Harvard Law Professor is Unseasonably Optimistic

William Stuntz is an Evangelical and a Law Professor at Harvard. In this column in Tech Central Station he argues that the Red-Blue divide might not be so very great, particularly on the question of Evangelical Christians.

He has some decent insights along the way on the substantial similarities between University rituals and Church rituals. Universities are, indeed, still a bit churchy at times. (To Stuntz's points of comparison, I would add: the religious origin of the words "Dean" and "Canon," and the pseudo-priestly get-up worn at graduation.) Stuntz reads these similarities of ethos, ritual performance, and intellectual bent as signs that Evangelicals and University Professors might one day soon be holding hands again. It's all fine -- if a little sketchy, except for one glaring puddle of lump: he just isn't convincing at all on the question of how to get over the abortion divide.

These men and women vote Republican not because they like the party's policy toward poverty -- cut taxes and hope for the best -- but because poverty isn't on the table anymore. In evangelical churches, elections are mostly about abortion. Neither party seems much concerned with giving a hand to those who most need it.
That could change. I can't prove it, but I think there is a large, latent pro-redistribution evangelical vote, ready to get behind the first politician to tap into it. (Barack Obama, are you listening?) If liberal Democratic academics believe the things they say they believe -- and I think they do -- there is an alliance here just waiting to happen.

Nice try, but I don't see it. Is he suggesting that the way for Dems. to win the hearts and minds of Evangelical Christians is to a) give up on abortion rights, and b) go all out for the redistribution of wealth?

Thanks to Tyler  for the tip.