July 14, 2006

How can the Democratic Party be Godless?

If the backbone of the Democratic Party is churchgoing African Americans.

African-American Protestants and Latino Catholics were solidly Democratic in the past two Presidential elections. In 2000 Al Gore percentage of the Protestants African-American vote was at 91%, Latino Catholics was at 65%. John Kerry slightly under performed in both groups in 2004 compared to Al Gore, but African-Africans again overwhelmingly supported Democratic Presidential candidate at 88% of their vote. The most loyal voting block for the Democratic Party is African-Americans.

Recently, Senator Barack Obama created a dispute with in the liberal community over this speech about religion and politics. The point of this diary is not relive this battle, but to point out to the Democratic Party and particularly Liberals not to cede or buy into the Conservative argument of us being secularist coastal elites without pointing to our base. When Conservatives and the media use rhetoric such as religious gap, morals, Godless and so on to attack Democrats they disregard and disrespect our churchgoing religious base, the Black Church.

Oliver Willis is correct, the Religious left already exist.
I’m extremely skeptical of these new efforts to create a “religious left”, not just because such things have to be organic, but because the religious left already exists in the black church and is the backbone of the Democratic party. Without the black vote, there’s no Democratic party, and the Dems wouldn’t be in contention in any national election. And those black Americans are among the most devoted churchgoers around. The MSM buys in wholesale to the con caricature of the left as secularist coastal elites, but the truth of the matter is the church is central to the left’s political force. It’s not a coincidence that the greatest ever American advocate for human rights happened to be a left-wing Baptist pastor.
There is a big double standard in effect. The media mentions the gap between white Evangelicals and the Democratic party without citing the bigger gap between churchgoing Africans-American and the Republican party. Africans-American vote is rarely described in religious terms. It does not play into the Conservative narrative of secularist coastal elites, Liberals and Democrats.

I might be over simplifying this complex issue, but religious voters does not solely belong to the Republican party not matter how much Conservatives claim otherwise. Our base is just as religious as the Republican base, but there is a difference Democratic Party welcome all Americans no matter of there religious believes or not the Republican party has a litmus test.