To say both that I am a Democrat and that I trust in Jesus Christ should be a rather uncontroversial statement. But somehow the Christian-Democrat combination has come to seem paradoxical among the political chattering classes.
The truth is millions of us Christians are Democrats not in spite of our faith, but precisely because of it -- and millions more would be open to the Democratic Party if it engaged them on their level, presenting political ideas in the context of religious values.
That's why today, as reported in USA Today and the AP, I and numerous others are launching an online community called FaithfulDemocrats.com. This site will help redefine what it means to be a religious voter -- moving the nation's values debate from tired wedge-issue politics to the Christian principles of justice and the common good.
Political leaders such as Virginia Governor Tim Kaine will come together with Christian leaders, authors, and everyday Americans to communicate about their religious and political values. Through essays, blogs, comment threads, diaries, and a MySpace page, we will build a true community.
In addition to being a place for dialogue, FaithfulDemocrats.com will be a place to take action and impact elections. We will spotlight candidates, energize Christian Democrats, and reach out to independent-minded Christians who are willing to consider the idea that God isn't spelled G-O-P.
In our first candidate spotlight, future Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey Jr. writes, "I believe that the concept of the 'common good' is a good example of how we should be applying faith to the public sphere. It is an idea rooted in religious conviction that has a broad appeal in many different sectors of society." Amen.
The Republican National Committee, of course, has already come out swinging against FaithfulDemocrats.com. When the RNC reacts to a first-day website, you know your idea is a winner.
In Tuesday's USA Today, the RNC attacked FaithfulDemocrats.com with typical wedge-issue politics, suggesting our site will flop because faith-based voters will reflexively reject many Democrats' positions on hot-button cultural issues like abortion.
But this attack uses circular logic and exposes Republicans' key weakness: faith-based voters gravitate toward Republican wedge-issue politics when strong Democratic alternatives don't exist. We are creating an alternative. And polls show Christian voters are ready for it.
Political writer Amy Sullivan has a beautiful post on our site in which she discusses the "uncontested public square" that has been long enjoyed by the Religious Right. But FaithfulDemocrats.com will be a new public space where Christian voters can think bigger -- and deeper -- with an online community that puts the values of justice and the common good first.
I invite you to check out our website and engage in the discussion.