Hugh Hewitt offers the following insight into the "recent" mobilization of the "religious right":
The speed with which issues that excite the passions of people of faith have arrived at the center of American politics is not surprising given the forced march that the courts have put those issues on. It was not the "religious right" that pushed gay marriage to the center of the public debate; it was courts in Hawaii, Vermont, and Massachusetts. It wasnt the "religious right" that ordered Terri Schiavos feeding tube removed; it was a Florida Supreme Court that struck down a law passed by the Florida legislature and signed by Governor Jeb Bush which would have allowed Terri Schiavo to live. And it isnt the "religious right" that forced the United States Supreme Court to repeatedly issue rulings on areas of law that would have been better left to legislatures.
I suggested, not altogether facetiously, that returning the abortion debate to the political arena, where it does indeed belong (according to an understanding of the our constitutional order genuinely faithful to the document that is supposed to be at its heart), could go a long way toward "taming" the sometimes irregular passions of conservative religionists. I should find it remarkable (but unfortunately do not) that our friends on the Left, who always seem interested in giving voice to the marginalized as a way of giving them a moderating stake in the system, and who profess to understand the frustration of those who are denied a voice, are not on the forefront of those calling for a return to a genuinely deliberative democracy to pour oil on our troubled waters.
I recognize that some will say that the voice of the "religious right" is too loud, since religious conservatives are said to dominate the national Republican Party (though Jonathan Chait is not sure he agrees). Accepting for the sake of this argument their claim, what we have is a conflict between two (as yet unarmed) camps: religious conservatives "controlling" Congress and the Presidency and secular liberals "controlling" the federal judiciary. The conventional liberal wisdom would call for both sides to enter into conversations in order to facilitate moderation and compromise. My impression, however, is that the secular judicial liberals regard their judicial bastion as impregnable, so long as their guerilla forces in the Senate and the press can continue effectively to harrass their opponents. I dont think that this is a winning strategy, since all that it is sure to accomplish is weakening the moral and legal authority of the judiciary.
All I really want is for liberals to behave the way they almost always do when faced with external opponents: try to understand the force of their ire and find a way of integrating them into a peaceful system of cooperation. If liberals are genuinely willing to engage with "reasonable" religionists (and if what they mean by a "reasonable religionist" is someone other than C. Welton Gaddy), then displaying a genuine willingness to debate these issues in the political arena is the only plausible way of accomplishing this goal.