"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

8.25.2006

imagine all the people living for today

How interesting that the Republican party is losing points in polls on whether the party is "friendly to religion" or not. What's even more interesting is that the drop is 14 points among white Evanglicals and 11 points among Catholics. I wonder if it's attributable to the fact that the Bush administration hasn't actually done anything about abortion, gay marriage, or most other social conservative issues. In other words, is the party losing support from conservatives who want a more socially conservative government? That would be my guess, because I seriously doubt that that many people whom pollsters identify as "religious" have suddenly decided that the Democrats are more friendly to the religious - that number stayed virtually the same as last year.

At any rate, polls like this suggest that we really are in for a major shake-up this fall. I think it also suggests that the time is right for candidates who understand that it is an abuse of faith to use religion as a means to political power, but who also understand the powerful motivation that comes from faith concern. Barak Obama comes to mind. I think John McCain is also politically astute enough to walk that fine line. Whether the parties will respond to such an atmosphere - and nominate 2008 presidential candidates who would offer our country a mature dialogue about these issues - is unfortunately very unlikely.

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