The Christianists and the Democrats
That was an encouraging story by David Kirkpatrick on the potential unraveling of the fusion of Christianism and the GOP. But I found the ramifications for the Democratic race interesting as well. The one person who could truly breathe life into the dry bones of Christianism is She Who Is Inevitable:
Many conservative Christian leaders say they can count on the specter of a second Clinton presidency to fire up their constituents. But the prospect of an Obama-Giuliani race is another matter. “You would have a bunch of people who traditionally vote Republican going over to Obama,” said the Rev. Donald Wildmon, founder of the Christian conservative American Family Association of Tupelo, Miss., known for its consumer boycotts over obscenity or gay issues.
In the Wichita churches this summer, Obama was the Democrat who drew the most interest. Several mentioned that he had spoken at Warren’s Saddleback church and said they were intrigued.
It's a dangerous path for Obama to fuse his politics with religion as well, of course. But Christianism that is not ideologically monolithic, while still troubling, is not as dangerous as the current one-party variety. Democrats need to grapple with this: if you worry about the Christianist right, Clinton is a big problem. She will do more to revive and unite the religious right than any Republican candidates can. Obama will be much more likely deflate and divide them.