Eric Gorski of the Associated Press wrote a poignant piece this week about how religion and politics came head to head in this election and religion ultimately lost.  

Here are some highlights from his article:

Analysis: Religion used divide, mock in '08

With a few exceptions, whatever seemed odd or fringe trumped serious discussion about how candidates' religious beliefs shape their approach to governance.

. . . 
As the race nears its end, scholars and religious leaders are using terms like "new low" and "embarrassing" to describe how religious beliefs were distorted and picked over, while candidates were asked to mount theological defenses for their respective faiths or be held accountable for the views of others. . . . "This year we invaded churches with cell phones and started putting sermons up on YouTube," said Clyde Wilcox, a Georgetown political science professor. "That's been troubling, because you would like to think a candidate would have a little privacy in church." David Gushee, a professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University in Georgia, said that more so than in past elections, religion became "a marker of identity" for candidates this year.
. . .
But Martin Marty, one of the nation's pre-eminent religion scholars, already has reached one conclusion: the rancorous campaign has been bad for religion. The retired University of Chicago professor wrote in a commentary this week that the exploitation and exhibition of religion in the race is "bad for the name of religion itself, for religious institutions, for a fair reading of sacred texts, for sundered religious communities, for swaggering religious communities which are too sure of themselves, for the pursuit of virtue, for extending the reach of religion too far."
 

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