Sunday, April 01, 2012

Wisconsin Tea Party Fights: GOP War on Christianity

Since the inception of the Tea Party movement, while emphasizing government fiscal responsibility, these Christians have agreed that faith IS the moral basis of America, yet the Republican establishment and the elite media insist that the electorate simply stop talking about religion with politics.
". . . in politics, what matters is perceptions. And many [Christian] people really do perceive they're under assault."
For background, read Republicans Accepting Gay Agenda More and More and also read Proved: Tea Party Movement is Christian as well as Obama Feeds Catholics 'A Bunch of Bull,' Says Santorum

-- From "Republicans rally against 'war on religious freedom'" by Mira Oberman (AFP) posted at Google News 4/1/12

The nation's simmering culture wars have been re-ignited by the Republican nomination battle to take on President Barack Obama in the November 6 election as the White House hopefuls vye to win over the party's conservative base.

Rick Santorum -- a devout Catholic who stridently opposes abortion and gay marriage -- has mobilized the conservative base with his fiery rhetoric, winning 11 out of the past 34 nominating contests.

"The lights of freedom may well go out if we don't win this election," the former Pennsylvania senator said, urging [Wisconsin] supporters to pick a true conservative over frontrunner Mitt Romney.

The first amendment -- which prohibits the "establishment of religion" -- was written because the founders were concerned that government would interfere with religious practices, [a Wisconsin voter] insisted.

[However, a] focus on divisive social issues also threatens to undermine Republican chances in November by alienating moderates and independents key to winning the elections.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "In Wisconsin, Santorum Tells Conservatives Not to Give In" by Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times 3/31/12

“People will say, ‘How can you go on?’” Mr. Santorum said, dismissing his skeptics. “One of the campaigns for president a week or so ago suggested that it would take an act of God for Rick Santorum to win the Republican nomination,” he said. “I don’t know about you, but I believe in acts of God.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Candidates' Religious Appeals May be Losing Sway with Voters" by Dave Nyczepir, Capital News Service 3/31/12

Approximately 38 percent of Americans feel there has been too much expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders this election, according to a Pew Research Center study released earlier this month.

Thirty percent said there has been too little and 25 percent the right amount, but the percentage of those saying there has been too much has increased to an all-time high across party lines, says the report.

[Liberal pundits are] particularly concerned with Newt Gingrich's insinuation that there is a war on religion, and Rick Santorum's assurances [as liberals say, that] he'll translate his beliefs into public policy, as well as the fear of Muslims [the pundits say] the two candidates have perpetuated throughout the GOP presidential race.

"One of the reasons I'm running, is there has been an increasingly aggressive war against religion, and in particular Christianity, in this country -- largely by a secular elite and the academic news media and judicial areas," Gingrich said. "And I frankly believe it's important to have some leadership that stands up and says, 'Enough, we are truly guaranteed the right of religious freedom, not religious suppression from the state.'"

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "GOP should heed God-talk backlash" by William McKenzie, an editorial columnist for The Dallas Morning News 3/31/12

Churches, as well as synagogues, fueled the civil rights movement with the defining idea that all of humanity has dignity in the eyes of God.

But there is a backlash to the mixing of religion and politics that those of us who believe they are inevitably linked should take seriously. Republican leaders and their reliable core of white evangelical voters particularly should examine the negative response.

New polling data from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life shows voters are wearying of religion being so prominent in American politics. That view is true first among Democrats, second among independents and third among Republicans. But, among all three groups, the percentage that says they are tired of all the talk about religion is increasing.

Republicans are most associated with matters of faith, according to the survey. Fifty-four percent of respondents saw Republicans as friendly toward religion while 35 percent viewed Democrats that way.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.

From "Religion to launch theses?" by Michael Gerson, Republican Columnist of the Washington Post 3/30/12

By every measure, the quality of evangelical social engagement has been in recent decline.

Candidates such as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have practiced a kind of identity politics, urging evangelicals to support one of their own. Then they reduced the evangelical tradition to a pathetic caricature, defined by support for school prayer or (in Bachmann’s case) conspiratorial opposition to vaccines. Their view of Christian social ethics is strangely identical to the most uncompromising anti-government ideology — involving the systematic subordination of a rich tradition of social justice to a narrow and predictable political agenda. It is difficult to imagine Bachmann or Perry in the same political universe as evangelical abolitionists and social reformers William Wilberforce and Lord Shaftesbury.

The problem is not, as some have alleged, a secret theocratic plot. It is the regression of evangelical politicians — and politicians appealing to evangelicals — to the worst habits of the religious right circa 1980. They jostle to claim a divine calling. They appear in the pulpit with pastors who talk ignorantly of America as a “Christian nation.” Some, when they lose, hint darkly of anti-religious persecution. This is the behavior of Jerry Falwell on a bad day. Americans are right to find it discrediting.

The [Pew] poll found GOP voters who believe there is too much religion in politics are far more likely to support Romney.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "More See 'Too Much' Religious Talk by Politicians - Santorum Voters Disagree" by Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life 3/21/12

Slightly more than half of the public (54%) says that churches should keep out of politics, compared with 40% who say religious institutions should express their views on social and political matters. This is the third consecutive poll conducted over the past four years in which more people have said churches and other houses of worship should keep out of politics than said they should express their views on social and political topics. By contrast, between 1996 and 2006 the balance of opinion on this question consistently tilted in the opposite direction.

[This year,] 60% of GOP voters who support Rick Santorum say that churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political questions.

And while 55% of Santorum’s supporters say there is too little expression of religious faith and prayer by political leaders, just 24% of Romney’s backers agree, while 33% say there is too much expression of faith and prayer by politicians.

The number of Republicans expressing unease with the amount of politicians’ religious talk also has increased (from 8% in 2001 to 24% currently). But Republicans have consistently been less inclined than either Democrats or independents to say there has been too much religious talk from political leaders.

However, there has been no change in opinions among white evangelical Protestants, who remain far less likely than those in other religious groups to say that politicians express religious faith too much.

The percentage of white Catholics who say the [Obama] administration is unfriendly to religion has nearly doubled – from 17% to 31% – since 2009. Three years ago, far more white Catholics said the administration was friendly (35%) than unfriendly to religion (17%); today, nearly as many say the administration is unfriendly (31%) as friendly (38%).

To read the entire Pew study above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Illinois Christian Tea Party Counters Establishment GOP