Faith In Democracy
by David Todd McCarty | Thursday, November 9, 2017
There is a current feeling among many progressive Democrats that religion is the enemy of liberty and in all fairness, it’s not without cause. Conservative religious groups have often been on the front lines of so-called culture wars that have done so much harm to vulnerable groups outside of traditional norms. For many, particularly among white, college-educated professionals, the church has become the enemy of progressive politics.
But that’s a mistake.
Liberals have a history of integrating religious groups with social justice. Until the Civil Rights movement, when the South abandoned the Democratic Party over their opposition to civil rights, the two parties were on completely different sides. Republicans were the party of Lincoln. Democrats were the party of Wallace.
But activists were often ministers and other faith-based individuals who believed that God had something to say about social justice in America. From abolishing slavery to civil rights.
In the late 60’s the Republican led a concerted effort to convince evangelical Christians that they were the only party for them, by using their fear of blacks, communism, drugs, and the counter culture. White Christians abandoned not only the cities, but the Democratic party as well.
The party decided they would abandon the working class, their traditional base, in favor of white professionals for the next three decades that’s what they did. From this new base came not only their leaders, but their candidates. Unions were marginalized and people of color and the poor were left behind. Democrats, like Republicans, chased the money.
Republicans chased the money, but they also had a plan to recruit white, evangelical voters and they were obviously effective.
The point is that today, the liberal concepts of caring for the vulnerable amongst us, should be in complete concert with the concepts of religious traditions in nearly all faiths. Love your neighbor. Be kind to strangers. Care for the poor and sick. It’s the Republican party that has abandoned these values and it’s time for the Democrats to move in.
This is certainly not restricted to any one religion. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs all claim to share these values. Even atheists.
It’s time for the Democratic Party to become the party of compassion. Let the Republicans continue down a self-destructive path of hate, fear and exceptionalism.
It’s time for a little faith in the Democratic Party.