I Don't Believe In Kathleen Parker

Oh, brother.
As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.

Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.

I'm bathing in holy water as I type.

To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh.

Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth -- as long as we're setting ourselves free -- is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.

Others have already called her out (see for example, Can I Pray For A Smiting? and this), so I won't belabor the elitist bigotry aspect of the story. I will highlight a few other matters, however.

Sigh. We've only had this conversation every election cycle of my entire life, so I guess it isn't going to go away; it's that it should be treated as anything fresh rather than 1976 re-tread that gets me. (And, pardon me, but who is Kathleen Parker anyway?)

Sigh. Are there any politicians --people who understand politics-- left in the GOP? Read my lips, people: no one ever won an election by pronouncing anathemas. Parties are coalitions. The GOP money-bundlers are country-club Republicans. The party can't campaign without them. The grassroots get-out-the-vote types are values voters. The party doesn't win without them. The mutual efforts every two years to kick each other out in the name of party purity is self-indulgent death-eating.

Sigh. At the deepest level, what used to be the galvanizing idea of the GOP was individual liberty --and even those who didn't talk about religion understood that the health of the traditional family is the building block of civil liberty.

Parker is right about this:

like it or not, we are a diverse nation, no longer predominantly white and Christian. The change Barack Obama promised has already occurred, which is why he won.
And this:
It isn't that culture doesn't matter. It does. But preaching to the choir produces no converts. And shifting demographics suggest that the Republican Party -- and conservatism with it -- eventually will die out

Just not about the end of the sentence

unless religion is returned to the privacy of one's heart where it belongs.
As the referenda defending marriage show, actually "religious" questions are winners. Conservatives and the GOP broadly DO need to articulate their principles for a new generation that has no memory of Reagan and doesn't understand the allusion when we talk about Reagan Democrats, Reagan federalism, blah-de-blah.

We had dinner sometime during the summer with several evangelicals who were talking about the evangelical movement towards environmentalism and other such.... They were of the opinion that this shift is more about young evangelicals asserting that Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell do not speak for them. It wasn't a rejection of traditional marriage and the pro-life cause, just a longing for these principles to be articulated anew.

Here's a question for Parker: Should Rick Warren be run out of the GOP as a purveyor of oogity-boogity? Or did he, in fact, provide the campaign season's only rational and thoughtful forum of ideas?