Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Democrats Can Come Clean About Their Liberal Religious Motivations
My colleague Ben Knoll and I were interviewed by Bill Goodman, of Kentucky Educational Television, for a podcast on religion and politics.
One development in this election that may shape the future of religion and politics: the explicit articulation of liberal Christian positions by the Democratic candidates. Hillary Clinton has long said that her politics have been shaped by the Methodist Social Creed, which she learned from her youth group leaders as a teenager. And Tim Kaine has exemplified Catholic Social Teaching, especially as propagated by Jesuits, all his life. Both have made their faith, and their religious motivations, central to their story in this campaign.
The Christian ethic of "care for the harmed" has long driven liberal political action. Usually, though, liberals who are religiously motivated don't say so publicly, for fear of "shoving their religion down other people's throats." Which is, seemingly paradoxically, one of the defining religious beliefs of religious liberals.
I hope after this election that candidates in both parties will feel equally free to talk about their religious motives and religious conclusions in shaping their policies and commitments.