One would think that a country that is fighting theocracies and sacrificing American soldiers’ lives in the Middle East might learn something and be a bit less inclined to want to implement a theocracy in its own land, but nevermind.
Pew Research has been conducting research on religion in American politics for a number of years. Here is what they have found in their most recent study:
Slightly more than half of the public (54%) says that churches should keep out of politics, compared with 40% who say religious institutions should express their views on social and political matters. This is the third consecutive poll conducted over the past four years in which more people have said churches and other houses of worship should keep out of politics than said they should express their views on social and political topics. By contrast, between 1996 and 2006 the balance of opinion on this question consistently tilted in the opposite direction.
In other words, it appears that churches and religious organizations have over-played their hands in politics — and people have noticed and have become increasingly uncomfortable about it.
I found one chart particularly interesting. It compared perceptions of religious talk within the Republican Party using Santorum supporters vs. Romney supporters. The differences between these two groups is stark. One candidate has more support from the Theocracy crowd and the other has more support among those who think religion ought to stay out of politics. While this is no surprise to those of us who are watching the Republicans play out their primaries, it certainly does paint a picture of an essentially fractured party — with religion being the cause of the injury. As you can see from this chart, Romney voters’ numbers match Democratic numbers far more closely on the question of Church and State, which would seem to indicate in an obvious way that Rick Santorum has a better chance of seeing God (excuse the appropriate pun) than he has of winning a November matchup with Barack Obama.
I haven’t found a serious study recently addressing what effect the Republican Theocratic lawmaking attempts at both the Congressional and State levels has had on their targeted gender: women. I would love to see an organization like Pew tackle that one.
It is highly possible that all these lawmaking attempts have had a profound effect that could help Barack Obama have his second term. This is what made Obama’s decision to deliberately drop the Contraception Bomb upon them a move of pure Genius–at women’s expense, of course. So what else is new?
It does seem apparent that Obama knew the Contraception Bomb he lobbed over the fence would throw the Republican Theocrats into a frenzy–and I am sure they have even exceeded his expectations, thus increasing Obama’s previously dismal poll numbers among women without him lifting a finger. I think the Republican theocratic legislators at the Congressional and State levels know this bizarro Mullah-Like behavior is a funeral dirge with respect to women’s votes, but for some odd, reason they just don’t care. There doesn’t seem to be any other explanation. It’s almost as if they can’t help themselves and are afflicted with a kind of legislative Tourette’s Syndrome. Seriously.
The Get -Religion- Out- Of- Politics (once easily recognized as Separation of Church and State) question isn’t just a gender issue either. Here is how the opinion rolls out among the two parties and among the valuable Independent voters. Once again, you can see that, over a period of the last decade, the Theocrats have most definitely over-played their hand and are eerily sticking their fingers into their ears and humming while they continue on without regard to the rest of the country:
The blame – or the source of Pride- depending on how you look at the situation, rests with the Evangelical portion of the voter base. Unaffiliated voters are obviously extremely uncomfortable with the insertion of religion into politics. However, this chart is a clear indicator that even among Religious-affiliated people, the feverish Theocratic talk and lawmaking attempts are making more of their own uncomfortable–except for the rigid Evangelicals. Note the double-digit increases in the number of educated, Mainline Protestant and Catholic voters who think there is too much religion talk in politics. It’s my guess that Rick Santorum’s extremist rhetoric and papal aspirations may have stimulated much of this increase. It’s also highly possible that the the increase in evangelizing in government forums, along with the increased spattering of bizarro and obviously theocratic laws and bills throughout the country, have all contributed to this growing uneasiness among Americans.
I’m no fossil, but I’m no kid either, and I remember when religion was never or only rarely mentioned in schools and government, beyond the God Bless America line. Except in the case of private schools operated by religious sects, I don’t ever remember a prayer in school of any kind, other than a moment of silence for serious events, such as the assassination of Kennedy. Beyond that, nobody even knew what anybody’s religion was or even if they had a religion. There was no such thiing as a “prayer group”. Kids went to Junior Achievement clubs, they worked on the school paper, but I never saw any religious clubs or arguments over prayer, and I come from a highly Catholic population area. The only time you felt a religion front and center was at a funeral or a wedding. Beyond that, it was personal and a family affair. I do remember that one day a week, kids could sign up for “religious instruction,” and got released from school an hour early, during which they would go off-site to their church-designated place to talk about God. It was strictly voluntary. So the assumption that all of this religiosity needs to be “put back” in America, in its schools and everywhere else, is just raw bullshit. It was never a big issue and it is being inserted by force, not “Put back”. But then, I grew up as a “Yankee,” which translates into “heathen” much in the same way all Americans are considered “Infidels” by yet another intrusive Theocracy. One thing we DID do every day, though, was Pledge Of Allegiance and nobody, I mean nobody, resisted. There was a great deal more love of Country then. A GREAT deal.
I’m not sure where all of this frenzied and increasing religious tampering with America’s laws will take the Republican Party, but if it doesn’t end and the emerging Republican candidate is forced to continue to pander to these frenzied Theocrats, it doesn’t look good for them in November. Not at all. Not even God will be able to help them.
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