Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Let's talk about faith, baby

I'm not generally a huge fan of CNN contributor Roland Martin, but he has produced an interesting piece on the gravity of Sunday's looming Democrats-talk-about-religion forum in -- where else? -- Pennsylvania.

For the purposes of Martin's credibility, you should know that according to CNN, he is studying to receive his master's degree in Christian communications at Louisiana Baptist University. Politics and religion are issues with which he is familiar.

He notes that as Republicans rode the so-called "moral majority" into power in the 1990s and found success by focusing attention on hot-button issues like abortion and gay marriage, far from engaging (ha ha, little pun there) in the battle where politics and religion meet, the Democratic Party completely ignored it.

The result -- an electorate that, for better or for worse, came to view the GOP as the "Christian party" -- has been as damaging to Christian principles as it has been unfortunate and unfair to individual Democratic politicians who profess the Christian faith.

The trend will continue, Martin writes, unless the Democratic Party, and its most recognizable faces, can address their faith-based fears:

If the Democratic Party is serious about fostering a relationship with the faith community, they are going to have to come to grips with the fact that there are Democrats of faith who are pro-life and against gay marriage, but who are in agreement on other social issues such as the response to the rapid rise of HIV/AIDS and eradicating poverty.

Gay rights and pro-choice activists are clearly not going to back down from advancing their agenda, but they can be assured that people of faith are not going to be silent for the sake of a political party ...

In other words, ignore the churchgoing folks and you don't stand a prayer of winning.
Read the rest here.

Incidentally, Martin missed the opportunity to provide you with this very interesting example of his argument.

And I'll leave it alone for now, but ask yourself why the major political parties shackle themselves to all-or-nothing stances on abortion, one way or another. I'll give you a hint: I talked about it in the column last Saturday.