Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Who's God is it anyway?

Saw this quote recently, and it raised in my mind some interesting questions:
As you may already know, one of America's two political parties is extremely religious. Sixty-one percent of this party's voters say they pray daily or more often. An astounding 92 percent of them believe in life after death. And there's a hard-core subgroup in this party of super-religious Christian zealots. Very conservative on gay marriage, half of the members of this subgroup believe Bush uses too little religious rhetoric, and 51 percent of them believe God gave Israel to the Jews and that its existence fulfills the prophecy about the second coming of Jesus."
That's Steven Waldman writing two summers ago in Slate. The group that Waldman is talking about is Democrats; the hard-core subgroup is African-American Democrats.


The interesting questions are, in no particular order:

1 - Did you sneer "those silly Republicans" when you first read the quote? I did. When I read it the second time, after I knew it was Democrats being discussed, my opinion was more favorable. Why? Is is because I am more familair with the religiosity of Democrats, and therefore find it less threatening? Or is the religiosity of Democrats simply more benign?

2 - The Yaakov Menken/Toby Katz/Daniel Lapin wing of Orthodox Judaism loves to talk about our dear, dear friends the evangelical Christians. Well, why don't the same folks ever have anything nice to say about our deadr dear friends the (frum) African Americans? They also support Israel. They also live religiously-informed lives, and use religion to make moral choices, don't they? So why aren't they entitled to any love from Toby and co.?

3 - With numbers like these, how did Democrats get tarred as secularists? Is it because a minority of Democrat activists are secular? That hardly seems fair.