They still don't get it. If you want to see why Democrats keep
losing national elections, look no further than the most recent
controversy over President Bush's judicial nominations.
GOP majority leader Bill Frist will participate this Sunday in a
conservative Christian telecast that denounces Democrats for
threatening to filibuster the nominations. "The filibuster was once
abused to protect racial bias," declared the Family Research
Council, which is sponsoring the telecast, "and it is now being used
against people of faith."
And the Democrats' response? "I cannot imagine that God ... is
going to take the time to debate the filibuster in heaven," Sen.
Richard Durbin (D) of Illinois said Friday, denouncing Senator Frist
for lending his name to the campaign. "God does not take part in
partisan politics," echoed Senate minority leader Harry Reid.
That's bad history, and even worse politics. Every great movement
for social justice in America has been powered by religious
sentiment. Instead of demanding that conservatives omit religion
from politics, liberals should reclaim the religious mantle
Start with the battle against slavery in the early 1800s. "I
accuse the land of my nativity of insulting the majesty of Heaven
with the grossest mockery that was ever exhibited to man," thundered
William Lloyd Garrison, the abolitionist. Slavery wasn't simply
"unfair" or "inequitable," terms of choice of today's Democrats. It
was an iniquity, a sin against God.
So was the brutal exploitation of American laborers after the
Civil War, when robber barons piled up millions of dollars in profit
while workers languished in poverty. That's why the United Mine
Workers Journal cited the Bible in an 1894 attack on greedy mine
operators. "What was right in the time of Moses, Mordecai and Ehud
will be right forever," the UMW raged. "God shall save the children
of the needy, and shall break into pieces the oppressor."
At the 1912 convention of the Progressive Party, which endorsed
women's suffrage and a federal income tax, delegates sang "Onward
Christian soldiers." During the Depression, Democrats routinely
cited the Sermon on the Mount - "Blessed are the meek, for they
shall inherit the earth" - on behalf of welfare relief and other New
Deal measures. Christian rhetoric suffused the African-American
civil rights struggle after World War II. "If we are wrong, God
Almighty is wrong!" Martin Luther King, Jr. declared in 1955. "If we
are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never
came down to earth. …