Sorry to be so abrasive Camunus
How about the acronym C.I.N.O.C. (novus ordo Catholic) http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20100919/NEWS02/9190354/Evangelical-activism-tips-primaries?GID=QllqHWyYgAIehHVO76jP274XsFtFSdT38djc6F3MG4E%3D
Delaware politics: Rise in evangelical activism tips scales in primaries
Politically conservative Christians putting ballots where their Bibles are
By JEFF MONTGOMERY, BETH MILLER and GINGER GIBSON
The News Journal
Ella Shank recalls saying a little prayer Tuesday before casting her Republican primary vote in the Greenwood Fire Hall.
"I believe that God is waking America up," said Shank, who attends a Mennonite church. She was among those who helped Christine O'Donnell upset longtime Rep. Mike Castle in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate.
"If people don't start voting for what's right, God will punish us."
Greenwood stands at the epicenter of O'Donnell's upset win over Castle -- a large and mostly rural, majority-Republican election district that, along with nearby Bridgeville, delivered more votes to O'Donnell than any other in Delaware.
It was a district that by most accounts saw a surge in political activism on social issues among evangelicals, surprising many party regulars, and was a factor in derailing Castle's political career.
Those same factors rumbled across much of the state, including some northern regions, helping developer Glen Urquhart beat mainstream Republican Michele Rollins in her bid for the party's nomination to face Democrat John Carney in the November congressional race.
The same religious fervor permeated Fox News commentator Glenn Beck's late August convocation in Washington, D.C. Despite calls to downplay politics, faithful Urquhart and O'Donnell supporters joined Beck in a sort of pre-primary pep rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
At times, the event organized by Beck, a Mormon, evoked Urquhart's and O'Donnell's campaign rallies, where assembled voters united in prayer and evangelism. Though no one explains the change in Delaware's voting patterns entirely in terms of activist voting by conservative Christians, many think it's a significant factor.
"I wouldn't call it the Christian Coalition, but there was definitely a faith basis to a lot of this," said J. Everett Moore, an attorney and former Sussex County Republican Committee chairman. "The faith community tends to get involved periodically. It's obviously much stronger here in Sussex County."
According to the Association of Religion Data Archives, a compilation of reports from religious scholars and research centers around the world, Catholics made up the largest group of adherents to a single religious denomination in Delaware as of 2000. Mainline Protestants were next at 32 percent and evangelical Protestants at 13 percent. Orthodox faiths and other religions accounted for the remaining residents. Only about 40 percent of the state, however, claimed membership in any identified church.
But many with long histories of watching Delaware elections believe the evangelical Christian voting bloc has grown in strength, especially in southern New Castle County, where suburban Catholic congregations and new evangelical churches are growing.
"The Delaware primary is an example of the kind of grass-roots revolts we're seeing across the country, and it's entirely possible that social conservatives, as the Christian conservatives are sometimes called, were an important part in what happened," said John Green, a University of Akron political science professor.
"Christine O'Donnell did create a bit of a buzz in the conservative Christian community because of her stance on marriage, and sexuality, which is closer to their view," said Green, who directs the university's Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics.
One theory is that O'Donnell's public religious devotion helped her to pull more religious and social conservatives alongside tea party supporters, who usually focus more heavily on economic and political conservatism.
At a candidate forum in Newark in August, O'Donnell campaign volunteer coordinator Kristina Hamilton knelt behind the candidate, placed her hands on O'Donnell's shoulders and prayed as the Republican sat in a corner reviewing notes before taking the stage.
The event, sponsored by the Founders Values group at the Newark Senior Center, didn't have an overtly religious tone. But O'Donnell drew cheers from the crowd of about 50 when she talked about how her religious values have led her to be anti-abortion and oppose stem-cell research.
Raised Roman Catholic, O'Donnell converted to Protestantism, and later rejoined the Catholic Church. Throughout the 1990s, she organized young Christians to fight pornography, premarital sex and abortion and advocated turning homosexuals "straight" in groups such as the Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth (SALT) and Concerned Women for America.
O'Donnell rejected Castle's support of embryonic stem-cell research and of women's rights to abortion. She has described homosexuality as "an identity disorder."
Castle's positions on such issues helped preserve ties to moderate Delaware voters, and some feel that made the GOP more competitive and conversant in a state with a significant majority of Democratic voters and moderate independents.
But they remain repugnant to those who possess a fundamental belief that marriage can only be defined as one woman and one man and that life begins at conception, where each stem cell is a potential soul.
"What is more basic than life?" Urquhart asked Rollins during their exchanges on the issue.
For several years, Delaware saw statewide rallies -- organized by groups including the Catholic-backed Rose & A Prayer and the Delaware Family Policy Council -- against embryonic stem-cell research, abortion and bills ending discriminatory practices against the gay community.
Rollins believes the primary results revealed hard lines drawn along religious lines.
"All the time I talked about the economy and jobs, they could never get off the pro-life issue," she said. "It will drive everything they do. I have always felt that the pro-life, very far right is very fervent about what they believe. There's nothing less than 100 percent agreement with them. I would never meet that standard, neither did I try to."
Urquhart believes his victory is "God's will," and he believes he will be able to help heal the party of its sharp divisions.
Gary Hindes, former chairman of the state Democratic Party, called the surge in socially conservative influence troubling.
"It's scary to see a legitimate political party run by people I respect -- but have profound differences with -- taken hostage by basically extremists. It's not good for America. It's not good for Delaware," Hindes said.
"As former state chairman, I should be rolling on the floor with glee. This will be very good for Chris Coons and John Carney," Hindes said. "But it's a very, very sad day for our country to see the Republican Party put up a nominee who is really way off the fringe element."
Others see the change as a natural development.
"Christians, particularly, are becoming more motivated to exercise their civil right to vote, based on issues that are of concern to them," said Pastor Darrell Morris of Lifeway Church of God in Bridgeville, just south of Greenwood. "I think folks are becoming more educated on the issues and looking for candidates who are going to agree with them."
Economic, social concerns
Veteran Republicans said the conservative Christian surge added to campaigns already buoyed by voter unhappiness over the nation's broken economy and a last-minute infusion of national tea party money.
Also helpful was a lower voter turnout in Castle's northern Delaware stronghold.
While turnout was highest and O'Donnell's winning margins widest in Sussex County, she also prevailed in suburban New Castle County, particularly in the Bear-Glasgow area. Many suburban northern Delaware election districts had turnout 40 percent to 50 percent lower than in Sussex. O'Donnell retained mostly winning margins despite predictions that her base would be mainly in the south.
Near Woodside in Kent County, Pastor Bill Roberts of New Life Family Worship Center said evangelical voters have been mobilized by concerns about the economy and by social and moral issues, including Castle's abortion-rights stands and support for stem-cell research.
"I really think there is more participation. A lot more of the churches are getting involved in actually getting out there and identifying the candidates, what they stand for, and looking for some kind of truth in them," Roberts said.
"I heard a lot of people say they really wanted to get out there and vote and become active. They've sat back long enough," Roberts said. "People are tired of the recession, they're looking for answers from someone, and as Christians, there's a whole moral issue."
No GOP faith monopoly
People of faith in Delaware hold many divergent political views, said the Rev. Bruce Gillette, pastor of Limestone Presbyterian Church. Conservatives don't agree on all points, he said. Liberals don't, either, and he finds such labels problematic.
"I'm very wary of any pastor or church that has a litmus test, and I don't think any one politician or church has a corner on the truth," he said. "And people are all over the map. Somebody may be very traditionally pro-life but still support gay rights."The Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a Jesuit priest,
author and researcher at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, said Catholics have more often aligned with Democrats, despite O'Donnell's public stands.
"It would make sense for some of the more conservative Protestant groups to be attracted to the tea party," Reese said. "This is a race where the Catholic issues weren't very visible, and certainly the church was not in the fight -- it was at the sidelines," Reese said.
"What's going to be really interesting is when the tea party's libertarian agenda trumps its social agenda."
'I've never seen such anger'
Hot-button moral issues aren't the only ones that have caught the fervor of some churchgoers.
Pastor Ron David, who leads the large Faith Community Church in Camden, said the anger of many Christians has simply boiled over.
"I've been a pastor for 45 years and I've never seen such anger," David said. "They're very disillusioned with the government and with the old Republican leadership. I haven't met anyone in my travels or get-togethers who agrees with health care or cap-and-trade or tax policies."
Cap-and-trade is an environmental program intended to reduce greenhouse gases by allowing polluters to trade permits for emissions in ways that benefit cleaner industries and help those businesses needing more time. But cap-and-trade became an unlikely rallying cry for O'Donnell supporters during her campaign.
Joseph Cooper, a Johns Hopkins University professor and a member of the Annenberg Foundation's Institutions of Democracy Project, that cap-and-trade legislation became a symbol and rallying issue for groups unhappy over the economy and government mandates.
Conservative talk-show hosts and conservative publications hammered at the issue in recent weeks, making points that resonated with conservative voters. They identified Castle as the poster child for cap-and-trade.
"You have an economy that's in serious trouble and they're talking about taxing utilities and raising costs for benefits that are disputable," Cooper said. "If the country were in good shape, maybe there would be a more balanced discussion. The problem is people are suffering out there, and the realities of what people confront in their daily lives overcome media debates."
That idea took root in Delaware and was frequently mentioned as a top issue by O'Donnell supporters questioned about their votes Tuesday.
"I do not like some of the votes he cast this year, like cap-and-trade," said Donna D. Butler, another Greenwood voter. "I never met either one of them, O'Donnell or Castle, but I wanted the incumbent out."
Insurgency in Republican Party
John Weaver, a national Republican strategist and former top adviser to Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, described the Delaware primary as "a perfect storm for her and against Mike."
"When there's a bad economy, there's a darker element in our party that emerges, kind of a populist, angry wing," Weaver said.
"The tea party is not a unifying group. There are some that are just focused on fiscal issues, there are some that are really concerned about social issues. There's a faith-based community and there are angry people," Weaver said.
"You couldn't duplicate this if you wanted to, in another cycle," Weaver said. "We are searching for our soul in the party. We haven't found it yet, and there are a lot of victims along the side of the road."
Adam Sheingate, a Johns Hopkins University associate professor of American politics and comparative public policy, said evangelical Christians were noticeable factors during elections in 2002 and 2004, when Republicans did well, and evangelical support was closely tied to the Bush administration and Republican Party.
"What we're seeing in 2010 is very different, where there's an insurgency within the Republican Party, as was so clearly demonstrated in Delaware," Sheingate said. "That may be where something has changed, if that plays out. The bigger question is, with this insurgency, will the Republican leadership try to damp it down or accept it and encourage it?"
'We need a change'
Glenn C. Kenton, a Republican and former chief of staff to Gov. Pierre S. du Pont IV, said the parties need to pay attention to the heat.
"I know a lot of people down there [in Sussex County]. There are a lot of angry people there, and a lot of decent people. I think some of my friends in the urbanized area think these people are a bunch of Bible-thumping church-goers who live in trailers. That's not the case. Certainly there's a base in the Christian churches. But this revolt is far broader than just a small segment of voters."
David B. Wilson, who lives near Greenwood, is one of those angry people.
"Basically, I feel that everyone in Washington who's been there for all these years are responsible for our problems. They let all the jobs leave the country," Wilson said. "I think we need a change. I don't think it's about Christine O'Donnell. I think it's about Mike Castle and what he did and didn't do."
Mike Castle - another Catholic just like Joe Biden , who leaves his faith at home when it comes to abortion and other hard issues. Thank goodness he lost. This was a clear choice between a pro and anti abortion candidate. Fr. Reese said that Catholic Church was on the sidelines and implied that this is not a Catholic issue.
Sorry Caminus, but Fr. Reese is a CINOC and seems to be preaching the liberal democratic social gospel instead of the gospel of Christ. These closet marxists should be outed, along with CINOC ringleader Pope Ratzinger.