That's especially frustrating considering this:
Via Boston Globe, hat tip Philocrites:
The state with the lowest divorce rate in the nation is Massachusetts. At latest count it had a divorce rate of 2.4 per 1,000 population, while the rate for Texas was 4.1.
But don't take the US government's word for it. Take a look at the findings from the George Barna Research Group. George Barna, a born-again Christian whose company is in Ventura, Calif., found that Massachusetts does indeed have the lowest divorce rate among all 50 states. More disturbing was the finding that born-again Christians have among the highest divorce rates.
The Associated Press, using data supplied by the US Census Bureau, found that the highest divorce rates are to be found in the Bible Belt. The AP report stated that "the divorce rates in these conservative states are roughly 50 percent above the national average of 4.2 per thousand people." The 10 Southern states with some of the highest divorce rates were Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. By comparison nine states in the Northeast were among those with the lowest divorce rates: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Kevin Drum points out what is emerging as the conventional wisdom:
Can I change my mind about the most important event of the campaign? ...I'll plump for the Massachusett's Supreme Court's decision to legalize gay marriage. The result was nearly a dozen initiatives across the country to ban gay marriage and a perfect wedge issue for Republicans.
Of course Amy Sullivan hits the nail on the head:
...I gotta say, it doesn't help much when exit polls and sloppy reporting use terms like "moral values" and "moral issues" as shorthand for very narrow, divisive issues like abortion and gay marriage, feeding into twenty years of Republican rhetoric. Opposition to the war in Iraq is a moral issue. The alleviation of poverty is a moral issue. Concern about abortion is a moral value, yes, but you can stay at the level of empty rhetoric about a "culture of life" or you can talk about how to actually reduce abortion rates, which is what most people care about more. (Did you hear once during this election season that abortion rates have risen under W. after they fell dramatically during Clinton's eight years in office?)
"Religious" does not mean Republican. And "moral" does not mean conservative.
Amen. She is right on, except the last line, 'religious' and 'moral' shouldn't mean Republican and conservative, but the overly secular Democratic party has allowed that perception to become the reality in most voter's minds. Her whole post is worth a read.
What to do? Follow the guidance of the chosen one [forgive the blasphemy] Burack Obama:
Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America--there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America [...]
In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation; the belief in things not seen; the belief that there are better days ahead. I believe we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity. I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair. I believe that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us. America!
The Democratic party needs to take its cues from spirtually progressive voices like Maya Angelou, and not the morally bankrupt tactics of the likes of Michael Moore. The Democratic party needs to rekindle its soul and appeal to a broader group of Americans. To borrow a few catchy phrases, Freedom of Religion does not mean Freedom from Religion and the party should be guided by its faith and not its fear. Most Americans are people of faith (many of them pro-choice and pro-gay rights) and its certainly possible to reach out to people of faith without alienating the more secular minded.