the advice from Kathleen Parker
writing in today's Washington Post.
With all due respect, she's wrong. Faith in God and transcendant moral values isn't what hurts the GOP, although a certain clumsiness in invoking Him and discussing moral issues generally occasionally does. And it's misguided to argue that the GOP will attract more young people if it somehow tries to go atheist in the style of the liberal left -- that, more than anything, will guarantee Republican failure, both because people of faith will leave the party and because intelligent secularist young people will prefer the real party of faithlessness over a "me too but less" party of secular humanism.
John McCain and the Republicans didn't lose because of the religiosity of some of the party's base. They lost because Barack Obama managed to lure millions of religious voters
away from the GOP -- in no small part by emphasizing his personal faith in God.
So far, there's been precious little evidence that any Republican office-holder has tried to violate the First Amendment prohibition on establishing a religion. Whatever discussion of faith and virtue in the public square that happens around election time is perfectly consistent with the principles upon which this country was founded. The Founding Fathers established a country with a secular government -- predicated on the notion that the government and the nation would be populated by a deeply religious people. And attempting to remove religion from public discussion, as Parker does, runs contra to their notions.
It's always a bad thing to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It's even worse to throw out the Almighty.