C'mon Dems, Let's Do God!

T.A. Barnhart

I don't mean to mock or belittle anyone of faith here, being that I am a person of faith myownself.  A life without "higher" belief is simply an experiment in biology and entertainment.  Our public, as well as our private, lives must be led by what we believe — our faith — or we're as empty as a Bush Family Reunion.  But we on the Left have to come to grips with this simple fact of modern religious life:  We are all going to hell.

Nonetheless, cheerful and blind sinners that we are, Democrats across Oregon and the nation are busy with plans and projects to prove they are people of faith.  Nice try, kids.  It's not going to work.  Holding seminars and Making Statement are apologetic confessions that our faith has not been properly marketed or, as we more astute political types like to say, "framed."  The wingnuts and Christofascists have the God Talk market locked up tight.  They've been doing God for a long time, almost half-a-century, and because they've built upon ancient beliefs and practices (fear, prejudice, holier-than-thou-ness), they've been overwhelmingly successful.  Note the use of the word "overwhelming:"  The moment Jimmy Carter, a professed and unashamed born-again Christian, not to mention a moderate politician, was deemed to be insufficiently righteous for the Righteous Rs; well, that was all she wrote.


Democrats who think they can sell their faith in this market are fooling themselves badly.  The more they try to stand up and say, "Hey, look at me!  I'm a Christian, too!" the more ridiculous they will sound.  It's too late for the left, or even the center, to self-identify as Christians.  They ceded that ground long ago.  John Kerry stood up for his faith and look what it got him: threats of ex-communication.  Howard Dean is a Christian; so what?  It's not a matter of what you actually believe; it's a matter of what the country perceives you believe.  You can either be a Christian — and get down on your knees every night to pray for divine retribution against those who persecute God's Holy Messenger, Tom Delay — or you can be one of the Damned and Lost (and I'm not talking that show what I don't watch because I'm sure it's occulty and everything).

If Democrats and others to the left of the Radical Religious Right want their faith to be seen and known as the core of their political actions, they can't do that with pamphlets or training sessions, such as the DPO has planned for this weekend.  They cannot make a point of their faith in debates or on tv shows.  They cannot make any kind of statement, in fact; it has the political stench of saying "I'm almost one of them, you can trust me, you really can."  It's like the dorky kid in high school who just tried too damn hard to be likeable and instead weirded everyone out.  The religion frame has been taken, comrades.  We have to find a new means of being a person of faith in this context.

The answer, ironically, is to do what the right-wing Christians did: go to church a lot.  Since showing or telling the public, and the media, that you are a Christian or other person of faith is not an option, you'll have to take the other route: being a person of faith.  You know what sustains your faith; just take care of that business and worry about the political aspects later.


Since Announcements and Messages are out, you must find other ways to communicate your faith.  Take advantage of subliminal opportunities, small messaging openings.  Ensure that people know, without rubbing their noses in it, that faith is a part of your life.  If someone wants to meet with you on Sunday, say "Well, I get out of church at 11..." or, in a conversation with a reporter, note that "in Pastor Smith's sermon last week, she reminded us of Jesus' words...."  Let part of your public action happen through your church, your synagogue, or perhaps just as a participant in an event such a group organizes.  Don't trumpet this activity; the key is to make such activities a normal part of your life and let people observe you.  If you are in public life, they will.

Never say, "As a Christian..." when making a speech.  Do not add "Faith" as a tab on your website.  Liberals and progressives do not have this option.  They must be people of faith who never declare that faith.  They must live their faith, whatever form it takes, and they must do so consistently and genuinely.  If they let it invest every action they take, public and private, with an authenticity that can never be matched with mere words, then and only then will they be taken seriously as true people of faith.

In time, as the loud-mouth, look-at-me religious right proves to be just another group of thugs, albeit true-believing thugs who are genuinely devout and let that scare the bejeezus out of you, people of genuine faith — conservative, liberal and progressive — will shine.  The ones who are busy living their faith rather than using it as a club, megaphone or fundraising tool are the ones who will become examples.  America goes through these religious phases over and over.  A time of national difficulty is followed by religious fervor, but in time the extreme demands of the zealots prove overwhelming and a more authentic mode of faith returns.  We on the left cannot declare our faith, not in this political and media climate.  Mere words sound false.  But we can live that faith, and the actions of our faith — living demonstrations of the love of Jesus, or whatever guides your belief — will say far more than you can ever put into a pamphlet or a five-second sound bite.

  • (Show?)

    "Faithiness" like reproductive decisions properly remain in the catagory labeled personal business. Civil liberties, our personal choices, and our belief systems have been sadly exploited/manipulated under the current administration. T.A.'s suggestion to take the high road of living "faithiness" rather than wearing it on a political sleeve provides each of us the opportunity/dignity to carry on while respecting one another. The ultimate sideshow is John McCain's recent premeditated interest in evangelical organizations as he positions himself for a run for the presidential nomination of his party. Will American's see through this hypocracy when they cast their votes?

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)

    Wonderful column, T.A., both funny and profound.

    I would like to point out that Bill Clinton went to church every Sunday and George Bush rarely goes at all.

    I'm pretty much an agonostic, so I suppose I'm precluded from this discussion, as well as from running for office, but it seems that doing the kinds of things Christ talked about might help. The kinds of things that Jimmy Carter does.

  • Becky (unverified)

    I think Democrat Christians need to find a way to distinguish themselves from the radical fundamentalist Christians that are working to militarily institute a world-wide theocracy. They are working end-times believers into a frenzy by:

    Rewriting America's history and claiming Christian persecution: http://www.therevealer.org/archives/timely_002500.php

    Creating a network of fundamentalist leaders, among whom is the radical inventor (Rich Warren) of a Christian teen video game in which non-Christians must convert or die: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/warrenquotes.html

    Exercising their self-perceived authority to approve and get presidents elected: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/5939999/reverend_doomsday/

    Research in this area is easy and I encourage all peace-loving Christians to get a handle on the right-wing perversion of your faith and be outspoken against it.

  • Chris Andersen (unverified)

    Mathew 7:15-20

    "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

    Live your faith to demonstrate your faith.

  • (Show?)

    I prefer to walk the talk of the central prophets of faiths, despite belonging to none of their manmade religions. Principles and ethics applied quietly and consistently add to a civilization and a neighborhood. Exhorting others to do so out of fealty to some deity too often sounds more based in fear or reward-seeking than genuine acts rooted only in kindness.

  • LT (unverified)

    Is it pointing out the obvious to provide this URL?


    I would suggest watching Sen. Barak Obama for clues--he seems to get the tone about right.

    Some people are alienated by those who wear their religion on their sleeve.

    And one other thing--about Catholics. Don't do the reverse of what the Catholic church tried to do to Kerry in 2004. If there is a Democrat running for office who opposes abortion, remember the Beatitude "Blessed are the peacemakers". Don't attack that person for a religious belief, but try to find common ground. Does this person believe in fully funding education, health care, human services budgets? If this person firmly believes in "as ye do to the least of them", then they should be proud to be a Democrat.

    And never underestimate the foyer conversations after church. Nothing major--that might offend someone. But if you have friends in the congregation who follow politics, something like "what did you think about that news story?" is not out of line---I do it on a regular basis.

  • Mr. Magoo (unverified)

    For someone who "doesn't mean to mock or belittle anyone of faith here", you do a helluva job. Characterizing others as "wingnuts and Christofascists" may endear you to your fellows on this blog, but will do little to promote your message - which I think is a good one.

  • (Show?)

    Ah, the Good Old Days of Fundy Christianity (read Calvinists) when the Catholics and the Commies shared top position in the Pantheon of Fear.

    We were taught that only fundy Christians would make the cut. Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and Christian Scientists, were cults. Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans and other "High Church" dweebs, might make it in, but would be pretty badly singed by hellfire when they showed up.

    In those days, people quoted the bible on a number of issues.

    Class warfare:

    "It is easier for a camel to go throgh the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven".-Matthew 19:24 & Mark 10:25

    "Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luike 12:33-34

    Public prayer:

    "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:5-7

    Hypocrisy of Church leaders:

    "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel! "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and unrighteousness. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the platter, that its outside may become clean also. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitened tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness." Matthew 23:23-27

    Prerequisites for a beachfront condo on The Lake of Fire:

    "But the fearful and unbelieving and the abominable and murderers and whoremongers and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone which is the second death" Revelations 21:8

    Geeze, those were the good old days........Real Christians were persecuted by everybody, the rich, the apostates, the atheists/commies, not just LibrulsThatHateMurica.


    Join me in a prayer for Mary Starett's success at the Contstitution Party Convention. but do it in private

  • Dan J (unverified)


    your post is as good as it gets.

    A close runner up might be..

    "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:26-27

    Please read Romans 21-32. This speaks to the last portion of the verse above in James with respect to being "polluted by the world".

    It evens suggests it is OK to speak out loud about your faith in God as God deserves to be glorified. Let's just not do it for political purposes.

    Last I checked, neither God nor his son Jesus registered as Republican or Democrat.

    Dan J

  • TKrueg (unverified)

    I would like to add this link to a DailyKos-affiliated site that I have found to be helpful:


    Good site that demonstrates the growing voice of the religious left...

  • (Show?)

    Three words: Double Redemption Sunday. The BusPAC's hosting a trip this weekend that aims to bring faith-based and community-based progressives together to work for a more sensible legislature for all. Free on Sunday?

  • theanalyst (unverified)

    As Kevin Phillips and others have noted, the current Republican party is the first religious party ever in the U.S. This poses a problem for the Democrats. If the Ds "go religious," then we end up with a situation in which many issues will become religious issues, and no one will be able to talk about issues without referring to Jesus or Moses, and everyone who isn't a "person of faith" will be excluded.

    If the Ds don't "go religious," then they end up losing a huge percentage of the electorate.

    I personally think the current state of the Republican party constitutes an "establishment of religion" -- not in the sense of being unconstitutional, but in the sense of casting an overwhwelming religious influence over the government. Eventually it may get to the point where you don't "officially" have to be a Christian or to run for office, but if you aren't you won't have a chance of being elected.

  • LT (unverified)

    Eventually it may get to the point where you don't "officially" have to be a Christian or to run for office, but if you aren't you won't have a chance of being elected.

    There was a great West Wing episode (the one where Vinick and Bartlett go to the basement and Bartlett says one of the great temptations of the job is knowing that many flavors of ice cream are available around the clock) where Vinick comes out of the White House to talk to reporters and someone asks if he will accept the invitation to visit the church of his primary opponent who he had defeated.

    So Alan Alda got to deliver lines something like "I respect Rev. Butler and his church too much to make a political appearance there...." and talks about how there shouldn't be a religious test and if voters demand politicians be seen in churches there would be a rising number of political phonies in churches. Then he ends, "so, for the rest of the campaign, I will answer any political questions, but if you have questions about religion, go to church!".

    The current crowd of super religious political types stems from the group who were so keen to remove a Sunday School teacher named Carter from the White House, ignore John Anderson (former Evangelical Layman of the Year) in order to install their political hero Reagan.

  • Larry (unverified)
    <h2>"If the Ds don't "go religious," then they end up losing a huge percentage of the electorate."</h2>

    What do you mean by 'go religious'?

    Has anyone even considered the possibility that, on average, Republicans are more likely to believe in God and not be ashamed to admit it, than, on average, Democrats are? If that is so (and I agree that it is so, but is also debatable), then watching Democrats 'go religious' would be like watching Saxton 'go conservative' in the primary, only to swing back afterwards. Or watching Hillary cosy up to Rupert, only to reject him after she gains the Whitehouse.

    Watching Democrats 'go religious' will be transparent to all who are watching.

    Either you are or you are not. Only your actions will give you away. Either you believe in God, go to a house of worship, vote your conscience on matters of faith, priniciple and belief, walk your talk, or you don't. It is that simple.

    President Carter was a man of faith, yesterday as well as today. Gov. Dean? Pelosi? Reid? Kennedy? Maybe they just didn't 'go religious' enough. Please explain your plan to then also.

  • theanalyst (unverified)

    Larry writes: Has anyone even considered the possibility that, on average, Republicans are more likely to believe in God and not be ashamed to admit it, than, on average, Democrats are?

    That may be, but it is a relatively new development. Not many years ago people who went to church were equally likely to be Democrats or Republicans. So I think we have to look at what has changed in order to bring about the development of the Republican party as a religious party.

    (Remember years ago, when Kennedy ran for president, the concern was that he would walk in lockstep with the Vatican. Now, when Catholics run for office, they get criticized if they DON'T walk in lockstep with the Vatican.)

    This sort of thing doesn't happen by accident. It happens as the result of a long-term political strategy in which the electorate is split along religious lines.

    Part of that strategy involves a redefinition of faith. Not many years ago "faith" was seen as a personal matter that was important, but often not talked about. Today "faith" is identified with conservative or extremist right-wing religion. It is an "in your face" kind of thing that typically involves a good measure of American triumphalism and militarism.

    Remember, forty years ago having "faith," even conservative faith, didn't count for much. Back then protestant fundamentalists, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox all hated each other, and everybody not in the True Church was damned, and nobody liked the Jews. Back then if you were right about the Bible, the Church, and the Eucharist, you were pretty much right about everything.

    Cut to today and you see a very different picture. Christian fundamentalists, Catholics, Orthodox, and socially conservative Jews are all buddies, all "people of faith." The new enemy is the "secularist" and the "liberal." Today if you're right about abortion, homosexuality, and Terri Schiavo, you're pretty much right about everything. In other words, significant religious differences used to crystallize along theological lines. Now they crystallize along social and political lines.

    This leads to strange things such as fundamentalist Christians, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Michael Savage all being one big happy family.

    Another part of the strategy involves the demonization of political enemies. Conservative religion always needs an enemy, and typically defines itself vis-a-vis the enemy. So today, if you're a Democrat who goes to a liberal church, that means you are a secularist, part of the culture of death, a supporter of the abortion holocaust, a friend of euthanizers, an enemy in the culture war, and perhaps even an enemy of God.

    So it's not just about "who believes in God," but how that belief is used to achieve political power.

  • Dan J (unverified)


    It is tought to argue with most of the political realities of what you just wrote. Very well put.

    Why this has happended needs further review:

    The Democrats have been un-fairly tainted as the anti-religious party. This much is true. God is not a member of either party.

    The problem is that some of the recent heavy-weights in the Dem party have one very, very problematic string that runs through them.

    It is called Paganism!

    Paganism is the worship of the created, rather than the creator.

    Take a guess at the % of registered voters (Democrat vs. Republican) that attend "Burning Man" each year in the desert.

    How about the near worship like devotion of the "save the salmon" crowd.

    Global warming? Vegans? Raw food freaks? ELF? WHO protestors? 3rd term and partial birth proponents (worship thyself).

    When the lunatic left fringe always grabs the media attention, and these groups openly embrace paganism, what do you expect people to think? Its just the same old thing. A small percentage paints the majority.

    If Democrats want to win elections, they must publicly distance themselves from the pagan left.

    Once again, read Romans 1:18-32. Part of it says, "Therefore God give them over in teh sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one antoher. they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator- who is forever praised. Amen."

  • Karl (unverified)

    Dan J,

    Why are the nutty people that you mentioned identified with the Democratic Party? Those people are either apathetic (politically), Greens, Libertarians, etc.

    There was a retrospective on John Kenneth Galbraith when he died a few weeks ago. He stated that the problem with the Democratic Party is that it tries to win by taking voters from Republicans from their base. That is never going to happen.

    The activist hard-core right-wing religious base of the GOP will never vote for a party that it sees as antithetical to its beliefs and values. I don't understand why Dean wants to woo the evangelicals. Do you really want these people in your party? They do not embrace diversity, dissension, or the right to have your own opinions.

    About 50% of eligible voters do not vote. A lot of them are not evangelicals but rather people who are dispossessed or sick of the current system and the status quo. Why not engage them instead?

  • Jude (unverified)

    I believe you are right in saying that platitudes never come across as convincing when a Democratic political leader stumbles over him or herself in order to "compete" with a Conservative. That has "loser" written all over it.

    Where the new Spritual Progressive movement is different is that it doesn't say God is Republican and it doesn't say that God is a Democrat. It looks toward not the next election cycle or the one after that. It looks to the generations to follow. The vision is, at first glance, far more idealistic than most politicians would support at this time, but then again, think of the slave that thought his freedom was never possible or the woman who thought she'sd never obtain the right to vote in this country. This is a group of people who do, indeed, live their faith and wish to inspire citizens like you and me, not political candidates, to start talking about our common values (with no one religion emerging as triumphant) We ask that citizens consider how those common values translate to a public policy that actually reflects more of those common values than the "two-issue-wonders" who are obsessed with homosexuality and abortion. There is so much more to the "values" landscape!

    If citizens fail to talk, in the public square, about how their personal faith informs their values, then the religious right will continue to own the political field whenever they wish to cross the line of church and state on any issue that they choose to deem as "a moral values" issue. And progress will continue to suffer as a result.

    We aren't false prophets, and we certainly aren't "nuts." We are Americans. In a democracy, participating citizens should never be ashamed to deny who and what they are, regardless of party.

    • Jude Nagurney Camwell
  • Rev. Dan (unverified)

    As an ordained minister, I certainly welcome T.A.'s comments though I do not care for the title. It is not about "doing God", it is about being authentic people of faith (for those who are and are Ds). If you are a church-going Christian (less than 25% of Oregonians are), then for Christ's sake (literally), don't hide that fact in your political engagement. Just as the public needs to see that one can be a faithful follower of Jesus and still believe in things like evolution or birth control, they need to see that people of faith can also be progressives working to stop global warming or war and to elect progressive candidates of any party. Among the many ways Dems can "do religion" differently is to not get in bed with one particular religious expression, but instead to welcome the diversity of religions in our midst and to show the ways in which a progressive agenda works well to protect religious liberty and to promote religious values like peace, economic justice, concern for the poor, etc.

  • lin (unverified)

    "Paganism is the worship of the created, rather than the creator....How about the near worship like devotion of the "save the salmon" crowd...Global warming?...If Democrats want to win elections, they must publicly distance themselves from the pagan left."

    Wow. How in the world does one even know where to begin to respond to this sort of stuff....But let's try. For one, I can appreciate the idea of not worshipping the created, but wait a second: does anyone here actually know someone who offers eternal fealty to, say, his car? His refrigerator? Or anything else created by humans? Prior to Dan J's post, I had not realized such practices were so widespread among Democratic voters. I think I know where he's actually going, however: the idea of worshipping a (hypothetical) creator is actually a coded statement about accepting the idea that there is some external agency that sets moral and ethical rules. Sorry, but I will never give religion that prerogative. A spiritual practice certainly may illuminate morals and ethics, but those things fundamentally come from good old human experience and common sense.

    Save the salmon: isn't the decimation of salmon runs by dams and environmental degradation pretty much well-established scientific fact? Not sure where worship comes into that. Global warming? Ditto. There is damn near unanimity about this in the refereed scientific literature, a fact that is somehow passed over not only by Dan J. but by the mass media. Again, worship and paganism have nothing to do with it. Anyway, that "pagan left". What exactly is it? That threatening but nebulous collection of the unchurched, of those who doesn't proclaim alleged fealty to Christian values (whatever they are exactly)? What about folks (including yours truly) with the non-theistic spiritual path known as Buddhism? More pagans who have to be publicly dissed in order for the Democrats to be electable?


    "[O]ne can be a faithful follower of Jesus and still believe in things like evolution...."

    OK. I just have to say something about this bizarre misconception of "believing" in evolution. But first, I don't know what a "faithful follower of Jesus" is. I'd like to think it's someone who practices what Jesus preached, just the way Jesus himself evidently did. I sure admire what Jesus is reported to have said in the Sermon on the Mount, for example. But I'm also quite comfortable thinking about him as a mortal human, a man who set a really good example, but a man in any case. (Yikes. Maybe this makes me part of that scary pagan left.) Now the odd notion of "believing" in evolution: evolution is a scientific concept, a testable concept, in fact. (Why in the world do you think biologists like to study fruit flies? Because their life spans are so short that slow evolutionary changes over many generations can be tracked in the lab--not something we can do with humans, for example.) "Believing in evolution" is as much of an oxymoron as "believing in gravity".


    Some other posting in this thread commented that religious/spiritual practice should fundamentally be a private matter. Second that.

  • YetAnotherRick (unverified)

    "Creating a network of fundamentalist leaders, among whom is the radical inventor (Rich Warren) of a Christian teen video game in which non-Christians must convert or die: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/warrenquotes.html"

    With the Internet, a lie can spread around the world almost instantly. Warren did not invent the game. Someone he has other associations with is involved with the game. And Warren is properly seen as an evangelical, not a fundamentalist, if one wishes to use the terminology correctly. He is also not a member of the religious right. Here's some some commentary about the game:


    Please take a very close look at a few skeptics who ask thoughtful questions, including the guy who actually tried the novel idea of investigating the game itself.

  • theanalyst (unverified)

    Rev. Dan writes: Just as the public needs to see that one can be a faithful follower of Jesus and still believe in things like evolution or birth control, they need to see that people of faith can also be progressives working to stop global warming or war and to elect progressive candidates of any party.

    The problem is that religious liberals don't count. Part of the strategy of the right is to attack and discredit people like you. You would be dismissed as someone who applied a kind of religious veneer over his leftist beliefs. In other words, for these people, the only true religion is religion that promotes a right-wing political agenda. So you would not be seen as a religious person but denounced as a leftist who has decorated his politics with little trinkets of religious sentiment. This is how people like you would be dismissed.

    I don't know your church affiliation, but you have to realize that many activists of the religious right are not nice people. For them the "culture war" is not a metaphor. It is war. Part of war involves dehumanizing and attacking the enemy. This is what they do, with scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners zeal.

    For you, religion is a nice thing that makes people kind and compassionate. For them it's a weapon wielded by soldiers in the culture war. The interesting thing is that many of them say very little about the Jesus of the gospels. I think the reason for this is that many of them are not Christians. Oh, they have "all the right beliefs," but the heart of compassion has been surgically removed.

  • Brandon R (unverified)

    To put a different spin on things, there is hope for evangelicals. 40% of young E's see universal health care as a moral issue. 85% of self-identified born-agains/evangelicals believe we should do whatever it takes to protect the environment. Christian rock bands are rallying and mobilizing hundreds of thousands of young Jesus-followers to do big things to address the genocides in Uganda and Sudan, AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa, and the sex trade in India. Indeed, American Christians give more money to care for the poor abroad than non-Christians. I say that not to incur guilt or to brag, but to say that dammit, we aren't all crazies like Falwell, LaHaye, and Robertson! We evangelicals do care. We're f'd up, sure, and we have our loose nuts. But then again, Christianity has always been a confessing community defined by our admission that we fall short of our calling but persevere with God's help nonetheless.

    But I digress.

    The younger generations (under 30 years old) of Christians are much more integrative in their values set. They are incredibly disillusioned by big-box right-wing Christianity and are rediscovering it for themselves. They are much more moderate, if not progressive. But attacks on Christians by Dems only disillusion many of them from the Democratic Party.

    Google "emergent church" or "emerging church" for more on them. Also see www.thesimpleway.org, www.restoringeden.org, and www.imagodeicommunity.com for more on some great groups taking great strides in these areas.

  • Jennifer (unverified)

    I think we agree, T.A.:

    You can't "do God" any more than you can "do Buddhism" or "do morality".

    Spirituality must be part and parcel of your existence, whether or not there are any benefits expected to accrue (political or otherwise). Clearly, we don't always act with moral clarity (especially if we think "nobody" is watching), but we can aspire to living the good life.

  • Lou Cipher (unverified)

    Dear Mr. Barnhart,

    You and your homosexual friends are all going to Hell. You mock God and His Spirit is not in you. Repent.

  • Backstrapper (unverified)

    I would wager there are 3 things that one would not find in the Barnhart household;

    1) A Holy Bible (King Jamers version) 2) A firearm 3) A Hunting & Fishing license


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