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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | 8:28 PM

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The Democratic Strategist is opening a roundtable discussion on "A Progressive Battle Plan for National Security," and I highly reccommend anyone interested in the subject to read their article, since it's a very important discussion to be having. The article concludes with a prospective Democratic 'sound bite' on national security:
Radical Islamist terrorists don't only threaten American lives. They destroy the values we believe in most deeply. They oppress women under medieval laws. They declare death to homosexuals, religious dissenters, and any free thinker under their sway. They refuse to tolerate the very diversity of opinion that makes us Democrats--and Americans. When we fail to fight them, we fail to fight for the dignity of our very humanity.
With this in mind, I'd like to turn to another example of a threat to these values: the religious lobby here at home. The New York Times today had an article on religious leaders campaigning for, and getting, tax breaks for their activites. The supposed rationale behind it is that they are doing things that help society, but other secular institutions don't get the break.
Pastor Warren argued that the tax break is essential to poorly paid clergy members who serve society. [But] the tax break is not available to the staff at secular nonprofit organizations whose scale and charitable aims compare to those of religious ministries like Pastor Warren’s church, or to poorly paid inner-city teachers and day care workers who also serve their communities.
Clearly, it would be a good idea to extend equal treatment. Not to repeal the tax breaks, which would be a PR nightmare, but extend them to other people who perform the same duties. The Democrats really aren't that good with these sorts of smaller issues that are still important, and they need to approach the culture wars with an additude of winning them if they want to finally repeal the Reagan revolution.

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