Kristen Soltis pens a great post over at The Next Right that’s definitely worth a read. Because by talking about refocusing what religion means to the Republican party, she’s helping drive the conversation for a new generation of conservatives…and that’s long overdue…

The notion that every human life is sacred is an important one, and not one that should be cast out of the party, I’ll readily agree. But the dignity of human life is important for the unborn as well as those born and living among us as our neighbors – the alone, the sick, the needy. We need advocates for the unborn in our party, but so too do we need an agenda that focuses on the dignity of human life and mutual respect in our inner cities, in the third world, in our schools. We can’t focus on one and ignore the other without essentially cherry picking when we decide we care about human life. […]

Do our candidates and leaders need to wear their religion on their sleeve? No. Religion itself is a very personal matter to many Americans, and the blend of religion and politics that is intended to demagogue and divide will hopefully find its way out the door. A focus on religion as a litmus test for our leaders, as an exclusionary aspect of partisanship, is doomed to failure.

But many Americans have a place for spirituality in their lives, whatever shape or form that comes in, and there is something important driving millions of Americans to go to church tonight. God matters to America, and matters in politics – just maybe not in the way we’ve been lead to believe. The season of hope, happiness and love isn’t just a Christian phenomenon; it’s something everyone can take part in, and it’s a spirit I hope won’t be forgotten as soon as the presents are all opened.

This debate will go on and on and on in the coming weeks as we prepare to select our RNC chair and to set our party on a course to bounce back in 2010. The role that religion, and in particular Christianity, will play in the party will hopefully receive a healthy amount of attention and discussion.

Here’s the thing…I honestly don’t think that Republicans will get their act together with regards to wedge issues for quite some time. In fact, it may take another 20 years for what Kristen is talking about to really gain a foothold because an entire generation of politicians has to come of age and start running with these new values.

But what younger Christians can start doing immediately is creating grassroots buzz via social media channels to let the older folks now that this is where they’re going and they can start to adopt their policy positions or risk losing an entire generation of conservative voters.

After all, with Obama inviting Rick Warren to give his invocation, Dems are starting to make inroads with issues that matter to many younger religious “conservatives.”

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