Watchdog Group’s Election Analysis Suggests Religious Right May Target State And Local Government For Next Advances
The Religious Right’s access to power in Washington, D.C., has been seriously diminished, but its divisive influence at the state and local level remains deeply problematic, according to an election analysis by Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
“Religious Right forces did everything in their power to demonize Barack Obama and maintain their influence in the White House,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, “but it didn’t work. The majority of white evangelicals voted predictably Republican, but most other Americans ignored the Religious Right’s shrill and partisan message.”
Lynn, however, said he deplores the Religious Right’s continuing baleful influence at the state and local level. The movement engineered anti-gay measures and restrictions on reproductive rights onto many state ballots.
Lynn said the Religious Right is likely to increase its activity at the state and local level, now that advances in Washington will be harder to obtain.
“The Religious Right is not dead,” concluded Lynn, “but I’m happy that most Americans seem very wary of the movement’s reckless merger of religion and politics. Those of us who value church-state separation must remain on the alert to counter the Religious Right’s next gambit.”
I am guilty of not paying as much attention as I should to politics at our local and state levels. Most of the time the flyers and things we get hanging on the door knob or in the mail don’t even say what party the candidate is affiliated with. I think it’s important that we pay as much attention to the local level candidates beliefs and where they stand on issues as we do for the presidential candidates, maybe even moreso.