The Return of the Christian Left: Amy Sullivan
We talk with journalist Amy Sullivan about the return (or perhaps the rebirth) of the Christian Left in America. Sullivan is the co-host of the Impolite Company podcast, and the author of the 2008 book The Party Faithful: How and Why the Democrats are Closing the God Gap.
Sullivan skillfully traces the Democratic Party's fall from grace among religious voters, showing how the party lost its primacy -- and maybe its soul -- in the process. It's a story that begins with the party's ineffectual response to the rise of the religious right and culminates with John Kerry's defeat in the 2004 presidential election. Sullivan documents key turning points along the way, such as the party's alienation of Catholics on the abortion issue and its failure to emulate Bill Clinton's success at reaching religious voters.
She demonstrates that there was nothing inevitable about the defection of values voters to the GOP and the emergence of the God gap: it was not just a Republican achievement but the Democrats' failure to embrace their own faith and engage religious Americans on social issues.