WWJD about Your Ballot? Don't Ask the NYT or Teddy Kennedy

Within the day there’s been two developments indicative of a new shaping force of the Democratic party—a religious base using Scripture to advocate liberal, social issues.

The New York Times had a story on page 17 today about evangelical groups calling for tougher environmental laws. To pump up an argument for mandatory controls on carbon emissions Richard Cizik, vice president of governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals cited Genesis 2:15 for support. The passage reads: “The Lord God too the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”

Senator Inhofe (R.-Okla.) said, “You can always find in Scriptures a passage to misquote for almost anything” and found the Cizik’s organization “something very strange.”

This morning, Sen. Teddy Kennedy (R.-Mass.) was endorsing the “Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign” backed by a number of religious leaders. He said: “This [raising the minimum wage] is a moral issue of enormous importance and consequence. It’s a defining issue about what our society is really about. Whether we reward work, whether we have respect for individuals that work hard and play by the rules, whether we are going to follow the great teachings of the Beatitudes, which inspire so many of us in terms of our responsibilities to our fellow human beings and if we believe in those fundamental tenants of the Judeo-Christian ethic we cannot fail but to believe that the minimum wage must be a livable wage for all our fellow citizen.” (emphasis added).

Is this a threat to the religious right  that traditionally supports Republican candidates? Perhaps, but at the very least it shows a calculated change in the left’s strategy that’s worth paying attention to.