The power of religion in American politics

By Tom Quiner

I received this e-mail today:

“I’ll be at the Republican District Convention this Saturday. It seems to me that Catholics and everyone in general are able to speak and be heard /tolerated in our local Republican Party in Iowa. That is the party where we landed in 1988 when we were no longer able to speak in defense of the Right to Life and be respectfully heard in the Democratic Party.”

In other words, Catholics are not treated with respect by the Democratic Party if they are vocal on critical Church issues, such as Life and freedom of religion.

Democrats are making a huge mistake in their drift toward secularism. This was a party that once warmly embraced the faithful. My fervent prayer is that they become that party once again.

What they fail to grasp is the power of religion in American politics. The ascension of the religious Right gets all the press. But the faithful abound in the middle, too.

Moderate social justice voters, so many of whom are Catholic, swing elections. These voters care about the pre-born and traditional marriage. They believe in religious freedom.

Democrats are losing these people.

Republicans can win them by presenting an agenda that balances intelligence and responsible public policy with compassion and justice.

Polling shows that with each passing year, more and more voters are becoming committed pro-lifers. The mainstream media provides tepid coverage of pro life events, if they cover it all.

But the news on the growing movement for Life can’t be suppressed with expanded social media and blog outlets.

The e-mail concluded:

“We aren’t that active in the party but we do our civic duty and participate and have been present to make sure the pro life plank stays in the platform here. It has been challenged repeatedly through the years.”

Republicans would be wise to remember this writer’s words.

The pro-life plank is critical to the faithful.

This election will very well swing to the Republicans on this issue alone on votes cast by faithful Catholics.