Just as the GOP tried to pull African Americans away from the Democratic Party, so too are Democrats going after the Republicans’ base: evangelical Christians. But a Washington Post columninst asks: “What does it profit a party to gain a demographic but lose its soul?”
Earlier: The Religious Left Rises Again
Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus:
When mega-pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church opened last year in its new Houston home, the city’s former professional basketball arena, a most unlikely guest was on hand for the celebration: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), a minister’s son who chairs the House Democrats’ Faith Working Group, headed to Dallas a few months later to worship with Bishop T.D. Jakes, an African American Pentecostal minister who’s been called “the next Billy Graham.”
This month, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean—yes, that would be the Howard Dean who dismissed Republicans last year as “pretty much a white, Christian Party”—went on Pat Robertson’s “700 Club,” asserting that Democrats “have an enormous amount in common with the Christian community, and particularly with the evangelical Christian community.” Randy Brinson, founder of Redeem the Vote (think Rock the Vote meets Jesus), met last week with the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.
Democrats these days are a party on a mission that might sound impossible: to persuade evangelical Christian voters to consider converting—to the Democratic Party.