Are You Ready?
Notice her choice of words. She didnt say the idea is wrong, or immoral, or self-contradictory, or just nuts. Its only, well, premature. The Democrats will keep pushing for it, wearing down resistance until the courts can impose it on us. This is the way they do business.
John Kerry didnt exactly repudiate the idea either. He just said he and John Edwards believe that marriage is between a man and a woman (though they favor civil unions for homosexuals). He didnt slam the door on the notion once and for all. The missing word the one millions of voters wanted to hear was Never! They heard it from President Bush.
Now the Democrats are talking about their need to say more about faith and values. Good luck. The country has learned to decode their attempts to appropriate red-state shibboleths. Kerrys faith-talk didnt fool many Catholics (more than half the Catholic votes went to the Protestant candidate), and his soldier-talk didnt fool many hawks.
The Democrats real problem is not so much what they talk about, as the disingenuous way they talk about matters of faith and morals. Abortion is not killing; its just choice, though the aborted child gets no choice. Dont they know how phony they sound? They yell about constitutional rights (equating specious court decisions with the U.S. Constitution) and the separation of church and state (which they misconstrue) and keeping government out of the bedroom (abortions arent performed in bedrooms) and on and on, in dogged slogans, clichés, and fallacies.
Their approach to this matter, which haunts every campaign even when it isnt openly discussed, includes smearing their opponents as religious fanatics. For a party thats forever urging tolerance, pluralism, and diversity, this is an odd tactic: The Democrats tolerate no diversity among themselves on abortion. Even Teresa Heinz Kerry had to stop expressing qualms about it early in the campaign, and no anti-abortion speakers were permitted at the last few Democrat conventions. Winning back religious voters will take more than a superficial charm offensive. It will take a kind of conviction the Democrats dont have.
After more than 30 years, the country still isnt quite ready for legal abortion. And the Democrats think they can win Christians over with new, Christian-friendly slogans which they obviously dont mean? They are proving only their contempt for the Christian vote they have done so much to alienate for decades.
C.S. Lewis once said he had never known a convinced Christian who didnt have a strong belief in Hell. Christianity is much more than the belief that we should all be nice to each other; its a belief about the ultimate stakes of life, salvation and damnation. But its not considered nice to talk about this grave subject in public, so politicians naturally avoid it.
Still, most people sensed that Bush took it seriously and Kerry didnt. Bush also believed that things marriage and human life, for example had firm definitions and Kerry thought they were more or less negotiable. Some voters preferred Bushs attitude, others preferred Kerrys; but it was an essential difference between them that finally worked in Bushs favor. He didnt ask whether the country was ready for the distinction between right and wrong.
Not that Bush always applied the distinction properly; far from it. He stuck stubbornly to defending his dubious war. But at least he didnt exude the stale moral relativism and secular humanism that made Kerry so uninspiring. Bush believed in Hell.
The Democrats nominated Kerry in the very mundane belief that he was the candidate likeliest to defeat Bush, not because he stood for any positive principle. Now their theme is that they believe in something higher, but they cant decide what it is. Having condemned Bush as a religious zealot, will they adopt a touch of zealotry too?
Its doubtful that the 2008 Democratic platform will affirm the entire Apostles Creed. Nobody would believe they really meant it, for one thing. On the other hand, the returns seem to indicate that America still isnt ready for secular humanism.
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