Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has been marked by a shameless use of organized religion as a campaign tool. Never mind that it’s against the law for churches to engage in political campaigning – Barack Obama has incorporated them into his campaign anyway. The result has been one disaster after another, from Donnie McClurkin’s cures for homosexuality to the Reverend Rick Warren’s false witness about the cone of silence… oh yeah, and Jeremiah Wright too.
Democratic politicians have justified their increasingly absurd mixture of Christianity into politics and government by saying that it’s a necessary strategy in order to win elections. They insist that, if they just talk about how much they love Jesus, use churches as campaign tools, and say God bless America a lot, swing voters will come running.
Research contradicts these claims. The results of a new study out by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life indicate that the majority of Americans don’t approve of the mixture of religion and politics. That majority exists among Republicans as well as Democrats. As for independents, those supposedly God-talk hungering swing voters? They disapprove of the mixture of religion and politics even more than the Republicans and Democrats.
The Democrats’ religious campaign strategy hasn’t brought victory, even among the most unabashedly religious voters. After all these years of religious pandering by Democrats, Barack Obama is actually getting less support from evangelical supporters than Al Gore did. Obama is getting less support from other Protestants too. How about the Catholic vote? You guessed it – Obama is getting less than Al Gore did. Even among African-American churches, Barack Obama is only getting 6 percent more support than Al Gore did, and only 4 percent more support than John Kerry did.
In spite of all the conspicuous talk about Christianity and Jesus and God and the Bible by Barack Obama, those voters who say that it’s important to have candidates talk about religion during a campaign are overwhelmingly giving their support to John McCain. That suggests that mixing religion and politics does not really persuade people to change their votes, even with those voters who say that they clamor for more religious preaching on the campaign trail.
On the contrary, Barack Obama gets the strongest support from voters who say that hearing candidates talk about their personal religious beliefs makes them uncomfortable. So, it seems that Obama isn’t accomplishing anything with his righteous Christianity except to make his supporters less comfortable with him.
Besides, it isn’t as if most voters are rejecting the Democratic Party because it isn’t religious enough. The Pew study found that only a minority characterize the Democratic Party as not having enough of a religious character – and that minority is most likely to vote for the Republicans anyway.
When will these politicians get it through their heads? Almost nobody votes for a Democrat because the Democrat acts like a Republican. Republicans will always do that better.
Please, in this presidential election, let’s talk about the business that actually pertains to the work of the government, not the business of churches and Bible study groups.