On Thursday, Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig explained that the religious left is on the rise and that the religious right should be on the lookout.
She explained that South Bend, Indiana Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is organizing a group of untapped voters. Buttigieg has been seen as a “symbol for a rising Christian left.”
“The religious left — perhaps a bloc of Democratic voters waiting to be mobilized, perhaps a segment of faithful people waiting for a leftward awakening — is always just about to happen. It lingers, always, on the horizon, a shadow cast by the electoral power and political clout of the religious right,” she wrote.
She explained that even though the religious left is on the rise it will face challenges compared to the deeply rooted values and large following of the religious right.
“Talk of a rising religious left is puzzling in part because there is an already existing religious left — it just lacks the money, numbers and partisan leverage of the religious right,” Bruenig wrote.
Adding, “But the composition of the Democratic Party is changing, which is likely why, even as some Democratic candidates talk God on the trail, Hillary Clinton’s team reportedly chose to run a ‘post-Christian’ campaign in 2016.”
“But religion simply isn’t the mass mobilizing force on the left that it has been on the right. Republicans have been successful in fashioning a unified identity for right-wing Christian voters regardless of denomination,” she said.
She explained that even though the Democratic base is not solely unified by religion that its values for activism will cause the religious left to only grow, even if it grows slowly.
“But the religious left has no such unified identity, in part because it has no such unanimously agreed-on priorities. And while the Republican Party has many millions of right-leaning religious voters to draw upon, Democrats face a much more fractured, increasingly nonreligious base,” she said.
“And that may be, in some sense, for the best. The religious left is at its most authentic when standing in opposition to earthly power, serving as a prophetic conscience for all those who wield it for ill. Activism and organizing seem much more the natural mode of a religious left than intra-party power playing, and in those small but meaningful ways, the religious left lives on.”
Read the full column here.