Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Religion & Politics

There's plenty of shifting ground out there these days, but where it's headed, nobody knows.  Congressional Dems have formed a team to develop a "faith agenda," which sounds good--until you actually stop to think about it.  Correct us if we're wrong, but the Republicans have never made a parallel move; instead, they bring in outside groups to talk to staffers and the occasional representative.  That way, they seem to be listening to "constituent concerns" even if the same coordinating work is being done.  Word to the wise, Speaker Pelosi:  don't let your colleagues try to set the agenda on this one.

Meanwhile, the LATimes has more on the GOP outreach to conservative black congregations and their pastors.  The same qualifications apply from the last time we talked about this:  it's unclear how effective the outreach is, or if it will produce results, etc. etc.  It's a story worth watching, though.

Ever since Christianity Today identified immigration policy as one of the areas of potential friction for conservative evangelicals, we've been suprised by how many times the subject does indeed pop up.  Here's one example from Nebraska, from the ever-conservative Agape Press, and another one from the other end of the spectrum from DC.  We'll keep you posted.

Standard pork-barrel politics here. Nothing to see.  Move it along.

One vision of "moral values" that seems to be picking up steam is the notion that a responsible society ensures that all its members are properly clothed, fed, and housed.  It comes largely out of the Catholic Church, and you can see examples of it here and here.  While using this to argue against Pres. Bush's Social Security tear-down is interesting enough, we're impressed by that first link, from an editorial page in LaCrosse Wisconsin.  Small-town editors, shall we say, are not known for going out on a limb?  This idea may be quietly gathering broad popularity.

But the more some things change, the more others stay the same.  We'd hoped the heavy hand would lighten a bit after the election, but apparently not.

Other things that stay the same:  Hillary Clinton is shallow and opportunisitic, some folks say.  Except when she's not, others say.  (For the record, despite our own suspicions, we think HRC is getting a bum rap on this.  Yes, she's playing up religion more than she has in the past, and sure, she's probably trying to tack to the right.  But her faith has always been there, and we think that she alleged "shifts" are more than likely overstated.)  And while we're (sorta) on the topic:  a scholar in Michigan argues that the "Culture War" is much overblown, something we've been saying for over a decade, and the Revealer links to a report on who might be paying to keep the war "alive."

Tapped spots some similiarities between NBC & CBS' rejection of the UCC God Is Still Speaking ads and their more recent refusal of ads against the administration's tort reform proposals.  Anyone who didn't see that coming, raise your hands.  Anyone?


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