As a Canadian following the US election season with great interest, I can’t help but notice that one essential difference between our two countries is that God and religion is virtually absent from our politics, but prominent in theirs. One characterization that Canadians might be excused for buying into is that the Republicans are the religion party, particularly of an evangelical-centric, exceptionalist type of Christianity, while the Democrats are predominantly secular.
Molly Worthen, a professor of history at UNC, Chapel Hill, writing today in the NYT, reminds us that the real story is (surprise!) more complicated. This election Worthen rights, is a tale of two Americas but also is “a tale of two Catholicisms”. Her call on the Democrats not to ignore the tradition of liberal Catholicism is also a reminder that religion, even in politics, has the potential “to address the basic questions of the human predicament.”