What’s the difference between the red and blue states? Here are some answers: Our Secularist Democratic Party (from The Public Interest), and The “morality gap” is becoming the key variable in American politics (from The Atlantic Monthly).
The Public Interest piece documents the obvious truth that the story of the “culture wars” is the reverse of that presented by the major media. It was not extremist evangelicals but sectarian secularists who staged a takeover of a major political party and other public institutions, and so injected religious and moral issues into politics. It is also the latter who are most energized by fear and hatred of a social and religious minority. While surveys aren’t perfect, it’s indicative that a quarter of American whites appear to hate fundamentalists as much as the the most anti-semitic 1 percent hate Jews. Not that you’ll hear any of this from the major media, for whom the “religious right” is a bogeyman and “secularist” a non-category. Their leaders at The New York Times are too busy puffing non-existent divisions among traditionally religious voters (for example, in the 125 pieces they ran about Bush’s willingness to speak at Bob Jones U, something very few Catholics cared about).
The Atlantic piece has some analysis relating to a issue we’ve touched on before: that there’s an important link between sexual oddity or looseness, rejection of objective moral order, and the sort of managerial welfare state liberalism for which the modern Democratic Party (and our rulers generally) stand. Not surprisingly, considering the source, it ends with a recommendation that Bush and the Republicans avoid social issues.