By Diana Hsieh
MEDIA RELEASE: COALITION FOR SECULAR GOVERNMENT
Faith-Based Politics Is a Losing Strategy
Sedalia, Colorado / August 27, 2008
Contact: Diana Hsieh, founder of the Coalition for Secular Government and co-author of "Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life," Diana@SecularGovernment.us
The wholehearted embrace of faith-based politics by Democrats is the big news of the Democratic National Convention. "It's a losing strategy, particularly in more freedom-minded states like Colorado," said Diana Hsieh, founder of the Coalition for Secular Government.
A recent Pew survey showed that Americans are growing more wary of the persistent attempts of politicians to inject their private faith into public policy. A majority of Americans of all political stripes oppose the mixing of politics and religion.
In Colorado, the Republican Party's determination to enact laws and policies based on sectarian Christian values has resulted in stunning defeats in recent elections. Colorado was once a solidly red state, but now it's purple, and turning blue.
"Despite these losses, the religious right is still on the warpath in Colorado," Hsieh said. "This election, they're attempting to force God's law on the state via Amendment 48, the ballot measure which would grant fertilized eggs all the legal rights of persons in the Colorado constitution. If passed and implemented, the amendment would criminalize abortion as murder and ban the the birth control pill. It would be a disaster for the men and women of Colorado." See "Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life," a Coalition issue paper by Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh, available at http://www.SecularGovernment.us/docs/a48.pdf.
Now the Democrats are imitating this losing strategy by infusing liberal politics with religious fervor. They're holding interfaith prayers, opening their platform to religious opponents of abortion, and supporting faith-based initiatives. Ironically, they're doing so in Colorado, the very state that was handed to them as a result of voter disgust with the religious right.
"It's political suicide. The Democrats will only alienate the majority of Americans committed to the principle of secular government," Hsieh said. "Who can those voters support, when both Republicans and Democrats seek to govern by their personal faith rather than rational principles?"
"To protect freedom of religion and conscience, Republican and Democratic leaders must embrace the separation of church and state on principle. Politicians should govern according to the secular principles of individual rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, not religious scripture," Hsieh said.
The Coalition for Secular Government (www.SecularGovernment.us) advocates government solely based on secular principles of individual rights. The protection of a person's basic rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness -- including freedom of religion and conscience -- requires a strict separation of church and state.