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November 19, 2008

Columnist: GOP must move away from GOD

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/columnist_gop_must_move_away_from_god_20081119/

Kathleen Park, the same conservative columnist who said that the Rev. Rick Warren’s presidential faith forum was bad for America and who kindly asked Gov. Sarah Palin to drop her bid for the vice presidency, has a column in today’s Washington Post that argues the Republican Party won’t survive unless it kills God. Well, the GOP doesn’t actually have to kill God; it just needs to stop pandering to evangelical voters.

Parker writes:

To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.

Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth—as long as we’re setting ourselves free—is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.

The choir has become absurdly off-key, and many Republicans know it.

But they need those votes!

So it has been for the Grand Old Party since the 1980s or so, as it has become increasingly beholden to an element that used to be relegated to wooden crates on street corners.

Short break as writer ties blindfold and smokes her last cigarette.

Which is to say, the GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows. In the process, the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship), as well as secularists and conservative-leaning Democrats who otherwise might be tempted to cross the aisle.

Here’s the deal, ‘pubbies: Howard Dean was right.

It isn’t that culture doesn’t matter. It does. But preaching to the choir produces no converts. And shifting demographics suggest that the Republican Party—and conservatism with it—eventually will die out unless religion is returned to the privacy of one’s heart where it belongs.

Read the rest of the column here. I understand what she is saying. I really do. Though i am an evangelical and a Republican, I don’t identify with the party’s social conservatism, which has led the GOP incredibly far from its historic base. The problem with Parker’s logic is that Republicans can’t just not afford to get the votes of conservative Christians—they can’t afford for the Democrats to pick them up.

If you take abortion and gay marriage and other assorted red meat out of the mix, why wouldn’t evangelicals move to the more socially conscious Democratic Party?

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