Indeed. However, that doesn’t take away from the writer’s point that non-Christian politicians face an uphill battle in the US, at least in many parts of the country.
There is a lag time for sure. Being a Mormon Christian did hurt Romney with his run for Republican, for example. Xenophobia is a battle that conservatives have to wage against themselves for sure.
There is a tough sell for sure as well as to whether or not non-Christians can and do share in the Judeo-Christian values. It was a tough sell at one time for theCatholics and the Kennedys too, at one time.
Personally, I do believe that a Hindu or a Buddhist or even an atheist and many others can and do share in this heritage. There is a big difference between Judeo-Christian values, and Jewish and Christian theology after all.
I wasn’t trying to take away from the writers point, by the way. I just don’t think that conservatives need to make apologies for adherence to something that has contributed to the greatness of America.
Sen. Elizabeth Dole, facing electoral defeat, tried to tap into this in 2008 with last minute TV ad suggesting that her Democrat opponent was somehow in league with “godless” interests.
Americans still are not comfortable with the godless. For me, just in a political sense, it seems like a very pragmatic that human rights come from God rather than a constitution or a government. One nation under God, the self evidence of the truths of human rights coming directly from the Creator is actually quite genius, whether or not a person may actually believe in God or not. This is in direct contrast to the former European system of Lords and Absolute Monarchies such as Louis XIV, the Sun king, literal demi-gods in their own right, or even the medieval political steward popes who are in the stead of God until Christ’s return. It is in fact very Jewish in its mistrust of man’s ability to rule where even a the ultra-heroic King David is presented as abusing his power to kill the husband of the damsel he covets.
Rights ultimately do not come from the state. They come from God. They are untouchable therefore. they are greater than Pope, or Emperor or King.
Dirty politics aside, this is a sound principle, well worth believing in. Even atheists ought not to be ‘godless’, in the American political sense of the word at least.
As Estesbob noted, the bias against non-Christians isn’t limited to just Republicans. However, I think such bias is more pronounced in certain strains of conservatism, and thus might be more influential within the Republican party.
This is a very good reason for being conservative too. E plubius unum—out of the many one—expects that all who aspire to secular government not just adhere, but pay homage to these fundamental American values. Leftist Americans today are often stressing just the opposite, multiculturalism, out of the one many in effect.
Again it is not a question of theology, but it is a recognition that there are religious ideals that are fundamentally at odds with the Judeo-Christian foundations of America.
Yes, that was my first reaction, too. Its not a source I would use (and have avoided in the past.)
However, the author is an associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York. And his article has been picked up by a print magazine, which I have never heard of, but which is published in the US, UK and Australia.
It wasn’t a bad article at all actually. My main difference with the author is that he sees the strength of Judeo-Christian values in the Republican party as something worthy of criticism. I see it as something worthy of praise.
Truth be told, many of the core values of Judeo-Chritian traditions are not all that far removed from the basic socially conservatism of many of the Asian and third world immigrants immigrants anyways. And what is lacking in their own indigenous religious and cultural milieu is what draws everyone to the USA in the first place.
There was a time in American politics when it would have been the skin tone of a Jindal that would have precluded him from a southern government of any party. There was a time too when even Catholics like JFK had to convince liberals and Democratic voters that his primary allegiance was not to the pope, but to the Judeo-Christian values of his country.
This was actually a good litmus test for him too, and what is unfortunate is that Democrats have dropped that litmus test and choose to follow the more divisive route of multiculturalism and identity politics.
Like for Kennedy before, it will be more difficult for sure, for a Hindu or a Sikh or a Shinto etc. to convince the Republican voter that they share common values in spite of theological differences. But the thing is, it is America’s Judeo-Christian heritage that makes America unique and exceptional and it is that heritage that has made America attractive to so many immigrants in the first place.
This really ought to be the goal of any political party who yet believes in American exceptionalism. It is just too bad that it is only the Republican party that holds that as an American principle now.