August 13, 2008
Obama Appeals to Religious Voters
by Mike McManus
In a radical change from 2004 when most Catholics and active Protestants
voted for a Republican President - today most religious Americans are
leaning toward the Democrat, Sen. Barack Obama, who is cleverly seeking
their support, despite his very liberal stand on many issues.
Pollster George Barna reported this week that Obama is "maintaining a
substantial 43% to 34% lead among those likely to vote in November,
with 5 percent selecting minor party candidates." That is a slight
decline from his 50% - 35% split in early June.
In 2006 white evangelical and born-again Protestants did an excellent
job registering new voters, so that they formed 24% of the electorate,
and they voted 70% Republican. The 15% of those who never attend
church voted 67% for Democrats.
However, in 2008, McCain has lost much of the Republicans traditional
religious base. Barna reports that McCain has support from only one of
19 faith communities in America, deeply committed Evangelicals by 61% to
17%. However they are only 8% of the nation. Catholics voted for Bush in
2004, but lean to Obama by a 34% to 24%, with many undecided. Even
born-again Protestants support Obama by 43% to 31%, virtually the same
margin among all Protestants (43% to 34%).
The only good news for McCain is that Obama's support among religious
voters has been dropping in recent months, by 11- 13 points among both
Protestants and Catholics.
Obama has cleverly made himself attractive to the religiously active.
His comments on Father's Day that black fathers needed to do a better
job parenting their kids won praise. This Saturday he will participate
in a Presidential Forum with Rev. Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose
Driven Life," and the subject of a TIME cover story this week.
Pastor Warren says the Forum will give American voters a more thorough
understanding of the "faith, values, character, competence, leadership
convictions and worldview" of both nominees. The two-hour Forum will
also be addressing what Warren calls "pressing issues that are bridging
divides in our nation, such as poverty, HIV/AIDs, climate and human
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, is so disturbed
by the patina of respectability that Warren is according to Obama that
he has organized "A Call to Prayer" on the National Mall on August 16,
the same day as the Warren broadcast. Among the speakers will be former
Gov. Mike Huckabee and Bishop Harry Jackson, Chairman of a coalition of
large African American churches. Perkins hopes hundreds of thousands
will attend the all day event.
"As both sides gear up for the conventions this month, one thing is
clear. This is not your grandparents' Democratic Party. Same-sex
marriage, abortion-on-demand, Comprehensive sex education," Perkins
asserts.. They all add up to the most radical platform ever to make an
appearance as the Democratic convention. For the first time in history,
the Democratic planks will call for the repeal of the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA). Although the last Democratic President, Bill
Clinton, was the one who signed the DOMA into law, Sen. Obama is adamant
about repealing it, an act that would leave every state in America at
risk of being forced to recognize homosexual marriage."
However, some prominent conservative Evangelicals and Catholics had
praise this week for a modification of the Democratic Party's platform
on abortion. While it "unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's
right to choose a safe and legal abortion," for the first time it agreed
on the the need to "reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and
thereby also reduce the need for abortion."Another new position is this:
"The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman's decision to have
a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre and
post health care, parenting skills, income support and caring adoption
Prof.. Douglas Mniec of Pepperdine University Law School and former
Reagan Justice Dept. official and a Catholic, helped add that language
to the Democratic Platform. "No expectant mother should feel compelled
or coerced to take the tragic choice of taking the life of their own
children. It incorporates an alternative way to help those women. This
is an historic moment and platform and does much for women, though it
fall short of the Catholic position that abortion is an intrinsic evil.
Pastor Joel Hunter, author of "A New Kind of Conservative" and former
President of the Christian Coalition, and a Republican said, "Barack
Obama has taken an historic and courageous step to empower women,
recognizing not only women's right to choose an abortion, but also to
choose life. More lives will be saved.
30+ Years / 1700+ Columns
2017: Column 1861: Cohabitation: A Growing Problem - Part II
Cohabitation: A Growing Problem - Part I
Texting While Driving - A Killer
Why Have "Religious Nones" Tripled?
Norma McCorvey Roe of Roe v. Wade
The Worst Valentine: Cohabitation
Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
Christianity Gives Women Equal Opportunity
Sextortion Kills Teens
Assisted Suicide Is Growing
same sex marriage,
abortion and infanticide,