Tuesday, March 14, 2006

More evangelism among the donkeys


Still more complaints from "the left" that Democrats aren't giving religion the deference it is due. Steve Waldman over at the Washington Monthly writes,
...many liberals carry an elitist attitude toward evangelical Christians. ...I think a distinction should be made between the elites and the rank and file on this. The fact is that most Democrats are religious. But secular liberals, who made up about 16% of the Kerry vote (more stats here) seem to have a disproportionate impact on the party's image and approach.
I wouldn't have been reading partisan hackery like this from the predictably pious Democrats (esp. Amy Sullivan) at the Washington Monthly except for the excellent response from PZ Myers.

I'd like to know how well Mr Waldman's preferred voting bloc would favor an atheist candidate for president. How about an agnostic? How about someone who insisted his religion was not going to be an issue, refused to discuss it, and said he was going to represent all Americans without regard to their faith?

I think I know the answer to that: the Waldmans and Sullivans would rend their garments and weep and condemn the candidate. They'd stay away from the polls or they'd abandon the party and vote Republican. They are currently in the majority and they know their religion has an unshakeable lock on representation by our candidates, and still they whine about those "secular liberals"—it's hard to imagine how frantic they'd be if we "secular liberals" were actually represented by our party. And that is a real problem.

We campaign for and vote for Christian candidates, so I'm not at all sure what more these lunatics want from us. Are we supposed to bow down and convert and tithe, or would it be enough to merely acknowledge the superiority of their Lord Jesus Christ and look sorrowful about having to go to hell?

Waldman also wants to know the roots of our hostility towards "religion and spirituality". That one is easy: it's because guessing games, revealed knowledge, irrational prejudice, inappropriate traditions, and unthinking obedience to dogma are not sensible ways to run a country, especially not one with a plurality of religious beliefs. That is the real stumbling block here, not that a minority of the Democratic party demands a rational foundation for our policies.

Exactly right. The secular left has no representation at all in the US--none at all--and the christians have the temerity to complain that we don't show enough deference to them.

Atrios responds to similar whining and points out that there is another agenda behind at least some of these complaints: tolerating homophobia and compromising away women's rights. And a serious public commitment to a reality-based view of the world would be as much a change for Democrats as it would be for Republicans.

The debate continues. And Myers has another good response.

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And on a tragic note, Godless Wonder informs us that the beloved cartoon character Chef is leaving South Park because he apparently just noticed that the show mocks religions.

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