Way to go, Kathleen Parker! Today’s column, “Giving Up on God,” may be a little over-the-top even for Ms. Parker, but it made me laugh and nod my head in agreement, so I’m more than happy to pass it on.
“Simply put,” she says, “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.”
Exactly. I mean, does anyone who isn’t an evangelical Christian at ease with publicizing their faith really feel comfortable with evangelical Christian members or supporters of the GOP publicizing their faith at every opportunity? (And I’m sure the people who answered “No” to that include some evangelical Christians who prefer to keep their faith private.)
The Republican Party’s traditional base includes a large number of conservative Christians, which in the last thirty years has come to include the often reactionary organizations of the Religious Right, most of whom believe they should have significant influence on the party’s platform and candidates. (Case(s) in point: Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and Focus on the Family’s James Dobson.)
Having large blocs of people with similar beliefs who vote together isn’t a bad thing – in fact, it’s one of the main ideas behind the democratic process. But having large blocs of people who think their common belief should be imposed by the government on everyone who doesn’t already agree with them is certainly not democracy, and is in fact the very antithesis of what the founders intended.
So, actually, is giving up on God. One of the many exciting things about being a citizen of the United States of America is that you’re actually commanded – by the First Amendment to the Constitution – to believe whatever you want. So don’t give up on God – or do – your choice. More to the point, don’t give up your beliefs whether they include one God, six gods or no gods at all. Keep faith in the Constitution alive by continuing to adhere to your own personal faith – whatever it may be.
So let’s keep religion out of politics and the government out of houses of worship and see if we all can’t get along with just a little less tension than we’ve seen throughout this (very long and finally over!) election season.