Carol Platt Liebau: Democratic Moral Values?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Democratic Moral Values?

In The New York Times magazine, Matt Bai writes about democratic moral values, appropriately following the phrase with a question mark.

As has been noted here before, there's one big reason that the Democrats have a huge problem talking about religion: It splits their base constituencies. Sure, some Republicans have reservations about the religious right, but that can't credibly be compared with the significant cadre of secular humanist elites on the Democratic side who are actively hostile to religion (here is a prime example). And then the Democrats must hold on to the black vote -- but faith is an incredibly important part of African-American life. So it's no wonder that national Dems are having a hard time finding their voice on moral issues (and are working so hard at the difficult, perhaps fruitless, task of trying to separate morality from religion).

Republicans have it much easier . . . and could reach even more people if they were to emphasize that they are not trying to legislate religion -- they are merely trying to allow people of faith and their ideas to have the same voice in the public square and the same participation in the drafting of public policy that the non-religious have been enjoying for several decades now.


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