Do Elitist Attitudes Toward Religion Undermine Democratic Prospects?

DonkeyRising, a blog at The Emerging Democratic Majority, makes this observation:

“Taking Faith Seriously: Contempt for religion costs Democrats more than votes” by Mike Gecan reasons that Democrats who disparage faith make the party appear elitist to many. As Gecan notes,

the contempt of the progressive elite for ordinary people—for their faiths, their speech patterns, their clothes, their hobbies, their hopes, and their aspirations—has driven scores of millions of Americans out of the Democratic Party and into either the Republican Party or a no man’s land between the two. The willingness of many Republicans to simply show respect for the habits and interests of these mixed and moderate Americans has paid growing political dividends. The Republicans have understood that communicating respect is more important than offering programs or incentives. The Democrats have failed to realize that multiplying programs or policies designed to meet people’s needs is doomed to fail unless and until those people sense a fundamental level of recognition of who they are, not just what they need.

In “Losing Faith: The Democrats called, but they didn’t call back,” Ari Lipman describes an incident revealing a clueless disrespect for local religious leaders at the Democratic convention. Lipman concludes,

We transform our private religious values into public action at the ballot box. As the Democrats are now discovering, parties ignore this fact at their peril. Engaging religious Americans does not necessarily mean altering the fundamental values and platform of the Democratic Party…Democrats need more than a pious new vocabulary. Party leaders must drop their thinly veiled scorn for religious Americans and seek to engage them sincerely around common interests, both in houses of worship and on convention floors.

Where do I begin? My answer to the initial question raised in this post’s title is yes! Rank and file Democrats are just as religious as rank and file Republicans. However, the neoleft does have an “elitist” view of religion and openly scorns those who profess their faith. In all fairness, this is a reaction to the Christian Taliban on the right who feel their faith should trump everything – including the US Constitution – and who openly scorns science, reason, and logic.

What results is the impression that The Democratic party is a party of athiests and the Republican party is a party of religious extremists which isn’t quite true. (to my GOP readers – you’ve got to admit your party has been overrun with zealots. Fortunately, the antithesis of those haven’t gotten a foothold in my party – yet.)

When we give in to the stereotpes, we’re left with a nation that appears to be polarized on religious grounds. it isn’t. The truth lies in the center. We’re a nation of people with varying degrees of faith. Some have none. Some have waaaaay too much. But most of us are in that murky middle.

Disclosure – I’m an agnostic as are many people.

Now you know. I’m sure you were wondering.

I read literally 50 to 100 political blogs a week on both sides of the political spectrum and in between. I ran across the perfect example of agnosticism this morning: Link


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