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A Party on Its Knees

Who knew Democrats had such pious longings?

By 11.5.04

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Normally Democrats urge their candidates to expunge God and morality from politics. Even the word morality grates on them. It is a far too judgment-laden term for their taste. How about the insipid term "ethics"? Okay, if you must -- goes the attitude -- but don't use the loaded term "morality." Yet what are we now hearing from the Mike Barnicles and Nancy Pelosis? That Kerry didn't talk about God enough. That he failed to satisfy the public's hunger for spirituality and morality. Like children who recently learned a new phrase, liberals are giving Kerry a post-mortem drubbing for not speaking to the "moral values" of America.

Tina Brown, a high-brow vulgarian who has bragged about tarting up the New Yorker, turned prim in Thursday's Washington Post. "Who among us," she wrote, "is not sick and tired of hearing the Cialis ad discuss four-hour erections while we're sitting there trying to watch TV with the kids?" Brown related that she chats with other moms about "how much we worry and strategize and push back against the tsunami of pop culture sleaze that seeps into our kids' psyches."

Who knew Democrats had such pious longings? Who knew sexual, let's-not-repress-the-children liberationists had such distaste for Cialis ads? Tina Brown even dropped the pom-poms for Anthony Lewis's wife, Margaret Marshall, the Massachusetts Chief justice who, as Brown put it, "forced her state to authorize gay marriage." Forced? Boy, that's a very right-wing way of putting it. Usually the left says "freed." Karl Rove should give her a "big bouquet," said a piqued Brown. Got that, Marshall? Don't ever turn up the heat so fast that the frogs jump out again. Remember, duping the American people into avant-garde morality takes time and finesse and you lack it. No more invites to Tina Brown's parties for you.

Nancy Pelosi's secularism also took a rare day off after Kerry lost. Now she, too, longs for a little more old-fashioned religion in the public square. She is telling fellow Democrats to be more conspicuous about their faith. "Democrats did not connect well enough with the American people," she told CNN. "Certainly Democrats are faith-filled. Certainly we love our country, and we're very patriotic, but somehow or other that did not come across when 61% of those who are regular churchgoers voted Republican -- voted for President Bush, and when 22% of Americans gave its highest number to what determined their vote to issues relating to morality, more than the economy, more than terrorism."

Act on your faith, Democrats, wear religion on your sleeve -- that's now the message from Democrats who find it very "troubling" that we have a president who…acts on his faith. "I believe that we have it within us," exhorted Pelosi. "I know that many of the people who are in politics on the Democratic side do so according to the -- the gospel of Matthew and indeed the Bible, but we don't demonstrate it clearly enough and faith is such an important part of the lives of most people in our country. They want to know that we identify with that."

After spending the last few years trying to pry slabs of the Ten Commandments out of public courthouses, remove God from the pledge, deny public money to faith-based charities, and harass the Boy Scouts, it takes a lot of gall for these Democrats to give Kerry a hard time for insufficient religiosity. Has the ACLU been alerted to this new threat yet? Pelosi has given the green light to a new crop of theocratic Democrats.

Actually, Kerry did talk about God quite a bit in the campaign. The third line of his campaign biography stated that "John Kerry was raised in the Catholic faith and continues to be an active member of the Catholic Church." The problem wasn't that he failed to talk about God. The problem was that the American people didn't believe him. When he emerged from church on Ash Wednesday with ash on his head, the American people didn't see faith but phoniness. Picking up a bible on his visit to black churches didn't help him any more than picking up a rifle in Ohio.

The American people didn't respond to his religiosity, because they knew it was religiosity without religion. Democrats can talk and talk about God, but who's going to believe them when their agenda is to nullify the Ten Commandments? Since their rhetoric doesn't match reality, Americans rightly tune them out. "I have a commitment to faith" sounded from Kerry's mouth as convincing as "I have a commitment to national security." Democrats can't talk about faith, then endorse partial-birth abortion and expect the American people to take them seriously, any more than they should expect the American people to take them seriously when they talk about American sovereignty and endorse "global tests."

In his lunging attacks on Bush's religion, Kerry often said that "faith without deeds is dead." The American people ended up agreeing with him -- about his.

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About the Author
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author, with Phyllis Schlafly, of the new book, No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.