Politics as Substitute Religion on the Left

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I have long noted that for many people on the Left politics serves as a substitute religion.  The thought is not original to me of course, but now the idea is beginning to spread to organs of the mainstream media.  Emma Green in The Atlantic notes:

So what does all of this mean for the 2018 elections? While many Democrats seem to be more politically fired up than Republicans, it’s not clear that this will translate into big wins at the ballot box: Eighty-one percent of Democrats said they’ll absolutely or probably vote in November, compared with 82 percent of Republicans. But this wave of political energy may say something about the identity of Democratic voters—particularly those who don’t have strong religious or institutional ties. “There’s a sociological story you can tell about this community,” said Eitan Hersh, a political scientist at Tufts who is writing a book on what he calls “political hobbyism.” “This online world of political identity … is basically acting as a replacement for people who maybe a generation or two before would identify as Catholic or as Jewish or as Irish or Italian.”

Think of it as the Pod Save America voter: largely elite, politically plugged-in, constantly discussing the Republicans’ latest political shenanigans at dinner parties—and more focused on national problems than local affairs. “You see Democrats who will say on surveys that their most important issues are the environment or racial equality, and they take absolutely no interest in voting in local primaries or local municipal elections, where a lot of those issues are worked out,” Hersh said. “It’s a lot more gratifying to be talking about the Kavanaugh hearing.”

Go here to read the rest.  Two observations.  First, this fact helps explain the utter hatred and fanaticism that so often are features of hard Left websites.  For them this is not merely a political disagreement, but a dissing of their true faith.  Second, and you may take this to the bank, it is completely pathetic to have politics as the center of one’s life and being.


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  1. Art Deco
    October 8, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Whether or not there is ‘corroboration’ “either way”, the woman named four people she fancied present, all of whom had no recollection of the event. She give her marriage counselor an account in 2012 which included no names, 4 attackers, and suggested a date of 1985. She gives Eshoo in her letter this account which names BK and MJ and suggests 1982. Astonishingly, he has 1982 calendars salted away, but neither her name nor her initials appear on those calendars. The gathering BK detractors select as corresponding to her account did not have a dramatis personae which matches hers.

    That aside, she’s yet to produce any photographic or testimonial evidence that she was ever acquainted with Judge or Kavanaugh. There were at the time 500,000 people living in suburban tract development in Montgomery County, Maryland. She attended a girls’ school. BK has no sisters and Mark Judge’s sister was enrolled at a different school. Her brother Ralph was not enrolled at BK’s school. She lived 8 miles from the Kavanaugh home and 6 miles from the Judge home. There have been unsourced news reports claiming her father and EE Kavanaugh belonged to the Burning Tree Club. CB herself does not name Burning Tree as the source of any familial association (it was an all male club and women were banned from the campus) and her family of origin hasn’t produced any statements indicating they were acquainted with the Kavanaughs. She claimed she was acquainted with Christopher Garrett from a different club membership and he introduced her to his circle. Problem: Garrett has said for public consumption that he had no knowledge or information relating to her claims and any elaboration on that to the FBI the Democrats did not find useful. Her old chum Leland Keyser has stated she has no memory of having been acquainted with BK. Leland Keyser isn’t some random person from the student body at Holton-Arms; she’s a person CB named as being present during this event.

    Mark Judge has written two memoirs. He’s one person you’d know something about without ever having met him. And Brett Kavanaugh makes an appearance therein.

    Is David Brooks thick or is he playing thick for effect?

    Bravo Art. In my experience victims of crime usually recall the event with almost photographic quality, at least if it is reported promptly. Where there are extreme gaps in memory, usually that is not a sign of trauma but rather of mendacity, as a young lady a few years ago, who accused a client of mine of a Class X Felony crime, learned when, after my cross examination, the Judge returned a verdict of Not Guilty. Another sign of mendacity is a shifting story, as in the Ford accusations.

  2. Remember Grant Gallicho, the Commonweal editor who used to offer his gems of wisdom (homosexual conduct is not sinful, &c &c; all my gay friends think, & c &c) on Open Book? He’s now the head flack for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

  3. Not so amazing that quite a few Catholic leftists are parasites on Mother Church.

    From an on target comment of yours Art back on October 13, 2016:

    I’ll offer my $0.02 here. Todd Flowerday is a veteran of discernment programs, once worked for the dregs of St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester (as well as the public radio station), and is a parish employee. I think a number of the Vox Nova crew have had tertiary schooling (even post-baccalaureate schooling) in theological topics and matters related. I think Michael Sean Winters was bounced out of a seminary program. Grant Gallicho, the man who insists that sodomy (what pre-Vat II manuals called the ‘sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance’) is just dandy and he has scads of homosexuals in his circle of friends, has long been an employee of a Catholic apostolate. Recall Amy Welborn’s characterization of the church-o-cracy and adjectent agencies: a sinkhole of bored-out-of-their-minds careerism. Recall also what’s happened to intellectual life in this country: broad swaths of it consist of corrupt practice, shizzy apologetical exercises, political patronage, and status games, status games, status games. Cheap careerists, other-directed, and deeply concerned with their status among a certain bourgeois set. The problem now besets the evangelical colleges as well (and see Religion News Service for what Vichy evangelicalism looks like).

  4. Good effort, Art. I saw one of the other comments there trying to run a kafka trap but you countered him well.

  5. One thing that I wonder about is how these hanging judge (no pun intended) anti-BK types would conduct themselves as members of an actual trial jury.

  6. Robespierre, Marx, Hitler……all hated Christianity and desired it to be desrtoyed. The depths of innocent people mattered not to any of them. Marx begat Lenin, Stalin, Mao. Mohammed fits on this group too.
    They all wanted to create the perfect society. None succeeded.

  7. Since nature, even human nature, abhors a vacuum and politics can’t fully substitute for religion:

    Witchcraft and ritual have become more prominently associated with progressive political causes in recent years with the rise of the contemporary #magicresistance. Last year, for example, a 13,000-strong Facebook group formed to cast regular binding spells on Donald Trump.

    But in the aftermath of the bitter fight over Kavanaugh’s confirmation, during which the judge firmly denied sexual misconduct against Ford or other women who came forward with similar allegations, rituals have become more than just an emotionally rewarding part of political energy-raising. They’ve also become a form of self-care.


  8. Let’s be honest: It is not only the Left that substitutes politics for religion. Many people on the Right do not value the GOP as a tool for advancing the Kingdom of God; they value Christianity as a tool for advancing Republican priorities. Both sides have their go-to “reverends” who will be careful to present an edited gospel that only shakes they other guy’s boat.

  9. @ Ernst Schreiber.

    I just read your link. I’m reminded of the saying; If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. In this case substitute (something) with someone.. Jesus Christ.

    The pagan resurgence and influence is tied into the sophisticated form of spiritual abandonment by many a parent who tells the world; We don’t force our child into any structured religion. We simply allow them to follow what moves then. They choose.

    We have so many opportunities to evangelize.
    The culture is creating disappointment, depression and dependency on the State.
    So many wounded souls and not nearly enough healers to tend to them. The mission fields are fifty feet outside your front door.

  10. Howard, your comment would best apply to some Evangelicals in the US, but they are way outnumbered by the Left. At any rate, the Washington GOP Establishment hates its base and really doesn’t care either way.

  11. The United States is among the first nations of European descent to fail explicitly to acknowledge its authority is a gift of God. Eventually, every government either claims to serve God or to be God.

  12. “The United States is among the first nations of European descent to fail explicitly to acknowledge its authority is a gift of God.”

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

    And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

  13. The Declaration of Independence is not a favorite document of the DNC. Go figure. Sacred honor is nothing more than an oxymoron for those who professe to be Democrats.

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