After last November’s election, a frustrated member of a Mennonite congregation near South Bend, Indiana, wrote an article for his congregation’s newsletter. In it, he articulated his own political convictions.
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.”
Centrist Democrats call on party to recast "moral issues"
Nov 30, 2004
When it comes to the Democratic Party’s on-again, off-again search for a message that would appeal to religious voters, any metaphor will do: asleep at the wheel, stumbling in a darkened room, a code-blue emergency.
In winning reelection George W. Bush expanded his 2000 coalition primarily by increasing the turnout and his support among key constituencies, including religious communities. The Kerry campaign tried to do the same, but it had less success, especially on the religious front.
Most discussions of George W. Bush’s religious faith draw heavily on his campaign autobiography, A Charge to Keep: My Journey to the White House (1999), which puts religion at the beginning, middle and end of the story.
Despite the attention given to religious issues in this year’s presidential race, three public opinion experts have stated that the political force of faith and ethics questions has been overblown. Their assessment was not as blunt as the 1992 dictum “It’s the economy, stupid!,” but they came close.