Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Religion in America

It’s Christmas.

America benefits from religious freedom, and the competition generated between various beliefs, including secularism. Today, however, our nation isn’t in a sweet spot. The political divisions between Republicans and Democrats parallel the divide between those who attend church regularly and those who live outside the church. The recent Des Moines Register Iowa Democratic presidential debate underscored this point. On the Fox television screen, pollster Frank Luntz posted a real-time graph that tracked his Democratic focus group’s response to the debate as it unfolded. Viewers watching the graph could see focus group reaction to each speaker’s words, just as the candidates’ answers left their mouths.

When Joe Biden [picture] mentioned attending church and quoted words from a hymn he sang on Sunday (here at 2:37 of Part 4), the focus group’s negatives plunged through the floor. Judged by the group’s response to Biden, Democrats are uncomfortable with politicians who bring their personal faith into political dialogue. And probably Republicans react the opposite way; many are drawn to candidates who discuss their personal faith.

Because religious/cultural differences parallel our nation’s political divide, it will be harder to unite America in 2008.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Galen Fox said...

This comment from MeiMei:

Democrats want SEPARATION of church and state, which is, after all, in our Constitution! We don't want religion at play in politics. That having been said, I don't mind politicians talking about their personal religious views. The problem is that religion in America is so closely tied to many of the social issues I care most about - namely, that abortion be legal, gay marriages be legal, and for heaven's sake that evolution and not creationism be required to be taught in schools.