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Peace, not gays most important
November 11, 2004 6:03 AM   Subscribe

Liberal Christian groups start a poll war challenging the evangelicals claim to the Christian vote publishing findings that the war and poverty were more important moral issues voters than Iraq. Other views at The Washington Post (subscription required), and The Catholic News
posted by KirkJobSluder (18 comments total)

 
That's the fun part about playing "Holier Than Thou: The Home Game" - now, the moderates and the extremists fight each other for the right to claim that they were the ones that hosed the election.
posted by FormlessOne at 6:48 AM on November 11, 2004


Can you say "too little, too late?"
posted by Eekacat at 6:56 AM on November 11, 2004


Eekacat: Can you say "too little, too late?"

This is less about the election than the spin placed on the election after the fact. Both Christian Conservatives and anti-religious folks are making a claim that Bush was candidate supported for religious reasons, but Kerry was not. This poll suggests that the stereotype being presented of the Christian vote is highly misleading. I'm personally not willing to give up on the 52% of Catholics and 40% of protestants who voted for Kerry just to exercise my own personal piss and vinegar.

To raise the question again (because no one seems to answer it) why did Kerry's break with his congregation become more of a news item than Bush's break with his congregation?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:17 AM on November 11, 2004


The odd thing (for me, as someone raised catholic, and with many catholic friends, etc.) is that Kerry's views were pretty close to the common view among Catholics I know (including abortion), so he just seemed like a normal catholic to me.
posted by drezdn at 7:30 AM on November 11, 2004


Yeah, I think Obama would have been much more welcome in the congregation I grew up in than Keyes.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:45 AM on November 11, 2004


I thought the exit poll reporting was shoddy at best. "Moral values" was the code word for concerns about abortion and gay marriage. As this article points out, if an exist pollster had asked me (a liberal Christian) whether 'moral values' played a role in my vote, I would have answered "Hell, yeah", but the moral issues that concern me are the war in Iraq and social justice, not anti-abortion and anti-gay issues.

By saying 'moral values' was a big concern, and not the specific moral issues themselves, the exit pollsters and/or the press played right into the conservatives' hands (see George Lakoff) by making it sound like the conservatives have a moratorium on moral values.
posted by tippiedog at 7:48 AM on November 11, 2004


it should be the slogan

conservatives: a moratorium on moral values
posted by troybob at 7:59 AM on November 11, 2004


Jeff Sharlett argues that "The greatest common denominator of American belief is anti-homosexuality."
If you read the comments to that peice, or this trio of posts from a conservative blog, you can see that the social conservatives are trying, unsuccessfully, I think, to refute the idea that their ideology exists to prop up anti-gay sentiment. They'd like us to believe the anti-gay sentiment is a product of their theology, but I remain unconvinced.
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:31 AM on November 11, 2004


I have an idea. How about all these "moral" religious groups focus on individually respecting their beliefs and leave the rest of us alone?

It's quite simple really. If you're an evangelical Christian who supports the war, is anti-gay and anti-abortion, then join the army, don't marry a same-sex partner and don't have an abortion.

The existence of this confusing urge to apply your own morality to others defies any explanation I can muster. All this post-election talk about moral issues should really be referred to as "imposing moral issues via government" since people are always free to practice their own beliefs and follow their own theological rules.
posted by aubin at 9:29 AM on November 11, 2004


aubin: I don't think it is that simple. I'm not a Christian but I must admit that my opposition to the death penalty for example is based on some pretty deep-seated moral values. Likewise, I think it would be dishonest, perhaps even foolish to claim that my environmentalism is entirely amoral.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:39 AM on November 11, 2004


It's about time these people started speaking up. Now they have to keep it up--in the public eye.
posted by amberglow at 10:46 AM on November 11, 2004


I love this one: "Bible-believing evangelicals". As if we liberal evangelicals believe in some other "crazy" book. Like...I don't know...maybe the WHOLE Bible and not just some passages from Deuteronomy.
posted by drinkcoffee at 10:53 AM on November 11, 2004


amberglow: It's about time these people started speaking up. Now they have to keep it up--in the public eye.

They've been doing it for years.

Pardon, I think your blind spot is showing.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:57 AM on November 11, 2004


KirkJobSluder: Sorry, I suppose I wasn't terribly clear. I agree that moral values are not necessarily predicated on religious faith. I can, like you, oppose the death penalty or racism without requiring a foundation of religion to justify it. This habit of working backwards from homophobia to religious justification is frequently what has been euphemized as "moral values" but I don't necessarily agree.

However, what I'm getting at is that people are no longer happy to regulate their own lives, but feel determined in interfere in the victimless acts of their neighbours. The death penalty carries an obvious victim, while gay marraige lacks any quantifiable negative result, other than the cliche that it will somehow destroy the "venerable" institute of marraige.

How this will happen is not clear, nor do I imagine it will be made clear. The threat of gay marraige is apparently a matter of faith since I'm certainly not hearing a lot of facts.
posted by aubin at 11:05 AM on November 11, 2004


Progressive religious leaders, whose groups sponsored the poll, jumped on the findings as evidence that Americans' concern for "moral values" goes beyond gay marriage and abortion.

They sponsored a Zogby poll, and now it's being written about. I think i'm not the one with a blind spot. I hope these people keep speaking up, and it keeps getting covered, but a simple google news search shows that it's rare in the mainstream media.
posted by amberglow at 11:10 AM on November 11, 2004


openness defeats arrogance (<--SSP)
posted by wah at 11:10 AM on November 11, 2004


I hope they keep speaking up also, because Jerry Falwell has said, "...we have already formed a new group and begun meeting with a goal of getting 40 million people to the polls in 2008." Not too early to start working on the counter-effort.
posted by Dean King at 11:51 AM on November 11, 2004


amberglow: They sponsored a Zogby poll, and now it's being written about. I think i'm not the one with a blind spot. I hope these people keep speaking up, and it keeps getting covered, but a simple google news search shows that it's rare in the mainstream media.

They've been speaking up for years. They spoke up when the Reagan Administration was funding terrorism in Latin America. They spoke up during the first Gulf War. They spoke up condemning the invasion of Iraq. They speak up every time a convict is put to death in our prison system. They spoke up over voter intimidation in this election. I have not been a part of any progressive activism where liberal Christians were not the backbone of what was going on.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:48 PM on November 11, 2004


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