Republican

Republican

The second part of our examination of religious energies below the surface of the 2008 presidential campaign. Conservative columnist Rod Dreher is an outspoken critic of mainstream Republican economic and environmental ideas and the conduct of the Iraq war, but he voted for George W. Bush twice. We explore the little-known story of religiously influenced impulses within the conservative movement that diverge from the Religious Right.

Politics driven by a religious agenda, Danforth says, is true neither to his understanding of Christian faith nor to the traditional values of the Republican party. This veteran politician speaks about the values that have helped him navigate the line between private faith and public life and his current concerns about religion in his own party and in the world.

The theory of the "God gap"—often broadly suggesting that religious Americans are conservative and will vote Republican while non-religious Americans are liberal and will vote Democratic—has been prominent in press reporting and political maneuvering in the 2004 presidential race. At their recent conventions, both parties seemed to grapple with faith dynamics and respond to the perceived God gap in interesting, unexpected ways.

Krista speaks with Steven Waldman, who covered the 2004 Democratic and Republican conventions for religious messages, images, and language. He says that, strictly speaking, the God gap is a myth. We'll look beyond the headlines about the political gulf that reportedly separates religious and secular Americans.