Last year around this time, Time magazine published an article about how the Democratic party had finally begun to reach out to people who were passionate about their faith in Christ. A woman named Amy Sullivan wrote an entire book, entitled The Party Faithful, about that shift in strategies among leaders of the Democratic Party. And a recent article in Christianity Today suggests that Barack Obama, whatever his other flaws might be, understands that dismissing such voters or denigrating them for their beliefs is no longer a viable political option.
These might all be signs for rejoicing, if it were not for the fact that the fundamental platform of the Democratic party with regard to issues such as abortion and gay rights is based on the absurd notion that the illegalization of practices which happen to be condemned in disproportionate numbers by devout Christians is a violation of the First Amendment solely on account of that fact.
Opposition to homosexuality and the gay agenda is not an intrinsically religious position, although it certainly is true that the majority of those who oppose those things happen to be stalwart believers in Christ. The promotion of the homosexual agenda ought to disturb anyone, Christian or otherwise, who understands the full societal implications of accepting the premise that people are genetically programmed to think and act the way they do. Acceptance of that premise opens a Pandora's box which has the potential to undermine the fundamental idea (which is essential for a well ordered society) that it is legitimate to hold people accountable for their actions.
But even though I am disturbed by the promotion of the gay agenda, the gravity of that issue pales in comparison with the issue of abortion. Gay marriage, as offensive as it might be to those of us who understand the extent to which it undermines biblical definitions of marriage and family, does not involve the deliberate killing of more than a million people every year. Abortion does.
For many years, the liberals who have ruled the Democratic party have vehemently denied that faithful Christians deserved an equal voice with regard to matters of life and death, such as the issue of abortion. Anyone who dared to suggest that unborn children deserved legal protection from those who would deprive them of their right to life was assumed to be a fanatical zealot bent on returning America to the days of the Inquisition, even in the absence of evidence which would support such an assumption.
If indeed the Democratic party has finally realized how incredibly offensive and undemocratic that claim is and always was, that's great. The question is this: Will it eventually dawn on Democrats that their (allegedly) revised attitude about religion and religious people also requires a revision of attitudes about matters directly impacted by their longstanding hostility towards religion and towards people of faith? Or will they continue to parrot the same tired old arguments, which have long since been disproven, to the effect that the enactment of pro-life legislation would undermine the separation of church and state? That, to me, is the real issue.
No matter how "friendly" Barack Obama may seem towards religion and religious people, the bottom line, for me, is that his radical pro-abortion political views are contrary to everything that I believe good government ought to be. Protecting the most vulnerable members of our society from exploitation and abuse and the deprivation of their God-given rights is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of any legitimate government, whether one is talking about the elimination of slavery during the 19th century or the elimination of abortion during the 21st century. I have seen no persuasive evidence to suggest that there is any justification for the denial of such legal protections insofar as unborn children are concerned. It is not a matter of religious dogma, nor was it ever a matter of such dogma. One can make a strong case against legalized abortion without ever uttering a single argument which relies for its veracity upon religious premises (unless one is talking about the premise, which is explicitly stated in the Declaration of Independence, to the effect that human rights are inalienable for the precise reason that their origin is divine).
Barack Obama and others within the Democratic party would like you to believe that their party has turned over a new leaf. They would like you to believe that they are no longer hostile to Christians or to Christian values. But actions speak louder than words. When Democrats begin to demonstrate a newfound respect for the innate right to life of all human beings, from conception until the time of natural death, then their claims will begin to have some credibility. Until then, my advice is that you should view their claims with a great deal of skepticism. When it comes to electing the person who will lead the United States for the next four years, we would do well to worry less about the person's level of church attendance and the amount of religious rhetoric typically uttered by the person when making speeches, and to worry more about how that person's faith translates into policies which treat all human beings in a manner which is consistent with the faith which that person claims to possess. Neither party does this perfectly, to be sure, but it's my opinion that the party which condones the legal killing of more than one million unborn children every year has the worst record when it comes to respect for human rights, notwithstanding their claims to the contrary.