith.

At the same time, as Kengor points out in his insightful book, "God and Hillary Clinton," her defense of abortion rights has been strident, even radical. She has attacked pro-life people as enemies of "evidence," "science" and "the Constitution." And she has blamed pro-life "ideologues" for the prevalence of abortions because of their "silent war on contraception" -- a remarkable accusation that Roman Catholic opposition to birth control is somehow responsible for abortion in America.

How are religious voters likely to respond to a religious believer who is also a social liberal? Roman Catholics, with their strong commitment to the poor, should be open to a Democratic message of economic justice. A majority of Christians, Catholic and Protestant, support the goals of broader health coverage and increased humanitarian aid abroad. But the most intensely religious Americans of both traditions also tend to be the most conservative on moral issues such as abortion. And it is hard to imagine that these voters will be successfully courted by the most comprehensively pro-choice presidential candidate in American history.

That might change under one circumstance: if Rudy Giuliani were the Republican nominee. Whatever Giuliani promised concerning the appointment of conservative judges, a pro-choice Republican nominee would blur the contrast between the parties on abortion. And between two pro-choice options, a larger number of religious voters might support the one with a stronger emphasis on poverty -- because, after all, Jesus did have a lot to say about how we treat the poor.
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
washingtonpost.com

Can She Reach Religious Voters?

No, not the majority of them.

dbs
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
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No, not the majority of them.

dbs
Are you their spokesman?
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:32 PM   #19
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An objectable observer and participant.

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Old 09-26-2007, 06:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
An objectable observer and participant.

dbs
This coming from the same guy that said Mitt would get most of the religious vote, and then later that Freddie would get it...
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:43 PM   #21
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


This coming from the same guy that said Mitt would get most of the religious vote..
Call for reference please.

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Old 09-26-2007, 07:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond


Call for reference please.

dbs
You said Mitt would win past the prejudice, and then later you said Freddy could win the conservative vote, which in your definition has always included the majority of religious voters...
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:15 PM   #23
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Thompson/Gulianni vs Clinton/Webb
That's my prediction for now.
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:55 PM   #24
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I don't think Thompson will win the nomination. The voters won't like it that he's forgetting everything. My money's on Giuliani to win the nomination.
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:10 PM   #25
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I didn't watch the debate last night, there was baseball and new shows to watch. Remember this book?

politico.com

Romney hits Dems on gay issue

Leading the way on an issue almost certain to be resurrected during the general election, Mitt Romney will issue a statement this morning condemning the Democratic candidates for their refusal at last night's debate to rule out teaching about gay issues to second-graders.

The comments, on the heels of the MoveOn.org ad controversy, are already prompting glee in Republican circles as yet more made-to-order fodder that the party and its conservative allies can use to paint Democrats as out of the mainstream.

Romney is to say that the answers proved "how out of touch the Democratic presidential candidates are with the American people."

"Not one candidate was uncomfortable with young children learning about same-sex marriage in the second grade," Romney notes. "This is a subject that should be left to parents, not public school teachers."

Allison King of New England Cable News told the Democratic hopefuls about the case last year in Lexington, Mass., where a teacher used a book about a "prince who marries another prince" to teach young children about same-sex marriage.

"Would you be comfortable having this story read to your children as part of their school curriculum?"

John Edwards, the first to take the question, responded, "Yes, absolutely."

"What I want is, I want my children to understand everything about the difficulties that gay and lesbian couples are faced with every day, the discrimination that they're faced with every single day of their lives."

Later in his answer, Edwards did note that "second grade might be a little tough, but even in second grade to be exposed to all," he said, before being interrupted by King.

"Well, that's the point. It is second grade," she said.

"I don't want to impose my view," Edwards continued, adding that, "nobody made me God."

Questioned next about the issue, Barack Obama said, "You know, I feel very similar to John.

"One of the things I want to communicate to my children is not to be afraid of people who are different, because there have been times in our history where I was considered different, or Bill Richardson was considered different," Obama continued.

Taking her turn, Hillary Clinton was more cautious and stopped short of saying she agreed with her top two rivals.

"I really respect what both John and Barack said," Clinton said.

"With respect to your individual children, that is such a matter of parental discretion."

This is not the first time Romney has seized on teaching about gay issues to young children. In July, he took Obama to task after the Illinois senator told a Planned Parenthood conference that "it’s the right thing to do to provide age-appropriate sex education, science-based sex education in schools." A rival to Romney pointed out that the former governor himself had supported "age-appropriate" sex ed in his 2002 gubernatorial bid.

The 32-page book in question, "King & King," was written in 2002 by two Dutch authors. Per the School Library Journal on Amazon, the tale of two princes who fall in love is appropriate for grades 3 to 5. Last year, two sets of parents in Lexington sued the school district, claiming that the book amounted to teaching sex ed without parental consent. A judge dismissed the suit.
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:16 PM   #26
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Romney, ask yourself this, is "being in touch" with the populace always a good thing? At one time the populace didn't want to be taught that all races were equal, some didn't want or still don't want sex ed taught, there's a lot of things the "populace" has been wrong many many times.
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:20 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen

Romney is to say that the answers proved "how out of touch the Democratic presidential candidates are with the American people."
this is coming from the same jackass who refuses to debate at msu and univision? omg. who is out of touch mitt? who???


besides...i like how he thinks same-sex marriage in school should be a private issue. oh sure, blab on about it and make laws about it all you want. but then we can't talk about it in school? isn't the whole "marriage is a private issue" the democrat stance?

and i don't see why it is so taboo? it is talking about same-sex MARRIAGE, not same-sex sex.
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:39 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harry Vest
Thompson/Gulianni
This would prove that Americans are more about TV than substance.
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:45 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harry Vest
Thompson/Gulianni
That would seriously be one of the weakest tickets ever.

One can't remember anything further than 2 weeks ago and is too lazy to think one week ahead. And the other has flip flopped on almost every stance just in order to call himself a Republican.
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:55 AM   #30
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I love how she handled that. Tim Russert was apparently trying to be so cutesy or clever or something there-what does her husband's opinion have to do with anything? What is Michelle Obama's opinion on the issue as opposed to Barack's?

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