Their post-defeat complaints about the party’s secularism will go unheeded.
In 2004, after the open secularism of John Kerry sunk his chances of defeating George W. Bush, it became briefly popular in Democratic circles to talk about renewed outreach to “values voters.” Bill Clinton had advised Kerry to fake up opposition to gay marriage in Ohio, but Kerry rejected his counsel, saying he didn’t want to appear “intolerant.” Even liberal Democrats like Nancy Pelosi browbeat Kerry for adopting a strategy that excluded the religious. “Certainly Democrats are faith-filled,” she said, “but somehow or other that did not come across when 61% of those who are regular churchgoers voted Republican.”
Out of these complaints came various con jobs: Hillary Clinton for a time revived her husband’s “safe, legal, and rare” hedging about abortion (which vanished during her 2016 run), Barack Obama delivered windy “post-partisan” speeches about a “new” relationship between politics and religion, “chaplains” would pop up at Democratic events to try and give a religious flavor to the proceedings, “people of faith” tabs were added to party Web pages, and so on.
But it didn’t take long for secularized Dems to grow tired of the posturing. By 2012, liberals had pressured Obama into giving up his phony temporizing about gay marriage and were demanding that any mention of God be stripped from the party’s platform. At its convention in Charlotte that year, delegates booed after party hacks restored the deleted line about God.
Obama, even as declared that America is “not a Christian nation” and persecuted the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious groups, kept up his quasi-religious uplift and his attempts to shoehorn Scripture into this or that progressive cause. But it was all a charade, which has now been confirmed by his own 2012 “faith-outreach” director, Michael Wear.
Wear has said that he almost quit after Obama dropped a pastor from his Inauguration for disagreeing with the Democratic line on gay marriage. In an interview with the Atlantic, Wear unloads on the Democrats for their indifference to Christians.
Asked why Trump swept evangelicals, he responded, “Liberals have been trying to convince Americans, and evangelicals in particular, that America is not a Christian nation. The 2016 election was evangelicals saying, ‘Yeah, you’re right! We can’t expect to have someone who is Christian like us. We can’t expect to have someone with a perfect family life. What we can expect is someone who can look out for us, just like every other group in this country is looking for a candidate who will look out for them.’”
Wear acknowledges that the party is staffed by secularists for whom Christianity is an annoying impediment to their policy agenda and culturally incomprehensible: “…there’s a religious illiteracy problem in the Democratic Party. It’s tied to the demographics of the country: More 20- and 30-year-olds are taking positions of power in the Democratic Party. They grew up in parts of the country where navigating religion was not important socially and not important to their political careers.” When Wear once tried to sprinkle a little Scripture into a faith-outreach document for Obama, White House staffers were too clueless to catch the reference, wondering what he meant by the “least of these.” He got an edit back from a White House official, saying, “Is this a typo? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Who/what are ‘these’?”
Wear’s comments are likely to generate nothing but a shrug from Democrats, who recognize that the party’s commitment to secularism, moral relativism, and Islamophilia are too deep to permit any serious Judeo-Christian outreach. To Wear or Alan Dershowitz, the message from the party is essentially the same: The exits of the party are clearly marked. The Dems have become the party of transgender bathrooms and Ramadan dinners, which explains why Congressman Keith Ellison is even in the running to head up the Democratic National Committee. Ties to the Nation of Islam are less fatal to a Democratic leader’s career than mild opposition to abortion or gay marriage.
In 2008, Obama played the pensive pol, pretending to care “about how to reconcile” America’s Judeo-Christian traditions “with our modern, pluralistic democracy.” He was advising his party not to moderate its positions but its rhetoric — a balancing act in which he quickly lost interest. He spent eight years in effect calling Christians bigots.
The door to the party for them had few cracks in it anyways, but Obama made sure to slam it shut, and it is too late to open it again.