[FoRK] Should Democrats Get Religion?

Jeffrey Kay jeff at k2.com
Thu Nov 4 10:29:27 PST 2004

While I agree that social justice, preventing war, helping others, etc. 
are places where we need to put some effort, I find the "faith-based" 
campaigning to be exclusionary.  The politicians make a point of 
showing off their religions as if it validates why they are worthy of 
serving the people in the first place.

My reaction to this sort of thing likely comes from being Jewish.  As a 
Jew, I don't relate at all to the "faith-based" initiatives.  They 
assert that Christian values are everyone's values, and frankly, they 
aren't.  "Faith-based" is a code-word for sending money to churches and 
asserting a Christian agenda.  There are so many good secular 
organizations that I don't understand why we even need the 
"faith-based" approach, except as an underhanded means of proselytizing 
the masses.  When a candidate makes a big deal about consulting his 
religion/faith/minister/etc., I view that as a problem.  Kennedy was a 
Catholic, but he made it a point to ensure the people that the Pope 
wouldn't be governing the US; rather he would do what was best for the 
American people.

What the "faith-based" agenda does is marginalize those people who 
don't share the faith.  It asserts that we (Jews, Muslims, Hindi, 
non-believers, etc) are not part of the agenda -- that we don't matter 
as much as Christians.  It focuses on where we are different because of 
our beliefs rather than where we come together as Americans.

jeffrey kay
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On Nov 4, 2004, at 1:01 PM, Ken Meltsner wrote:

> I could live with a faith-based approach that concentrated on social
> justice, preventing war, helping others, etc.  I'm tired of the
> Calvinist segment of the Republican party.  Even though I'm not a
> believer myself, I hate the fact that they've co-opted most of them
> into a cause that centers on greed and self-achievement.
> Comes from believing that the "correct" stance on abortion and
> homosexuals is more important than the Republican's approach to issues
> like peace and poverty.  Problem with litmus tests is that you end up
> with corrosive policies....
> Ken Meltsner

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