I hope the Republicans are paying attention

Ballot measure losses jolt the religious right

From the country's heartland, voters sent messages that altered America's culture wars and dismayed the religious right - defending abortion rights in South Dakota, endorsing stem cell research in Missouri, and, in a national first, rejecting a same-sex marriage ban in Arizona.

Conservative leaders were jolted by the setbacks and looked for an explanation Wednesday. Gay-rights and abortion-rights activists celebrated.

It's the religion, stupid. As mentioned later in the article:

In Missouri, anti-abortion groups, evangelical Christian clergy and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis campaigned hard against the stem cell measure, contending it would condone life-destroying embryonic research.

Debbie Forck, a Catholic from Jefferson City, Mo., was among those giving the measure a narrow victory.

"I've had several family members that have had debilitating illnesses," said Forck, 50. "It goes against my church, but to eliminate pain in my life, I thought it was worth it."

Good for you, Debbie.

The verdict on abortion rights was particularly clear. Oregon and California voters defeated measures that would have required parents to be notified before a girl under 18 could get an abortion, and South Dakotans - by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent - rejected a new state law that would have banned all abortions except to save a pregnant woman's life.

Red-state rebellion
"This was really a rebellion in the heart of red-state, pro-life America - the heart of the northern Bible Belt," said Sarah Stoesz, head of the Planned Parenthood chapter that oversees South Dakota. "It sends a very strong message to the rest of the country."

South Dakota legislators had passed the law in expectation it would trigger a court challenge and lead to a possible Supreme Court reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. Abortion-rights leaders said Wednesday that such strategies should be abandoned.

Now, if only the Republicans make the connection between religiously motivated ballot measures failing and their party's large loss yesterday. Like Debbie Forck, many Americans want to be able to live well here on Earth, regardless of the superstitions of themselves or others.


At 9:45 AM, Blogger Mike N said...

I agree that most religious folk want to live on this earth. Many just need a moral code and adopted religion because it was the only game in town so to speak. I think Objectivism can reach many of these people although in mainly the earlier age groups.

At 5:00 AM, Blogger softwareNerd said...

Of those ballots, the one that surprised me a bit was the South Dakota one. If a "partial-birth abortion" ban or a "abortion for minors" ban or some such thing had lost by a narrow vote, as in California, I'd see that as a good sign. On the other hand, in S.Dakota, over 40% of the voters want a complete ban. This tells me that -- at least in that state -- there is a very large segment that is extremely religious and who are willing to have the state enforce their religion.


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