Election reflection: what now for the church-state wall?It was gratifying grat·i·fy
tr.v. grat·i·fied, grat·i·fy·ing, grat·i·fies
1. To please or satisfy: His achievement gratified his father. See Synonyms at please.
2. to see the American people An American people may be:
Efforts by the Religious Right to build church-based political machines to elect favored candidates fared quite badly on Election Day. The defeats of U.S. Sens. Rick Santorum “Santorum” redirects here. For other uses, see Santorum (disambiguation).
Richard John Santorum (born May 10, 1958) is a former United States Senator from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. and James Talent and gubernatorial hopeful Kenneth Blackwell in Ohio are evidence of that.
Pundits, reporters and commentators have had a lot of say about the results. Some have made the mistake of asserting that this election is a crippling blow to the Religious Right. It would be great if that were true, but it's not.
Like it or not, the Religious Right is a permanent fixture on the political scene. Like any social/political movement, it will experience victories and defeats. Because the Religious Right is so closely aligned with the Republican Party, its fortunes tend to wax and wane along with the GOP's.
We would be foolish, however, to think that one poor election cycle is going to end a religious-political movement that has been amassing power since the late 1970s. Some misguided commentators made similar predictions after Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992. We know how that turned out. The Religious Right used Clinton's victory to energize en·er·gize
v. en·er·gized, en·er·giz·ing, en·er·giz·es
1. To give energy to; activate or invigorate: "His childhood its base and was soon more powerful than ever.
Certainly Religious Right leaders for lowed this election closely and tried to take church politicking to new levels. The Rev. Jerry Falwell This article is about Jerry Falwell, Sr. For the article about his son, see Jerry Falwell, Jr.
Jerry Lamon Falwell, Sr. (August 11 1933 – May 15, 2007) was an American fundamentalist Christian pastor and televangelist. predicted in September that the Republicans would keep control of the House of Representatives and Senate, remarking, "I think the Lord's going to take care of that."
Falwell must have misunderstood the Lord, but that does not mean the Lynchburg evangelist and his allies will give up. If anything, they have vowed to come on even stronger and press for their agenda with more determination next year.
The Religious Right's supporters have a long-term vision. Driven by fundamentalist zeal, they truly believe their ultimate victory is assured. Bad results at the polls do not deter them. They keep pressing on. They are determined to run our private lives and will keep pushing for their narrow agenda.
That's why we have to remain active, as well. Our movement--the defense of the vital principle of religious liberty as protected by the church-state wall--depends on no election or political party. Americans United turns 60 next year, and the organization has seen Democratic and Republican administrations come and go. Control of Congress has shifted. Friends and foes of the church-state wall have risen and fallen--in both parties.
We do not hitch our movement to a political party precisely because the electorate is fickle fick·le
Characterized by erratic changeableness or instability, especially with regard to affections or attachments; capricious.
[Middle English fikel, from Old English ficol, . Today's winning party can easily be tomorrow's party on the outs. As that political dynamic plays out, Americans United wants to remain focused on its overarching o·ver·arch·ing
1. Forming an arch overhead or above: overarching branches.
2. Extending over or throughout: "I am not sure whether the missing ingredient . . . goal: to protect the separation of church and state
We will do that no matter who sits in the White House. We will do that no matter which party controls Congress. We know that our opponents are not going away. They remain well funded, active and deeply entrenched en·trench also in·trench
v. en·trenched, en·trench·ing, en·trench·es
1. To provide with a trench, especially for the purpose of fortifying or defending.
2. in American political life.
In short, the battle to keep the wall high and firm goes on. We urge you to remain an active sentinel on that protective barrier.