Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Via Steve Benen, I see that Kathleen Parker has declared (in a Washington Post column) that an excess of religious fervor is hurting the Republican Party:

As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.

Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D....

Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party....

Which is to say, the GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows. In the process, the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship), as well as secularists and conservative-leaning Democrats who otherwise might be tempted to cross the aisle.

... preaching to the choir produces no converts. And shifting demographics suggest that the Republican Party -- and conservatism with it -- eventually will die out unless religion is returned to the privacy of one's heart where it belongs....

Welcome to the pluralism club, Kathleen.

But I see you were singing a somewhat different tune shortly after 9/11:

One can't help notice the silence of atheists these days. Suddenly "God" is everywhere, as ubiquitous as American flags....

War has that effect. There are no atheists in foxholes, we've always known. There were none in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, we can guess. And now there are none anywhere to be found. America today is about God and country, but then it always has been. We just lost track.

... We've been so overzealously protective of newcomers to and renegades from our traditional heritage -- and fearful of offending anyone hungry for attention -- that we've failed to pass on the very values that made us who and what we are.

...A friend told me she was trying to figure out what recent events meant to her. After some deliberation, she hit on a simple answer. "I figured it out, and it's really very succinct," she said. "I believe in God and I believe in my country."

From the beginning of American time, the two have been entwined and inseparable....

What happened between now and then?

Simple: Republicans lost -- and exit polls and demographic research suggest that Republicans will continue to lose if they continue saying precisely what Parker was saying in the fall of 2001.

That's the reason Parker is bailing on God -- the only reason.

No comments: