LA Times: Leah Daughtry is on a mission to narrow the ‘God gap’ in politics

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Leah Daughtry is preparing to pray.

Hands clasped, elbows on the table, the Pentecostal minister leans toward the conference phone and speaks. "We've confirmed all the readings except the Buddhist person," she says.

Daughtry is planning the interfaith celebration of song and prayer that will kick off the Democratic National Convention. Still needed are a Muslim, a Jew, a Catholic and a white evangelical to close. Then another wrinkle: Staffers say the Buddhist may have to yield to a congresswoman angling for a spot onstage. "More women is never a bad thing," Daughtry allows, quickly moving on.

As a fifth-generation minister and veteran political planner, Daughtry seems perfectly suited for the administrative and ecumenical task posed by the gathering and its Noah's Ark of speakers. But her work goes far beyond that one event and even her duties as chief executive of the Denver convention, which opens Sunday.

Daughtry, who keeps an altar at home and devotes a predawn hour a day to prayer and Bible study, is on a mission to narrow the "God gap" between Democrats and Republicans by winning over religious voters who have flocked to the GOP over the last 20 years.

"There are millions of Americans across this country for whom faith is important," says Daughtry, who leads an unprecedented party effort targeting the devout. "And whether they vote on the basis of their faith, or whether they vote about issues that are somehow connected to their faith, we should be reaching out to them."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralUS Presidential Election 2008* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPentecostal

Posted August 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm

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1. Phil wrote:

One person who’s not invited, though (according to Julia Duin of The Washington Times), is Denver Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput.  We can guess why: he is firm on issues of morality.  Those kind of religious people, Leah Daughtry can do without.

August 19, 5:39 pm | [comment link]
2. Br. Michael wrote:

As long as it is a syncristic faith that supports the secular culture.

August 19, 5:43 pm | [comment link]
3. DonGander wrote:

What is the difference between a Democrat political operative and a (this) pastor?

Can’t think of any…


“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”


Please forgive my atrocious spelling.

August 19, 5:49 pm | [comment link]
4. Christopher Johnson wrote:

Want to reach out, lady?  You can start by losing this interfaith garbage and inviting the Roman Catholic Bishop of Denver.  Until you’re ready to do that, keep moving.

August 19, 6:22 pm | [comment link]
5. Jeffersonian wrote:

When your Church is the State, separating the two becomes problematic.

TEC delenda est!

August 19, 6:32 pm | [comment link]
6. sophy0075 wrote:

‘“There are millions of Americans across this country for whom faith is important,” says Daughtry’

True. And for those people, the idea that different faiths are equally correct is a non-starter.

August 19, 7:32 pm | [comment link]
7. deaconmark wrote:

And here i thought only the pope was infallible.  I guess that extends to some of his followers as well?

August 19, 7:50 pm | [comment link]
8. TridentineVirginian wrote:

The whole thing “evangelical - check, buddhist - check, muslim - check” reeks of so much obvious tokenism it just shows how insincere the whole stupid enterprise is. Back to the drawing board, Democrats.

Here’s a hint for your next go: try dealing with religious issues of substance, say, abortion? People might take you seriously then. Archbishop Chaput could help you there.

August 19, 8:16 pm | [comment link]
9. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

What…no Druids or Wiccans?  I thought this was an interfaith thing!  Get with the program.  While you’re at it, why not get that mark on your forehead or the back of your right hand.

Democrats like this one in the article make nauseous.

August 19, 9:53 pm | [comment link]
10. Words Matter wrote:

“The top issues are no longer just abortion and gay marriage,”

This is a constant theme coming from pro-Dem sources, and there is a lot of discussion as to how true it is.  In our media culture, it’s really hard to tell what’s really going on, since 1 loud mouth fills the TV screen while 100 other people, holding an opposite opinon, never get heard. This works in both ideological directions, of course, but the bias in our media tends to move things in one direction.  The difficulty for the media types is that advertising drives their business and plays to economically strong demographic groups, while a conservative farmer in Texas has the same voting strength as a trendy Upper West Side of Manhattan liberal.

However, what Ms. Daughtry fails to realize while alternating between prayer and political action is that the “god gap” is not about “people of faith”, but rather about people who don’t believe that same-sex marriage is a legitimate social structure, or that abortion is anything but murder.  Some of those people are Christians, some Jews, some Muslims, some other religions or no religion at all. In fact, the outreach the Dems are making demonstrates, to me at least, that they have no clue what’s been driving religious people away from their party for about 35-40 years now.

Words Matter

Reasonable people always fear nascent fascism.

August 20, 12:13 am | [comment link]
11. Words Matter wrote:

Actually, Abp. Chaput says what I mean better than I could every say it.

Words Matter

Reasonable people always fear nascent fascism.

August 20, 1:11 am | [comment link]
12. azusa wrote:

#11: thanks! From the Chaput piece:

“Words are important. Actions are more important. The religious choreography of a campaign doesn’t matter. The content of its ideas does. The religious vocabulary of a candidate doesn’t matter. The content of his record, plans, and promises does.”

Kendall: this piece is worth posting in toto.

August 20, 3:12 am | [comment link]

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