"Faithful" Democrats Tackle Their God Problem

| Tue Sep. 5, 2006 3:20 PM EDT

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The latest liberal/progressive effort to counter the broad impression that Democrats are devil-worshippers--or whatever it is that pious Middle America thinks they are--is this nifty website, Faithful Democrats. Launched by one David Wilhelm, an Ohio investment banker and churchgoing Methodist -- and not officially affiliated with the Democratic Party (nudge, wink) -- the site bills itself as an online Christian community and boasts a pretty impressive roster of bloggers and writers, all at pains to convey that Democrats can too be religious.

USA Today has a piece today about the site in which Jim Wallis of Sojourners (inevitably) pops up to say, "Some Democrats or some interest groups in the party act as what I call secular fundamentalists and have a disdain for people of faith or talk of spiritual values. Democrats are foolish to go down that road. They have done that to some extent, and they've paid for it." This view has become almost a cliche in Democratic circles, of course, but judging by the polls there's something to it. A recent Pew survey has 47 percent of folks viewing the Republican Party as friendly to religion, but only 26 percent seeing Democrats that way.

And proving that miracles do happen, even DNC chair Howard Dean, who once famously located the Book of Job in the New Testament, has got with the program: the DNC will shortly announce its own "faith advisory team" of religious leaders to, as a spokesperson puts it, "provide counsel, direction and a sounding board as we reach out to people of faith."

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