Here’s a new take on the story of the Good Samaritan:
The Good Samaritan is walking down the road and cares for a stranger who has been beaten and robbed, [NC Democractic Rep David] Price said. The next day, on the same road, another person has been beaten and robbed. So it goes for another week — more robberies, more victims.
“How long is it going to take before the Samaritan says, ‘Hey, maybe we ought to patrol this road,’ ” Price said. In other words, the lawmaker argued, there are some problems that individuals can’t solve on their own. They require the resources of a morally responsible government.
Welcome to the New Big Government Version of the Bible. By adding just a little (OK, maybe more than a little) to Jesus’ parable, Representative Price has found a message Democrats can glom onto (interestingly, the original version of the parable is more about individual responsibility, so one could argue that Price has completely turned the story on its head).
So we are introduced to laughable article in today’s Washington Post entitled, “Helping Democrats Bridge the ‘God Gap’: Influential Dozen Show Political Leaders How to Connect With Religious Communities.”
Rather than cede red states to Republicans, the party is buying airtime on Christian radio stations, with the message that Democrats are indeed a party with deep moral convictions. [emphasis mine]
You’re probably wondering what they are (unless you’re a Democrat - then you probably know). Well, don’t expect to find a lot about that in this article (unless you count advocating more cops on the Jerusalem to Jericho beat, or maybe some fluff about the environment).
But you will find plenty about the process of reaching the washed. The Post lists twelve players who can help get the message out, including, for example, Illinois Senator Barak Obama (”The Blessed One” — I kid you not) and House staff member Burns Strider, who earns the nickname “The Matchmaker,” because he “shepherds the House Democratic Faith Working Group and corrals lawmakers into meetings with the religious community.” (corrals - that’s not a good choice of words).
But they must … be careful:
Some at Democratic Party headquarters are taking an under-the-radar approach to religious outreach and are reluctant to divulge all the party’s plans and advisers.
You never know who might be listening in. But wait! We do get to find out more:
“Our focus is not in putting someone behind a pulpit,” said Leslie Brown, the DNC’s “faith in action” coordinator. But after conducting polls, meeting with state party chairs and undertaking an “internal education,” Democrats are building a “message-driven machine,” Brown said. [emphasis mine]
Does anyone else see a problem here? It’s not about the message. It’s about the issues. National Association of Evangelical spokesman Rev. Richard Cizik says as much:
“Simply using ‘faith language’ won’t redound to the benefit of any candidate, Republican or Democrat, without some authenticity there,” Cizik said.
This isn’t to say that the Democrats are anti-religious. But they’re not going to turn things around with polls and “internal education.” And for many of us, they’re just on the wrong side of too many issues that matter.