On The Religious Left, Great Expectations

vanderslice5.jpgThe first priorities for Barack Obama’s administration will be the economy and a variety of foreign policy issues. But the burgeoning religious left, which worked so hard to get Obama elected, expects some movement on its issues, including a robust White House office of faith-based initiatives, poverty reduction, and reducing demand for abortion.
Here’s what Matthew 25 Network founder Mara Vanderslice (pictured) told God-o-Meter about this last issue:


I hope that an Obama administration is going to prove to religious Americans that supported him that he’s going to provide common ground on the abortion issue. He spoke directly about wanting to reduce the number of abortions and it’s one of the first things people are looking for: How is he going to legislate and lead on that issue?
I wish they had been more vocal on this intention to reduce abortion [on the campaign trail]. He [Obama] said it at different times and locations but the pro-life groups got their message out very effectively, painting Obama as an extremist on the issue. I don’t think that’s true but they had some success with that. So it’s up to a new Obama administration to show us he’s going to find that common ground.


Many in the religious left see such untraditional Democratic policy initiatives as abortion reduction not only as a genuine priority for their movement but also as a political necessity if Obama and the Democrats want to hold onto their gains among certain faith constituencies, from white Catholics and evangelicals to Latino Christians to black Protestants.


Comments read comments(11)
post a comment
Steven Ertelt

posted November 7, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Common ground on abortion? You’re joking, right?
Obama didn’t wait 24 hours before making his first decision to promote abortion as the President-elect by offering his Chief of Staff slot to Rahm Emanuel.
In Emanuel, Obama has chosen a clone of himself, according to voting records from the National Right to Life Committee.
In July 2007, Emuanel voted against an attempt to stop taxpayer-funding of the Planned Parenthood abortion business that brings in over $1 billion annually by doing 25 percent of the abortions in the United States.
As a Congressman, Emanuel has voted against upholding state parental involvement laws allowing parents to know when their daughter is considering an abortion. He voted for making Americans pay for abortions at U.S. military base hospitals, and voted for funding a United Nations agency involved in the forced-abortion one-child family planning policy in China.
Emanuel also repeatedly voted against the ban on partial-birth abortions and opposed the bill to protect pregnant women and their unborn children, like Laci and Conner Peterson, from violence.
That’s not common ground.

report abuse


posted November 7, 2008 at 4:53 pm

for you, common ground will be nothing short of Obama and Emmanuel becoming 100% pro-lifers, even in the cases of incest and rape.
Common ground means that BOTH sides have to move towards the middle, and supporting unborn chidren protection bills is being nowhere near the middle.

report abuse


posted November 8, 2008 at 2:28 am

If memory serves me right, Emanual got blue dog (AKA conservative) Democrats elected. Many of those he helped get elected are pro-life. He was instrumental in bringing centrist into the party and the greatest fear the GOP has is that they are going to be labeled the extremist Party.
There is common ground. As a Blue Dog Democrat, I support moderation and centrist government instead of the polarization that I have had to live in for the last twenty years.

report abuse


posted November 8, 2008 at 7:25 am

The White House office of faith-based initiatives is unconstitutional.

report abuse


posted November 10, 2008 at 8:21 am

interesting…the GOP had 8 years to DEAL with this issue NOTHING was done and SOMEONE wanted to give them 4 more??? I guess abortion wasn’t on the top 10 list…be mad at them not Oboma. By the way, they had total control the first 4…

report abuse


posted November 11, 2008 at 4:26 pm

I agree – I’m exactly the sort of voter that this appeals to. I’m disgusted by abortion, but believe it to be the right of the person whose internal organs are affected to make the decision. I would support some limits on abortion, but would really prefer initiatives to reduce the demand for abortion as a method for eliminating the act. I’d like to see a president genuinely treat a woman as if she had full control of her own reproductive system, but encourage and educate toward intelligent and responsible decision making…

report abuse


posted November 18, 2008 at 12:06 am

Keep religion out of civil government!

report abuse


posted December 7, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Keeping religion out implies keeping morality out. If that is the case, how will you make an argument against pre-emptive war? You gotta take the bitter with the sweet.

report abuse


posted March 10, 2009 at 2:20 am

We don’t have to discuss abortion. The bible tells us everything we need to know. The religious left are not christians. Lets have a bible lesson. God makes it perfectly clear when life begins…Job 10:8-12 31:13-15(Both of these attribute divine value and human qualities to the unborn fetus. One vote against a ban on partial birth was enough for me. I voted McCain.

report abuse

regime proteine

posted October 1, 2009 at 2:52 am

With the economy in such bad shape, it’s doubtful that Obama will be able to keep many of his promises regarding health care, poverty, etc.. I also doubt he will do much about abortion, because he will still have to cater to his base. Evangelicals have been used before and we are being used now.

report abuse

regime proteine

posted October 1, 2009 at 2:54 am

With the economy in such bad shape, it’s doubtful that Obama will be able to keep many of his promises regarding health care, poverty, etc.. I also doubt he will do much about abortion, because he will still have to cater to his base. Evangelicals have been used before and we are being used now.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

Closed for the Season
With Election Day finally having come and gone, God-o-Meter is closing up shop till 2012--or at least 2010. Till then, get your faith and politics fix over at Beliefnet editor-in-chief Steve Waldman's blog. 7 ...

posted 4:32:33pm Nov. 19, 2008 | read full post »

Howard Dean's Vindication
God-o-Meter wrote a piece for today's Roll Call on the vindication of Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean's much-derided 50-State Strategy, which is largely about reaching out to the nation's more religious voters in the red ...

posted 2:01:06pm Nov. 06, 2008 | read full post »

A Post-Election Chat with Ralph Reed
Amid today's talk that Barack Obama has narrowed the God Gap, God-o-Meter checked in with Ralph Reed, who spearheaded religious outreach for George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns and who pioneered such outreach for Republicans as executive ...

posted 3:09:07pm Nov. 05, 2008 | read full post »

More Innacurate Faith Storylines From the Media
God-o-Meter is struck by the number of faith-based storylines the news media appear to have gotten dead wrong this year. One was the line that Obama was poised to make big gains among white votes, especially evangelicals, who were undergoing a ...

posted 11:53:20am Nov. 05, 2008 | read full post »

Democratic Faith Gains: Overblown?
For all the time, money, and effort that Democrats and their liberal allies spent trying to move the faithful into their column--particularly the white faithful--it seems that they have relatively little to show for it, despite Obama's decisive ...

posted 11:30:25am Nov. 05, 2008 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.