Frenchdoc has a post below on religious fundamentalism in France. Personally, although I respect the right of people to practice whatever religion they choose, I don’t like when religious leaders get all up in our politics as they have in recent years.
In a nutshell, I’m a separation of church and state sort of person. I fully understand the need for Democrats to court the “faith community” but… I start getting wary when I hear that we’re getting cozy with the pro-life and conservative crowd (via Jeralyn), quite frankly:
As for who was present at the meeting, it was a combination Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants and Catholics. Among them:
Mega-pastor TD Jakes and pro-life Catholic constitutional law professor Doug Kmiec…Rich Cizik with the conservative National Association of Evangelicals, best selling Christian author Max Lucado, Luis Cortes, Paul Corts, Cameron Strang, Bishop Phillip Cousin, Rev Stephen Thurston, Glenn Palmberg and Dr T Dewitt Smith.
The meeting lasted two hours during which they prayed. The Christian News Network is thrilled:
This is one more example of how Obama is not just bringing in the ‘religious left’ into his coalition. He wants to bring in conservative figures, too. McCain has some work to do.
As for anti-choice law prof Doug Kmiec: “Kmiec is pro-life and has come out in support of Obama. ”
Kmiec served Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush during 1985-89 as constitutional legal counsel (Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice).
Here’s a list of his writings.
Fact is most of those “extremist religious types” don’t seem to “care much for liberal democratic government.” And that is sort of troubling for those who don’t care much for mixing politics and religion.
The Caucus weighs in on the courting of the faith sector of voters with this info:
John C. Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, has described evangelicals as falling into three camps — traditionalist, centrist and modernist — on how rigidly they adhered to their beliefs and their willingness to adapt them to a changing world.
The traditionalist evangelicals are those who are usually labeled as the Christian right, while the centrists might be represented by a newer breed of evangelical leaders who remain socially and theologically quite conservative but mostly sought to avoid politics previously. The two camps are roughly the same size, each representing 40 to 50 percent of the total population.
Experts agree, though, that the centrist camp is growing. Centrist evangelical leaders have been at the vanguard of efforts to broaden the evangelical agenda to include issues like global warming, poverty and AIDS.
Estimates of the number of evangelicals nationwide vary depending on how they are counted and how the term is defined, but Mr. Green put it at roughly 26 percent of Americans.
With his ease in talking about his Christian faith, Mr. Obama had once been seen as somebody who might help Democrats do more to appeal to weekly churchgoers, who voted for Mr. Bush over Mr. Kerry in droves, and even make in-roads among more moderate white evangelicals.
Again, I understand the need to attract these voters, and I know that we’ve suffered in the past few elections with the “values” voters. But, I’m a little curious, will the Obama campaign be sitting down anytime in the election cycle with members of the Buddhist or Hindu communities here in the U.S.? Are they included in the plan to attract the “faith community”?