Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election 2012: A New Day for Religion in America


President Obama gave an inspiring victory address last night. However it was the vision as the cameras panned over the listening crowd of faces that truly inspires the hope I feel for America and the world today.
People of all races, ages, and cultures stood side by side as they showed their appreciation for a president who himself represents a mix of race, religion and cultures. Yesterday America voted to recognize and celebrate our diversity and reaffirm our deep commitment and responsibility to one another.
This celebration of E Pluribus Unum was a turning point in American religion as well. The 2012 elections soundly defeated one brand of religion as another vision for religious expression showed its strength and promise.
The big religious loser last night was the spiritual abuse of power that seeks to diminish the rights and dignity of others. Maine and Maryland passed historic gay rights ballot initiatives; Minnesota defeated an anti-gay amendment effort, and Washington looks poised to have held off a challenge to its gay marriage laws. Similarly, the two Senate candidates who ran on the religious conviction that they would force women to carry a pregnancy to term even when it was the result of rape, found that their invocation of God's will repulsed voters, even deeply religious ones.
Religious hierarchical leaders such as the Catholic Bishop Conference, Ralph Reed, and the Billy Graham franchise found that their ability to impose their religion on other Americans has diminished and will not return.
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