Please, reporters, cover the religious left

bouncerstvI am one of those people who generally fares better economically under Democrats, but generally votes Republican due to, yes, abortion. While I have certainly voted for Dems, even pro-choice Dems, under specific circumstances, the murder of unborn children trumps my bank account in the grand scheme of things. Posted by Ken at 10:14 am on March 26, 2006

I'm one of those people would generally fares better economically under Republicans, but my wife and I vote for Democrats because of social issues. ... If you are concerned about poverty, the death penalty, just war, a foreign policy based on human rights, a humane immigration policy, and policies which promote toleance and diversity, we put our economic needs aside and vote for Democrats.

Posted by Daniel at 12:01 pm on March 26, 2006

Terry, given the responses and the rather tortured way you backed into religion here, I think this posting was entirely too political ... and only slightly relevant to the GR mission. Just my opinion. ...

Posted by Stephen A. at 8:00 pm on March 26, 2006

I have WiFi for a moment, so let me jump in here for a second to respond to a few readers' comments about my gentle jab about media coverage of the GOP and "family" issues. Ken and Daniel nicely illustrate the sentiments I was writing about. Stephen A. says I tortured logic to turn this into a religion story.

Well, I disagree. Right now, the single strongest indicator of how people will vote in an American election is how often they attend worship services. The "pew gap" keeps coming up, even when you are looking at cultural groups in which the Democratic Party rules -- such as African-American and Jewish voters. If you find a black voter or a Jewish voter who breaks ranks and votes for the GOP, you will almost always find moral and cultural issues at the heart of that decision. And you will find the "pew gap" in there, too. They will be hyperactive in their congregations.

Why does this favor the GOP? That's simple. The growing segments of organized religion in America -- the forms of religion with pews -- are conservative. The religious left is very powerful, but, in its institutionalized forms, the religious left is aging and shrinking. The Unitarians are growing, a bit, I hear.

ucc ad1Nevertheless, the religious and secular left coalition (the so-called anti-fundamentalist voters) is, in all of its forms, a major story in American life right now. Once again, people must read that Tribal Relations story in The Atlantic Monthly. Read it now.

And there are parts of the oldline religious left that are kicking at the demographic chains that bind them. Take the United Church of Christ, for example. Remember the ads not that long ago accusing conservative churches of institutionalized racism? Those "God is still speaking" ads?

Well, the UCC is back for another round, this time arguing that the MSM is pro-religious right. As reports:

The 30-second commercial begins with a shot of an African-American mother trying to calm a crying baby. Sitting in a church pew, the mother fidgets anxiously, as she endures disapproving looks from fellow worshippers. Eventually, someone in the wings pushes an "ejector" button to rid the church of her -- and her noisy baby. Into the air they go flying.

In similar fashion, a gay couple, an Arab-American, a person using a walker, among others, get "ejected." Finally, when a homeless person wanders in and takes a seat, nervous parishioners -- expecting she'll get the boot for sure -- scoot away from her.

Cheap shots? Probably. But this is a story, both the mainline decline and the forms of religion that take the place of the old mainline.

Meanwhile, I remain very pro-free speech so I think the networks should open up and let both sides speak. Come on, folks, run the UCC ads. And the ads for conservative religious groups, too. This is America.

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