Reverend Who, Part Two

Yesterday, I noted how the Washington Post, in its discussion of Barack Obama’s “spiritual journey,” air-brushed the candidate’s long-time spiritual adviser out of the pilgrimage. But the Post’s pro-Obama spin was nothing compared to that performed by George Stephanopoulos and his left-of-center panel on ABC. That performance, which I heard after I had written my original post, deserves separate mention.

Stephanopoulos’ roundtable described Obama’s outreach to evangelicals. The consensus seemed to be that (with the proviso discussed below) Obama has a real shot at making inroads here, given the less than warm feelings many evangelicals have towards John McCain. No mention was made of Obama’s pro-abortion stance, including his statement that if his daughters make a “mistake” he does not want to see them “punished with a baby.”

Moreover, there was no mention of Reverend Wright, or of Obama’s twenty year association with a church many of whose doctrines every evangelical (and nearly every non-evangelical) would surely find reprehensible. Instead, there was hand-wringing over how Obama’s efforts to reach evangelicals may be thwarted by false information about Obama’s religion.

The reference here was to the rumor that Obama is a Muslim. The panelists seemed convinced that if every evangelical only knew and accepted the “truth” about Obama’s religion, they would discover how much they have in common with Obama. Then, Obama’s support with this group might well reach the 30 percent level, or so, that Bill Clinton attained. The rest would be history.

But the core, indisputable truth about Obama and religion is that he spent roughly two decades as a member of Rev. Wright’s church and as Wright’s spiritual mentee (prior to which time he was a non-believer). Would those evangelicals (if any) who believe that Obama is a Muslim be more inclined to vote for Obama if they knew he was the spiritual disciple of an anti-white, anti-American hate monger whose black liberation theology teaches that blacks have a superior relationship to God? Or would they conclude, as I do, that this close association is considerably more problematic than membership in a mainstream American Muslim congregation would be?

Stephanopoulos’ panelists weren’t saying. They weren’t even asking.

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