“First, Do No Harm” by James Hitchcock

Editorial

“First, Do No Harm”

Religion and politics are indeed a potentially lethal mix, and Touchstone’s judgments about the Democratic party have inevitably brought forth charges that the journal is blindly loyal to the Republicans. If so, it were a grievous fault.

One reason for criticizing Democrats rather than Republicans is that, with some exceptions, Republicans do not seem to have the same religious commitment to their party that many Democrats have to theirs. Touchstone’s judgments were inspired by a fascinating study1 showing that the more fervent a church member is, the more likely he is to vote Republican, while the large majority of self-described non-religious people are Democrats, with people who are anti-religious being the most Democratic of all.

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James Hitchcock is Professor emeritus of History at St. Louis University in St. Louis. He and his late wife Helen have four daughters. His most recent book is the two-volume work, The Supreme Court and Religion in American Life (Princeton University Press, 2004). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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