Liberal Contempt for Religious Believers

(This piece originally appeared on December 20, 2010. Given the Obama Administration’s recent decision to force Catholics to fund contraception against their religious beliefs, I thought I would repost this, as it remains all too timely.)

Yesterday I read this piece on how Democrats gave up trying to reach out to people of religious faith. I didn’t know that Democrats had seven people working on the faith-based outreach efforts in the 2008 election cycle, or that they made small but measurable inroads among evangelical voters (to go along with their inroads among theoretically conservative pundits with a fetish for well-creased pants legs). In the 2010 election cycles, those seven staffers were down to one.

But missing from the article is the most obvious reason for the decline of religious voters in the Democratic Party: the naked contempt liberals exhibit for religious believers. This contempt can be found in pretty much every online forum where liberals gather.

In the liberal worldview, believers are bitter people clinging to guns and religion. They’re rubes and dupes who believe in an invisible sky wizard, and are to be made fun of at every chance with the Flying Spaghetti Monster. They just can’t help but feeling contempt for those inbred redneck freaks of Jesusland.

There’s a double-standard liberals seem to apply when judging professions of faith: When they come from Republicans like George W. Bush or Sarah Palin, they’re a sign that they’re morons, when they come from Democrats like John Kerry or Barack Obama, they’re a sign they’re canny politicians. Democratic insiders just naturally assume than any expression of faith on behalf of a Democratic office-seeker is just for show, and they don’t really believe any of that God nonsense.

Not all liberals have this contempt, but I suspect that it is the default attitude of those staffing liberal organizations and congressional offices: We, the enlightened few, must somehow find a way to dumb down our message about the wonders of Big Government enough so even those ignorant religious hicks can understand it. It’s hard to make your case to people who fill you with contempt. But more and more, contempt for people who don’t believe in the virtues of big government seem to be the only thing holding the left together. Well, that and divying up the spoils.

Of course, not all believers are considered equal. Though the urban secular atheists who make up the core of modern liberalism theoretically have the same attitude toward all religious faiths, their true animosity is generally reserved for Christianity in general, and evangelicals and Catholics in particular. (Muslims are exempt for this contempt, due to the Religion of Peace™ now being at apex of Identity Politics Victimhood, and their tendency to decapitate critics seems to provide a powerful deterrent to liberal criticism.) After all, they’re the ones clinging so bitterly to guns and religion, and therefore thwarting liberal dreams election after election.

Keep in mind that I myself am not a religious believer; as an agnostic, I have no God in this fight. But I’m a great believer in the social utility of religion.

If liberals actually wanted to reach out to religious believers, they might want to start by substituting respect for naked contempt. How likely is that? Well, for an answer, you might look to the fable of the frog and the scorpion

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4 Responses to “Liberal Contempt for Religious Believers”

  1. Earl Cooley III says:

    Paragraph 3: [*], plz.

  2. Earl Cooley III says:

    p.s.: The scorpion in the fable is the Republican, right? The poor Democrat frog isn’t going to be allowed to have affordable health-care, even if the scorpion has to commit murder-suicide to make sure.

  3. toddhisattva says:

    What is the difference between Liberalism (in its current American ahistorical usage) and a faith-based religion? And here, I mean blind faith that is impervious to evidence and examination.

    They both have a name “shell game” – Allah is not God, Liberalism is not Socialism, blah blah blah.

    They’re both intensely moralistic and have no qualms about using government to force others to believe, or at least obey, upon threat of imprisonment and/or death.

    They appeal to the gullible with pie in the sky and saccharine sentimentality. If you believe, your disease will be cured by a Bureaucrat, or you get seventy-two virgins. Polar bears are the new Baby Jesus.

    They are experts at scapegoating. The bourgeoisie (lit. city-dwellers, i.e. civilized people), the Jews, Wal-Mart, get scolded, hounded, and terminated. Scapegoating makes their victims deserving, and faith allows millions to be killed without guilt. Oh, that was the Communists, who are not Socialists, because Elohim are not Allah nor Ea nor God.

    I’d say, there is no difference. Liberalism is a religion based on blind and blinding faith; like any such religion, it hates all the others.

  4. Earl Cooley III says:

    That a pretty clear-cut fallacy of false equivalence.

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