Coons biases are showing nakedly in this essay in which he says Democrats need to talk about their faith, using the example of Sherrod Brown, who got all this attention from the electorate for openly making a big deal of his Christian beliefs. So, he argues, everyone needs to make it part of their stump speech.
What’s implied is that this is a fine strategy for Christians.
Unfortunately, choosing not to talk much—or even at all—about faith and religion has become common in today’s Democratic Party. That choice, I believe, is the wrong one for two important reasons.
First, it hides away the deep, passionate, and formative faith backgrounds of so many Democrats who are seeking or serving in office. At our weekly Senate prayer breakfasts, for example, I’m consistently inspired and moved by the words of my colleagues whose faith is fundamental to their life and their work, but who rarely talk about it publicly.
Second, choosing not to talk about our faith as Democrats ignores the clear fact that America is still an overwhelmingly religious country, and that the Democratic Party, too, remains a coalition largely made up of people of faith—including tens of millions who identify as deeply religious.
I guarantee you that if I were running for office (fortunately, I’m not) Coons would be telling me to hush about the atheism thing. If I were Muslim and running for the presidency, my religion would be a huge issue; that’s a campaign that wouldn’t even get off the ground, all because people like Coons and Brown are making their Christianity a ploy in their run for office.
Someone like Coons would not be
consistently inspired and moved by the words of a godless colleague, or one who worshipped Allah, or a Satanist friend. The implication is that only the dominant beliefs in a culture are worthy, and should be expressed loudly, and anyone else should shut up.
How about if instead we recognized that your goofy, irrelevant, evidence-free beliefs should not be part of our government, directly or indirectly, and that making it a prominent part of a campaign is pandering to a biased segment of the electorate? That goes for atheists who might make it a central feature of their campaign for office. I want to know your position on the issues and your proposed solutions, not what phantasm (or absence thereof) you talk to.