10/09/2005 01:11 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Gospel for Democrats: Can I Get an "Amen"?

This week's AP/Ipsos poll shows that only one-third of white Evangelicals and one in five Southerners strongly approve of Bush's performance, and yet all the "professional Democrats" want to paper over their differences with Bush! Any Sunday School graduate will tell you that "gospel" means "good news," but in the words of Psalm 115, "they have ears but hear not." The organist is playing your song, Democrats. Come forward and be saved.

Listen to the voices of two Republicans interviewed by the Washington Post:

"We've lost focus on where we're supposed to be going and not able to respond to the crises that affect the people of this country. We're mired in a Middle Eastern adventure and we've taken the focus off of our own country."

"We should get out of Iraq. It seems like there's no light at the end of the tunnel. I just think we're dealing with a culture we don't really understand."

That's the voice of God, children. America is alienated from this war, yet Democrats like Donnie Fowler think they can find "an agenda to shout from the rooftops" -- without mentioning the war at all! Not only does that approach ignore the voice of the people -- those "Red staters" some Democrats treat like an alien race -- but it's condescending, and people feel it in their bones when someone's condescending to them.

I've been struggling with this issue since I started blogging last November. An early post called "Reaching the Christian Wedge" suggested that many Evangelicals could be reached by an authentic Democratic voice, and these Ipsos poll numbers bear that idea out. That piece was a response to Ellen Dana Nagler, who had earlier suggested that the Democrats position themselves as The Party of the Constitution. I think it's a dialog worth having -- but whatever you do or say, Democrats, don't "frame": be genuine. Sorry, but you just don't do insincerity as well as Republicans.

"They have mouths but they speak not," adds Psalm 115, and the cowardly way will lead to failure. "Red state" America has had no better poet in modern days than one of my boyhood (and adulthood) heroes, singer/songwriter Merle Haggard. Maybe you remember "Okie From Muskogee," or these lines: "When you're runnin' down this country, man, you're walking on the fightin' side of me." Songs like that got him typecast as a spokesman for the Right, but listen to what he's been singing recently:

Suddenly the cost of war is somethin' out of sight.
Lost a lotta heroes in the fight.
Politicians do all the talkin': soldiers pay the dues.
Suddenly "the war is over," that's the news.

Donnie, Hillary, Joe: Are you listening? I don't know about you, but Merle's new tune is music to my ears.

A Night Light