On a somewhat happier note is a nice speech by Barack Obama about religion in American politics and how the Dems can't just brush it aside, much as we secular types would like to. Like it or not, we seem to live in a rediculously religious society, and the Dems have to acknwledge this and use it to their advantage rather than ignore it and hope it will go away. An excerpt:
- If we don't reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, then the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons and Alan Keyeses will continue to hold sway. More fundamentally, the discomfort of some progressives with any hint of religion has often prevented us from effectively addressing issues in moral terms. Some of the problem here is rhetorical - if we scrub language of all religious content, we forfeit the imagery and terminology through which millions of Americans understand both their personal morality and social justice.
It makes me wonder all over again exactly why America is so religious. Obama: "This religious tendency is not simply the result of successful marketing by skilled preachers or the draw of popular mega-churches. It speaks to a hunger that's deeper than that - a hunger that goes beyond any particular issue or cause." Why? Because our nation's ambition, individualism and wealth have somehow elbowed aside a competing natural human tendency to clump together and yell "Amen"? Because American is a nation founded on religious rebellion? Also, why does American religion have such a socially conservative slant? You can't say it's the Catholic church's historically conservative stances on abortion, homosexuality, etc., because the religious nuts are mostly fundamentalist Protestants. What used to be the religious social justice antiwar left, the Jesuits, are marginalized by the priest-abuse scandal, leaving us with a handful of Unitarians to hold tha bag. Any thoughts?