Tags: Bobby Jindal | Ted Cruz | Washington Post | GOP | Indiana | religious

WaPo: Religious Freedom Fight a Bad Idea for GOP

By    |   Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 04:31 PM

If Republicans hope to expand their tent ahead of a tough 2016 election cycle, they need to quickly pivot from the ongoing fight over religious freedom after the backlash felt against Indiana's new — and changing — law, The Washington Post suggests.

While they are likely to score points with their most conservative and religious base, such a message is unlikely to fare well with a broader and more centrist audience that likely views efforts in Indiana as something "that could codify discrimination against gays and lesbians," the Post's Chris Cillizza notes in his column, "The Fix."

"In order to change/adapt what the GOP brand means to the average, non-base voter, the 2016 Republican candidates would do well for the controversy over the Indiana law to disappear from the national news roughly, well, yesterday," Cillizza writes.

"But for 2016ers looking to score points with a socially conservative base in advance of the Iowa caucuses or the South Carolina primary, say, double and tripling down on the importance of standing strong on religious freedom in the face of backlash is a very sound strategy," he adds.

Already, the Post notes, those likely primary candidates who are running on a conservative message are leaning into a religious liberty debate and fight as they speak across the country. They include Louisiana's Bobby Jindal as well as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been resolute in capturing religious Republicans on the right.

Jindal has touted a "silent war" on religious liberty in speeches earlier this year, long before the Indiana hubbub.

Cruz has praised Indiana lawmakers for standing firm, the Post said, noting his effort to "double down" on the divide.

"We're seeing in the news right now a lot of noise because the state of Indiana bravely stood up and passed a law defending religious liberty. I’ll say this: I will commend the state of Indiana for doing the right thing."

Others like Carly Fiorina have split the difference so to speak. Fiorina says she backs Indiana's religious freedom law, but also supports marriage equality, USA Today reported. She chided her Silicon Valley brethren for shaming Indiana.

"We are having now a clarifying debate about what is really at stake here for gay couples," she told USA Today."What's really at stake here for gay couples is how government bestows benefits. What's really at stake here for people of religious conviction is their conviction that marriage is a religious institution because only a man and a woman can create life, which is a gift that comes from God."

She added: "I think both of those points of view are valid, and I really hope that we come to a place in this country where we are prepared to have respectful differences and tolerate those two views."

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If Republicans hope to expand their tent ahead of a tough 2016 election cycle, they need to quickly pivot from the ongoing fight over religious freedom after the backlash felt against Indiana's new - and changing - law, The Washington Post suggests.
Washington Post, GOP, Indiana, religious
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2015-31-02
Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 04:31 PM
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