The San Francisco Chronicle has a good article today on how religion and politics are intertwined with the presidential election in Missouri.
More than ever, Missouri Republicans have discovered the political power of that longtime Democratic province, grassroots organizing. While Democrats are expected to lock up much of big-city St. Louis and Kansas City, the GOP is mining the "moral issues" in rural and suburban Missouri -- home to 464 Assembly of God churches, the conservative Christian religion of Missouri's former senator and current U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft…..
But the Democrats are attempting to bridge the God gap with the help of a San Francisco resident, United Church of Christ minister David Keyes. This month, Keyes arrived in Missouri to be the Kerry campaign's religious outreach coordinator. He's got a long history with the candidate -- developed in the 1970s anti-war movement after Keyes married the widow of one of Kerry's Vietnam War buddies who died in combat.
On Monday, under Keyes' supervision, the campaign will hold the first in a series of "prayer potlucks" -- 100-person gatherings of neighbors to appeal to the spiritual side of potential Kerry voters. Monday's potlucks will be in five of Missouri's suburban and small-town GOP strongholds, including Springfield, headquarters of Ashcroft's Assembly of God Church.
"We're not going to, as the religious right has, claim that God is on their side," said Keyes, who is on sabbatical from his ministry to work on the campaign. "God isn't on anyone's side. We want to let people of faith know that faith and values are important in this campaign."
Click here to read the full article.
Our neighborhood here in Webster Groves, MO (a suburb of St. Louis) looks like a civil war battlefield with neighbor pitted against neighbor. People here are obviously paying attention to the election. Almost every house has either a John Kerry or George Bush lawn sign. Bush won this state 2000 and is ahead in the polls today. It would take a minor miracle for Kerry to pull off a win in November. The good news is that I believe in miracles.