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The Vague Power of Faith In Democratic Politics

There’s a lot of talk at the Democratic National Convention this year about the importance of faith and the power of faith. Democratic politicians are falling all over each other in gushing declarations about how vital religion is to American politics.

However, no one at the Denver convention has been able to explain, beyond the level of platitudes, what exactly makes “faith” so important and powerful. None of the politicians can explain who religion is vital to American politics. They just say it is.

Think about this in terms of policy. What Democratic Party policy is there that secular Americans can’t and don’t support for purely secular reasons? What Democratic Party policy idea, besides Barack Obama’s new idea of expanding George W. Bush’s program of faith-based kickbacks to partisan political churches, would not exist without religion?

Not a single one.

It isn’t in terms of ideas and policies that religion is important, powerful, vital to the politics of the Democratic Party. It’s the power of churches’ financial and organizational resources that make religion so very conveniently relevant to the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party is now making the same deal with tax exempt religious groups that it made a long time ago with corporate lobbyists: Come and show us what you can do to help get our candidates elected, and we’ll make sure that legislation and executive policies are changed to bring you a lot more money and power as well.

Like hungry little piggies, ambitious preachers, rabbis and imams are answering the call to the trough: Soooouueee! It’s time for American religion to get fat.

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