ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

African-American Churches: The New Battleground

Opinion Journal's Best Of The Web, an indispensable roundup of the news and politics (Kudos to James Taranto!), has an interesting section today discussing the rise of Christian Conservatives from outsiders to insiders within Washington. The press still treats them as weirdos (see the article about Sen John Thune), but the most interesting part is the following snippet:

The New York Times, meanwhile, looks at another interesting development involving the intersection between religion and politics:
A tug of war is under way inside black churches over who speaks for African-Americans and what role to play in politics, spurred by conservative black clergy members who are looking to align themselves more closely with President Bush.

At the heart of the debate, church leaders say, is whether to stay focused primarily on issues like job creation, education, affirmative action, prison reform and health care, which have drawn blacks closer to the Democratic Party, or whether to put more emphasis on issues of personal morality, like opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, which would place them deeper in the Republican camp.
In other words, black ministers are debating the same issues that concern all Americans--surely a sign of progress toward racial equality.
Now, this was clear display in Tavist Smiley's State of the Black Union conference a week ago (Part 1 and Part 2 from CSPAN), which I watched 1.5 times (caught the last 1/2 and watched the whole thing later in the weekend). Preachers that had met with Bush in the White House were called out by the panelists, but many in the crowd backed their leader's decision to meet with anyone in high office.

I think that the Democratic coalition, which is becoming more centered around the social philosophy of Vermont, is becoming antithetical to the message of the black churches, who preach personal responsibility, morality in private life, and an inner strength for individuals, etc. I think the one gap here is that some African-Americans still do not see that the economic philosophy's of the Left have not improved their lives one bit - instead of the cruel and inhumane slavery and second class citizenship of the past, they now are subjected to the "soft bigotry of low expectations" by their supposed leaders, their party, and government bureaucrats. I think once the message of free markets, education, and entrepreneurship begin to hit the African-American conversation, you'll start to see many votes peel away from the Democratic party, as they'll no longer represent the core issues of this constituency. One day, they'll return to the party of Lincoln and reject the party of Jefferson Davis, Woodrow Wilson (racist pig), Albert Gore Sr (voted against 1964 VRA), and Bobby "Sheets" Byrd.

During the conference, one of the biggest applause lines was "SCREW THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!" Now, this did come from Rev. Louis Farrakhan, so he was probably talking about creating a separatist party, but I'm sure some in the audience were thinking, "exactly... why do we throw our votes to them every year, without THINKING about it?"

***UPDATE***
Laura Ingraham is talking to Dr. O'Neil Dozier, who was one of the ministers that was "called out" by the black "leadership" at the State of the Black Union conference
***END UPDATE***

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler