Friday, April 17, 2009

Former McCain Campaign Manager on Religion and the GOP

Former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt, talking to the Log Cabin Republicans, argues that the GOP's relationship with conservative evangelicalism threatens to destroy the party, especially concerning gay marriage. Money quote:
"If you put public policy issues to a religious test, you risk becoming a religious party," Schmidt declared. "And in a free country, a political party cannot be viable in the long term if it is seen as a sectarian party."
"... [R]eligious views should not inform the public policy positions of a political party because... when it is a religious party, many people who would otherwise be members of that party are excluded from it because of a religious belief system that may be different. And the Republican Party ought not to be that. It ought to be a coalition of people under a big tent."
Indeed, the shrinking of the GOP tent, he prophesied, was due not to one individual actor but from a quasi-religious political brand that was "off-putting to many people."

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