Senator John Danforth certainly thinks so:
The influence of evangelical Christians in the Republican Party hurts the organization and divides the country, former U.S. Sen. John Danforth said during a visit to the Bill Clinton School of Public Service on Wednesday.
Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri and an Episcopal priest, met with students during a seminar and held a luncheon talk at the graduate school.
“I think that the Republican Party fairly recently has been taken over by the Christian conservatives, by the Christian right,” he said in an interview after his talks. “I don’t think that this is a permanent condition but I think this has happened, and that it’s divisive for the country.”
He also said the evangelical Christian influence would be bad for the party in the long run.
People of faith have an obligation to be in politics, he said.
“I think the question arises when a political party becomes identified with one particular sectarian position and when religious people believe that they have the one answer, that they understand God’s truth and they embody it politically,” he said.
“Nothing is more dangerous than religion in politics and government when it becomes divisive,” he said. “I’ll give you examples: Iraq. Northern Ireland. Palestine.”
I love how it’s ok to have opinions, but please don’t think you’re right. You can’t have the “right” answer, because, I guess, there’s no “right” answer. Are the problems in Iraq, Northern Ireland and Palestine all about religion in politics, or are they about how two groups of people interact? Actually, I think more of the problem is in politicians and other leaders trying to use religion to control people.