Kathleen Parker, a Conservative-ish columnist, who a couple months ago got her name added to many a Washington DC Cocktail Party guestlist (just in time for the holiday social season) by calling on Sarah Palin to withdraw from the GOP ticket, offers her explanation of how Christian Conservatives of the “oogedy-boogedy” variety, like Governor Palin (which also means like me), can best serve the electoral prospects of the Republican Party.
Parker’s presciption is to stop mentioning the G-word, and make our arguments based on reason alone. There are a number of problems with that formulation, not the least of which is that the electoral “middle” is at least as detached from reason as it is from divine authority. I offer as Exhibit A the recent election of Barack Obama on the reason-free platform of Hope and Change.
In the spirit of non-originality, Kathleen Parker serves up the following shop-worn Moderate Republican analysis of GOP ills. “As long as the religious right is seen as controlling the Republican party, the GOP will continue to lose some percentage of voters, and that percentage likely will increase over time as younger voters shift away from traditional to more progressive values.” The remark would be, well, unremarkable if it were not succeeded by this masterpiece of Constitutional illiteracy: “The cause is not helped when someone of the stature of Rick Warren interviews the leading presidential candidates in his church, questioning them about their faith. If that’s not a religious test, I don’t know what is”[emphasis added]. I’ll take that final clause as a confession: that's right, Kathleen, you don’t know what is.
Well what can I say? I’m so sorry, Kathleen, that we "oogedy boogedy" Republicans are embarrassing you, but to be fair, you embarrass us with statements like, “The cause is not helped when someone of the stature of Rick Warren interviews the leading presidential candidates in his church, questioning them about their faith. If that’s not a religious test, I don’t know what is.”
Just as you like to think of the GOP as the Party of sophistication and reason, we yokels like to think of the Republican Party as the Party of constitutionally limited government. So, when one of our putatively more enlightened Party comrades, like yourself, suggests that the Constitutional prohibition against religious tests for national office binds individuals, rather than limiting the central government, we blush that our Party includes your ilk.
BUT, as they say, there's a lot more that unites us than divides us, so in the interests of promoting the triumph of our many shared ideals, we choose to link arms with you, even when you embarrass us by being Constitutionally -- well, what is the word I'm looking for? That's it, Oogedy Boogedy.