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  Morton Kondracke: Democrats Need To 'Get Religion.' It's Not Scary
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ContributorPragCon 3.0 
Last EditedPragCon 3.0  Nov 10, 2004 11:17pm
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News DateWednesday, November 10, 2004 08:00:00 AM UTC0:0
Description My post-election advice to Democrats is: Go to church. Don't go to "get religion," although it might be good for your soul. Just go, in the first instance, to "get" religion, i.e. understand what goes on in the heads and hearts of those who devoutly believe in God and how it affects their views of the world. It will help you politically.

I have the distinct impression that many secular Democrats believe that hidden away in most Evangelical Protestant churches is a secret room filled with white Klan sheets or maybe even Swastika armbands.
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D:1425KanDem ( 55.1659 points)
Fri, November 12, 2004 09:09:11 PM UTC0:00
"Kandem, good to see you back. I was getting a bit worried. I figured you were in bed with the covers pulled over your head."

Hey, I'm from Kansas. I'm very used to seeing Republicans win.

 
SAP:262Gaear Grimsrud ( 6920.2134 points)
Fri, November 12, 2004 09:15:34 PM UTC0:00
"I bet many of the libs on this board think that if you go a conservative church on Sunday, the message is about abortion and gay marriage. That's what Mort was getting at. You just have no idea. "

I know it isn't. At the moderately conservative Missouri Synod Lutheran church I was forced to attend as a youth, abortion only came up once in a sermon, and gay marriage never. Such messages are usually portrayed by the parishoners outside of the church grounds and in society at large; or at least it has been that way in my experience, for what it's worth.

 
D:1425KanDem ( 55.1659 points)
Fri, November 12, 2004 09:31:19 PM UTC0:00
Maybe we should be a little more precise with our language.

Evangelicals are not the same thing as fundamentalists.

Fundamentalists are not the same thing as the so-called "Religious Right."

Evangelical:

"of or pertaining to or in keeping with the Christian gospel especially as in the first 4 books of the New Testament ."

Fundamentalist:

"in its narrow meaning, a fundamentalist is a conservative Protestant who believes in the five fundamentals: the sole authority of Scripture; the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ; the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement of the death of Christ; the physical, bodily resurrection of Christ; and the literal Second Coming of Christ to judge the world."

I am both an evangelical and a fundamentalist in the narrow definition.

My personal religious beliefs can be described as conservative, in that I believe that the Bible contains basic truths that I do not question. I believe that the message of Christ does not err, but I acknowledge that the Bible was written and translated by ordinary humans who sometimes pushed their own agendas and may have gotten some things wrong.

My personal belief is that Christ did not involve himself in the politics of his day, even though there were many who wanted him to. He devoted himself totally to his message of salvation.

I do not use my faith to justify my politics for that reason. And for that reason, I disagree with fellow christians who try to impose their religious beliefs on others through the political process.

 
R:71Wabash ( 1022.6921 points)
Fri, November 12, 2004 09:53:15 PM UTC0:00
KanDam, thank you for those descriptions. Most people don't know the difference between "Fundamentalist" and "Evangelical." Personally, I consider myself an Evangelical because most fundamentalist concern themselves heavily with eschatology and the second coming. However, I am usually labeled a "fundamentalist" because of my very conservative views.

 
R:525PragCon 3.0 ( 199.7647 points)
Fri, November 12, 2004 10:10:55 PM UTC0:00
While we are at it, we can further breakdown evangelicals into two camps: confessing evangelicals and neo-evangelicals.

Confessing evangelicals reject "decision theology," as in "I made a decision for Jesus." Additionally, they hold generally that the historic confessions of the Christian faith (Apostle's Creed, Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed) hold within them everything essential for salvation.

Like their neo-evangelical counterparts, they usually uphold the inerrancy of Scripture and always insist upon the blood atonement.

Confessing evangelicals can been found in the Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, American Baptist, and other "mainline" traditions.

Today, one one hears the word "evangelical," it usually refers to "Neo-Evangelicals." The term used to exclusively refer to "confessing evangelicals" until early in the 20th century when the fundamentalist-modernist split came to a head.

The Cambridge Declaration gives you a good idea of confessing evangelicals are: [Link]

 
D:1425KanDem ( 55.1659 points)
Fri, November 12, 2004 11:05:00 PM UTC0:00
Thanks, Pragcon, I confess that I did not know that.

 
D:1425KanDem ( 55.1659 points)
Sat, November 13, 2004 12:28:05 AM UTC0:00
Back to the point of the thread, which is Kondracke's assertion that Democrats "don't get" religion.

He's near the truth, but not quite there.

I have lost a lot of respect for Kondracke since he's joined the FOX News team. His core values seem to shift depending on who signs his paycheck.

He's never struck me as a person who truly "gets it." I've never heard about him talk about religious issues before. Now, suddenly, he's praising the morality of America's faith community.

I do think that some Democrats need to "get it" (by understanding it) when it comes to religion. Same holds true for some Republicans.
One of the biggest problems for my party is not understanding where "average Americans" come from, or how to speak their language. We have for the most part been losing elections for 10 years now, with the exception of Bill Clinton, who ironically, does seem to "get it." He understands how to talk to those of us who attend church in rural America.

We Democrats need to evaluate how we were painted as the party that doesn't stand for moral values.

I don't think for a minute that is true. But in politics, perception is everything. Kerry made a few blunders. He took advice from handlers who told him that he could win support from hunters by having a phony photo-op in Ohio. He listened to people who told him that he could win support of black Christians by having photo-ops in their churches. He listened to advisers who told him that celebrities were so cool that he'd benefit by hanging out with them.

If Kerry had been himself more and stopped trying to fake it, he might have won. Same for Gore.

W, of course, is just as phony. I mean, the guy was a cheerleader at Yale, and now he pretends to be a swaggering, macho Texan. He won this election by presenting himself in terms that would be attractive to mainstream America. He won twice by turning his opponents into mere cartoons of themselves.

The more we Democrats try to paint ourselves as something we are not, the more elections we are going to lose. I'm not sure who on the national scene is going to lead us out of this. Barak Obama, maybe. John Edwards at least talks the talk.

It will take someone with a real understanding of life outside Washington. Maybe a governor. A Midwesterner would be nice for a change.

 
Reg:16None Entered ( 1178.9144 points)
Sat, November 13, 2004 07:43:22 AM UTC0:00
I mean, the guy was a cheerleader at Yale, and now he pretends to be a swaggering, macho Texan.

Ooh, care to elaborate?

 
IND:1196Monsieur ( 5890.8623 points)
Sat, November 13, 2004 05:28:39 PM UTC0:00
Rah-rah-sis-boom-ba, GO TEAM!!

 
R:525PragCon 3.0 ( 199.7647 points)
Sat, November 13, 2004 08:19:01 PM UTC0:00
The more we Democrats try to paint ourselves as something we are not, the more elections we are going to lose. I'm not sure who on the national scene is going to lead us out of this. Barak Obama, maybe. John Edwards at least talks the talk. - KanDem

Nope. It isn't going to be a state senator from Illinois coming to Washington or a trial lawyer-turned-politician. Your new political leader is Hillary.

OC Democrats are in denial about this, but we OC GOPers have told you for over a year that Hillary would be the big winner from a Democratic loss in 2004. She's the most popular Democrat in the country--among Democrats. Bill will once again be in the center of party life, and Hillary is your next nominee.

 
R:525PragCon 3.0 ( 199.7647 points)
Sat, November 13, 2004 08:21:36 PM UTC0:00
---and she'll probably win.

 
R:4BILLYW ( 0.9924 points)
Sat, November 13, 2004 08:27:51 PM UTC0:00
I'm not so sure about that

 
R:549kal ( -57.2262 points)
Sat, November 13, 2004 08:39:43 PM UTC0:00
I agree that the DEM nomination is hers for the taking but I'm not so sure that she can win. Of course it all depends on who is the GOP candidate.

The last time the DEMS ran a northeastern liberal senator, he lost by about 3.5 million votes.

 
R:4BILLYW ( 0.9924 points)
Sat, November 13, 2004 08:43:44 PM UTC0:00
Ah, yes. And it only seems like last week.

 
D:45Blue Wizzrobe ( 1112.9661 points)
Sun, November 14, 2004 02:50:55 AM UTC0:00
Hillary is not our leader. If I'm not supporting her for Pres, then she's not going to win the primary.