God & Politics in the Press, Oct. 31
31 October 2004
The battle for votes and souls passes its final Christian sabbath today with Kerry at a “predominantly black church” in Ohio and Bush at a Catholic church in Miami — the racial composition of which The Washington Post does not note. WaPo also tells us that Kerry quoted scripture — but not which scripture. New York Times reports that some evangelical churches are satirizing themselves with “Who Would Jesus Vote For?” voter guides that leave little to their spiritual imagination. Bush, duh. Miami Herald reports on Bush’s failure to win the 35% of the Hispanic vote watchers deem necessary. Missing from the list of issues that are not motivating Hispanics to vote for Bush is religion — the much vaunted “God gap” pundits predicted would push evangelical and Catholic Hispanics to Bush seems to have been bridged by other issues. Seattle Post-Intelligencer runs a strange, stealth endorsement of Bush in the form of a very long opinion piece on “evil” by a Seattle lawyer named Chi-Dooh Li, who seems to be suggesting that Bush fights evil while moral relativists — read: Kerry — align themselves with wishy-washy types and Holocaust deniers. Weird. The Oregonian wonders whether “faith voters” fired up to pass the state’s gay-marriage ban will confound pollsters who put Oregon in Kerry’s column. The New Hampshire Union Leader, meanwhile, guesses that the state’s evangelical community — which it characterizes, probably wrongly, as solidly Bush — won’t be enough to win it for Bush. In a rural Michigan county, though, Christian conservatives will make the difference, says the Holland Sentinel: “Of those area residents interviewed who support Bush and are likely to vote Tuesday [a strong majority of the population], most cited moral and religious issues as the guiding factors in determining their vote. Chicago Daily Herald notes that “in 11 of the past 12 presidential elections — and every one since 1972 — Catholics have sided with the winner of the popular vote.” Which reveals nothing: As one scholar tells the Herald, “the Catholic vote [will] be evenly divided and profoundly fragmented.”