Someone forwarded me an email about volunteering with the Bush Reelection Campaign . Curious, I clicked on the link for no other reason than to see what was up --- or to phrase it in a more sophisticated manner ---- to gather intelligence.
As part of the volunteer registration process, those logging onto the site have the option of participating in various outreach efforts targeted at specific demographic groups or policy interests. Among the groups potential volunteers can direct their efforts towards include Arabs, Hispanics, African Americans, and Young Professionals. There are even efforts targeted at faith-based communities, Jews and Catholics being specifically mentioned.
It would seem the remaining one-third of America ecclesiastical triad, Protestantism, is not named. Sure, there are a number of policy categories that would appeal to Protestants such as pro-life and homeschool efforts, but if you are going to mention Jews and Catholics by specifically, don’t Evangelicals or Protestants deserve the same courtesy?
The form does provide the nebulous choice of “Religious Conservative”. But when you come down to it, that can cover just about anything. One could argue that within his own faith Osama Bin Ladin is himself a “Religious Conservative” as well as is the Utah polygamist who ups and marries the local junior high cheerleading squad.
If one is not going to mention Evangelicals or Protestants, then why extend such recognition to Jews and Catholics? After all, aren’t the ones within these respective groups likely to vote for the President come November religious conservatives anyway?
Defenders of these campaign tactics might counter that these groups are more denominationally homogeneous than their religious counterparts on the Protestant side of the ecclesiastical divide. However, while there might be fewer independent denominational organizations to deal with among Jews and Catholics, in many respects these communities are as theologically fractious even if not so obvious on the surface.
The most prominent voices of Jewish leadership are so pathetically leftist as evidenced by rackets such as the Anti-Defamation League that it’s frankly a waste of money and a lost cause for Republicans to try and persuade these people since most belonging to groups such as this one barely embrace anything even remotely resembling Old Testament values.
The same can be pretty much said about Roman Catholics as well. For while all Catholics might belong to the same church, does anyone believe Bills Bennet and Buckley have that much in common with the Brothers Berigan.
Still others will counter that Jews and Catholics are more cultural identity than anything. But why not the same with Evangelical Protestantism?
As with Jews and Catholics who embrace these sociological classifications as their primary cultural identity, those embracing Protestantism often share enough behavioral characteristics unique to their way of life to qualify as what Randall Balmer termed the “Evangelical subculture” in his Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory. Likewise, as with Evangelicals, Jews began as a community organized around a shared system of belief, but so many have abandoned that faith and must now organize around the less noble foundation of ethnicity in order to maintain some kind of identity.
Even if one accepts the previous points as valid, one might still argue its best not to mention Evangelicals by name since many people find them offensive. And in this age of radical inclusion, inoffensiveness and tolerance have become the highest values to which we are to aspire --- even surpassing in importance those of less enlightened eras such as truth, self-reliance, and liberty.
Going back to our previous examples, there are critics to the theological left and right of the Catholic Church offended by beliefs held by that particular denomination; but apparently the Republican Party has no qualms about publicizing their desire to appeal to Catholic voters. Even more importantly, the GOP has no problem with pandering to immigrants by also providing a translation of the website in Spanish even though, despite the fact most are terrified to admit it for fear of being labeled “racist” or whatever other slur the hyertolerant are using this week to beat the common man into submission, the vast majority of Americans are sick and tired of the ongoing surrender to foreign tongues uttered by freeloading aliens harboring no intentions of acclimating to our way of life and catered to by elites using these unsuspecting transnational vagrants as a tool through which to undermine the foundations of this republic.
If the Republican Party is so ashamed of its Evangelical supporters perhaps it should try winning elections without their votes. I doubt they’ll get very far electorally since the reprobate vote is pretty much sewn up by the Democrats.
Matthew 10:33 reads, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” If the higher-ups in the Republic Party continue to distance themselves from Evangelical voters, maybe Evangelical voters should reciprocate the gesture come election day.
Copyright 2004 by Frederick B. Meekins