October 5, 2016

MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH: Are the Democrats America’s Religious Party?

[Kenneth] Woodward wrote in the Journal that Clinton “is by far the more religious candidate” and also that “hers is the more religious political party.” The first observation cannot be doubted, but what about the second? Woodward’s argument, grounded in his reporting, is that since the early 1970s “the Democratic Party has advanced a righteous politics that mirrors the political righteousness of the United Methodist Church.” Notably, even as early as the 1970s both the church and the party were framing the nation’s economic ills as “systemic,” and in need of “wholesale transformation.” Clinton in her campaign for the White House often uses “systemic” to describe racial problems in need of “transformation” by government.

They’re not a religious party, but from climate change (where Gaia replaces God) to the often hilariously pious virtue signaling of food and lifestyle choices, “Progressivism” is certainly a substitute for religion.

Which isn’t all that a new phenomenon – the second half of the title of Tom Wolfe’s epochal 1976 article, “The ‘Me’ Decade and the Third Great Awakening” more than hints at the transformation of American culture a decade after Time magazine (founded by the son of Christian missionaries, no less) paraphrased Nietzsche and asked, “Is God Dead?”*

As Wolfe wrote, “It is entirely possible that in the long run historians will regard the entire New Left experience as not so much a political as a religious episode wrapped in semi military gear and guerrilla talk.” Today, a man who began his political career in the living room of the founder of the Weathermen sits in the White House, and during his presidential bid was frequently described as a substitute God by self-deluded elitists.

Exit Question: Will the left start reviving religious tests for public office?

* Linking to Kenneth Woodward’s article, Rod Dreher adds, ‘God Is Dead, And We (Boomers) Have Killed Him.’

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