Carol Platt Liebau: The Faith Double Standard

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Faith Double Standard

So Barack Obama talks about faith more than any of the other Democratic candidates. No doubt the faith is real, but one suspects he references it so much because he's counting on garnering significant African-American support in the primaries, and African Americans are far and away the most religious part of the Democratic coalition. Hillary Clinton -- Obama's chief competitor for the black vote -- also talks a fair amount about religion.

What's interesting is the double standard in the MSM when it comes to God talk. When Republicans do it, it's treated as dangerous pandering to ignorant, bigoted, would-be theocrats. When Democrats do it, it's treated as either a savvy political move (to blunt Republicans' advantage among the faithful) or a genuine reflection of, say, a candidate's southern roots.

What's most clear is that Democrats can get away with much more when it comes to mixing politics and religion -- imagine the explosion in the press if one of the Republican candidates essentially characterized a political opponent as Satan, or called for creating God's kingdom on earth.

When Hillary or Barack invoke religion, no doubt the silence from the left will be conspicuous -- for one of two reasons. Either the atheist left's opposition to "the religious right" is not as much a principled as a political one, or else they don't really believe that the Democratic candidates are sincere in their religious talk, and thus see no reason for alarm.


Blogger Dr.D said...

Carol, you used an interesting word in discussing the possible reasons why the Democrats might not object to their candidates talking about faith. You said it might not be a principled objection. The reasons this is so interesting is that there is only one principle that the Democrats follow and that is that they must prevail. They have no other principles at all; they don't understand the concept of principles in general.

6:50 PM  

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