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.
The Democrats have a religion problem, and it is not just that presidential candidate John Kerry has run afoul of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church because of his support of abortion rights and gay civil unions. According to a recent Time magazine poll, 59 percent of those who consider themselves “very religious” support President Bush, while only 35 percent of them support Kerry.
In this election year, surveys reveal what many call the “religion gap” facing the Democratic Party. The most frequent churchgoers have been voting Republican in recent presidential contests. However, that doesn’t make incumbent President George W. Bush a shoo-in, since the larger statistical picture of religious voters is as complex as America’s spiritual landscape.