Monday, July 30, 2007

The dreaded "R" word in Democratic Politics

I'm not talking about the words, republican, reform, regressive or even right-wing. I'm talking about the squishiest of subjects: RELIGION.

One of my professors in college used to joke that politics was his religion. But why is it so awkward for us Democrats to talk about religion and so hard for Republicans to believe we Democrats can be religious?

There has been much fervor over a certain candidate's religion on the Republican side and it seems as if, during the Republican debates, the candidates are all trying to 'out-religion' one another. It's almost as if the relationship each one has with God defines who he is and makes him the most qualified to be the President.

The same can be said of the Democrats as well. In a recent Time magazine cover story, it discusses how the Democrats are trying to 'out-religion' one another.

However, I feel as if the article's title is a bit of a misnomer: How the Democrats Got Religion. What I find eternally frustrating is that people talk about Democrats being religious as if it's a new thing when all along, we've been just as religious as the Republicans just not so overt. Unlike the other side, we haven't thrown in it the electorate's face in order to get votes. It's always been there--just not a major platform tenet.

If there is one thing religion taught me growing up, it is that we must do whatever we can to help those who cannot help themselves. When telling people of my political past I often say that usually parents convert their children into being a member of one party or another but in my case, I converted my parents. Being raised in the LDS faith taught me to help the downtrodden, to stand up for those who do not have a voice, to fight for what I believe is true. So, naturally, I became a Democrat.

A lot of my friends are not religious at all. I find this interesting. My personal religious transformation taken many routes and I am proud to be a Christian--even if there are people who say I can not be a true Christian and a Democrat.

I feel that Jesus, if he were alive today, would be a Democrat.

(The Time article also calls Romney "politically elastic." That makes me giggle and wonder if they know about his extensive plastic surgery).