today starts the annual Faith and Freedom Coalition conference (why do conservatives feel the need to gather like this every other month?), a gathering of Republican politicians and faith leaders designed to strengthen evangelical influence in national politics.
created by Ralph Reed, formerly of the Christian Coalition, it will play host to top Republican messengers such as Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, Paul Ryan, and Rand "don't call me Ayn" Paul, it's a treasure trove of batshit crazy conservative republicans on the religious right.
yes, i'm kinda excited.
i know there are Christians in the Democratic Party. but it's a different kind of Christian. one could argue that liberalism translates equally in religion as it does in politics. liberal Christians do not take the Bible literally, ignore most dogma, and go to church on the big holidays. conservative Christians are the creationists, the believers in Noah, Adam, and Eve, and don't blink an eye at speaking in tongues.
which brings us back to politics. the most liberal Christians, non-Christians, non-religious, atheists, and agnostics tend to be Democrats. the most conservative Christians (and that's about it, well, maybe some fiscal conservatives still) tend to be - aw, fuck it - ARE Republicans.
which makes me wonder if as religiosity declines in America whether or not it will also bring the GOP down with it. it's increasingly clear that the two go together. i know there are other factors, and party dynamics are likely to change over time. but i can't help but think that as we watch the sharp declines in religious affiliation both here and around the world, it could mean that the future of the Republican Party is tied to America's interest in Christianity.