Friday, February 16, 2007

Christian Bashing and Polarization

An interesting article in today's Opinion Journal - Curse of the Christian Bashers - exposes an underlying problem of the political left, and particularly the Democratic party. The most vocal supporters of the Democratic party are squeaky wheels of the far left. Unfortunately, these people are hardly diplomatic in expressing their opinions about those with whom they disagree - particularly those who carry even the faintest whiff of conservatism, "orthodox" Christian faith, support for the War and/or the President (if only out of respect). The brashness of this part of the Democratic party supporters, as well as their failure to see the benefits of working with those of differing viewpoints to at least find points of agreement has contributed to the polarization of the American political scene.

The current crop of Presidential hopefuls has turned to the blogosphere to get their message out and to hopefully gain support in next year's primary elections. John Edwards made a couple of unfortunate choices in hiring Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan because he did not vet their earlier comments for politically explosive material. In a different article, Bonnie Erbe, writing as a guest columnist for the Seattle Post Intelligencer, addresses the problem as well. Here is part of her article:

"After the Edwards campaign fired and then rehired the bloggers last week, each of the two resigned this week. The whole episode made the campaign look bad. Perhaps worse, it devoured an opportunity to give serious, meaningful consideration to several crucial issues about which the women were writing.

First, let me state for the record the bloggers were woefully out of line to single out Catholics and Christians for attack. Extremists exist in the hierarchy of just about every large scale, organized religious group. Some even claim the right to dictate to followers how to live their lives. It is religious extremists who abuse this power whose behavior should be examined, not the broad swath of all adherents to one particular faith.

But the bloggers allowed themselves to be sidetracked by hurling invectives at all believers, which was unfair not only to those who believe and do not impose their beliefs on others, but also to some of the causes the bloggers espoused."

I hope members of all political parties are are paying attention to this drama, for when we lean to the extremist end of our ideology for support, we lose the middle ground.

Mary Eberstadt is succinct in her analysis in the Opinion Journal:

For what the blogger tempest really illuminates is a fact that could come to haunt the Democrats as they vie for national office: namely, that their past few wilderness years have also been boom years for the church-loathing liberal/left punditry. As a result, anti-Christian invective now graces (or disgraces) many of the books, magazines, Web sites and blogs to which liberals, including the Democratic elite, habitually look for ideas. One motto of this cottage industry is that the most serious threat to the American republic can be found in, no, not those religious fundamentalists, the ones that first leap to mind after 9/11; but, incredibly, certain other believers--our nation's Christians.

Is anybody listening? I hope John Edwards is now. And the other political candidates......?

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