Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Same Stuff, Different Box, So What
My thanks to those who have commented to last night's post about Howard Dean and religious voters.

If the key to winning elections in this country is now finding an effective way to speak in coded religious language, we're screwed. If, in 2006, the only way we can get people to do what is self-evidently right is by appealing to their irrational beliefs in invisible powers, I find myself wondering what the precise purpose of the Enlightenment was. Democrats are not going to be able to turn people away from an affinity for theocracy if our main argument is going to be "Our Jesus is better than their Jesus."

I have to confess that when the subject is mixing religion and politics, the dogmatic atheist in me comes roaring to the surface. I don't want religion shoved down my throat by anybody. History shows, again and again, that religion is responsible for as much trouble and strife as it purportedly cures. There's really no need for the United States to prove it anew. A truly progressive politics would try to achieve some progress on this front--to try and do better than merely substituting a differently packaged form of Christian belief for the one that's gotten us in such trouble since Reagan rode in from the ranch.

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