At a meeting of the House Democrats’ Faith Working Group, a perplexed member of Congress turned to his colleagues for pastoral guidance. How could he counter a local preacher who argued that all Jesus’ moral teachings were about the world to come, not the here and now?
After varied efforts by Democratic leaders to convince mainstream churchgoers that they share common moral values, a Baptist ethicist has suggested that the Democrats focus instead on core biblical issues of compassion and begin long-term contacts with centrist clergy at local levels.
Only 44% of population hold favorable view of Christian conservatives
Sep 19, 2006
The number of Americans—particularly white evangelical Protestants —who view the Republican Party as friendly to religion has fallen from 55 percent last year to 47 percent, according to a poll released last month. And less than half of the population (44 percent) holds a favorable view of Christian conservatives.
Reviving a religious issue from the last presidential election, a coalition of 55 Catholic Democrats in the House of Representatives acknowledged the “moral leadership” of the Catholic Church but said they will remain “in disagreement with the church” on some issues, including abortion rights.
Democrats have to get religion. So argue the political pundits and analysts in the wake of the Democrats’ defeat in November. As Al From, founder of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, observed: “You can’t have everybody who goes to church vote Republican, you just can’t.”
Less than a month before the national election, the Democratic National Committee unveiled a new Web site for religious voters, as well as a new director of religious outreach, after some earlier campaign fumbles.
After less than two weeks on the job, the Democratic Party’s first-ever director of religious outreach resigned suddenly after her public positions came under fire.
Brenda Bartella Peterson said on August 4 it was “no longer possible for me to do my job effectively” after the New York–based Catholic League issued three blistering press releases attacking her positions.