Last week I received another expression of a very common sentiment in the comments box at Philosophical Fragments – and the commenter wished it known that she was “not a libertine” but a 50-year-old former-Christian woman with a long marriage and three children, two in the military.  She wrote:

George Bush and his supporters were a large reason that I left Christianity and have become quite hostile to the evangelical agenda. I vote against it at every opportunity and make sure none of my money goes to organizations who support the evangelical desire to control everyone else and shove their views down the throats of people who aren’t interested.

She went on to write that “the large majority of my friends and colleagues agree with me.”  Later that day, I read a piece at The Washington Post in which Sally Quinn lamented that Republicans have “hijacked” God for political purposes.  ”I do not believe religion should play any role in politics,” she said.  It’s “depressing and unAmerican” that faith “continues to make a big difference in how people view candidates,” but Republicans in particular “use the dog-whistle of God every chance they get.”

Quinn fails to see that the Obama campaign has done just as much as, if not more than, the Romney campaign to leverage religious belief.  Since she thinks that Romney is using religious language in the service of selfish (non-religious) ends, she views his words as “pandering” and deception and manipulation.  But since she believes that Obama is using religious language in the service of the true and good and beautiful, then he is merely explaining his heart to the American people, merely doing what is necessary.

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