…it didn’t take long for the attacks to start. Catholic whiner (a factual rather than a judgmental term) Bill Donohue has sent around a blast email on the Obama article titled, “Obama – Theocrat?”:
“If the same standard that was applied to President George W. Bush were to be applied to Senator Barack Obama, then Obama must be considered a theocrat who shows no respect for separation of church and state. What else is one to conclude after seeing a color photo of him today on the front page of the New York Times preaching from the pulpit of a Christian church? The article itself is even more indicting.
…Obama can begin his presidential campaign with ‘Giving all praise and honor to God,’ and it doesn’t raise an eyebrow among the guardians of church and state. But when Bush said that Jesus was his favorite philosopher, the guardians went ballistic. Indeed, Obama can compare himself to Joshua, and no one blinks.
Yesterday, Obama blasted the Bush administration’s handling on the war in Iraq while preaching at a Christian church. Now imagine a pro-life Republican candidate speaking at a Catholic Church denouncing the Democrats for supporting partial-birth abortions. And imagine the reaction he would receive if there were a color photo of him on the front page of the New York Times speaking at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The double standard is nauseous, and it smacks of religious and racial prejudice.
Oh please. Stop the whining. No administration in recent history has been more manipulative of faith than the Bush Administration. President Bush, a man of sincere faith, talks about his faith all the time. If anything Americans have been ill-served by a press that hasn’t explored his manipulation of faith for his political ends nearly enough. This old, old, old whine that, “Wah, Wah, we are being discriminated against,” is old and pathetic. Conservative Christians in the public arena aren’t being discriminated against any more than any group in the public square gets challenged and criticized and attacked. Such is the nature of the public square, such is the nature of a public debate. Deal with it and start trying to figure out why so many Christians are bailing on the religious right and the Republican party. Hint – it is because they are sick of seeing Jesus manipulated for political ends. And a word to Democrats eager for the “faith vote” – don’t think that you can just mention the name of Jesus, prop yourself up in a pulpit and expect to win elections. Don’t manipulate God for your own political ends because neither God nor religious voters will be happy.