Obama speaking about his religion
by DavidCD, Sun Feb 24, 2008 at 11:48:01 AM EST
Yesterday a diary was posted here attacking Barack Obama for supposedly being anti-Christian and anti-Jewish. These charges are as lacking in documentation as other charges that Obama is a radical Muslim or a black separatist. Media Matters has done an admirable job in showing how little there is to those attacks, but that only helps if someone is willing to question others who jump to their conclusions.
The attack yesterday was based on a YouTube video by a Muslim who likes that Obama accepts pluralism. That video included a few sentences from a 40-minute keynote address Barack Obama gave at the Sojourner's Pentecost conference in 2006. Audio of that speech can be found here. Free registration may be required to hear it. It's clear from the entire speech what brief snippets from it meant, certainly nothing anti-Christian or anti-Jewish.
There used to be audio at that site from Hillary Clinton speaking at the same conference. Several other Democrats spoke there as well as Republicans Sam Brownback and Rick Santorum. Clinton and Obama both gave similar perspectives from their liberal Christianity. If either atheists or Bible-believing Christians wish to attack them for that, they can do so in a very tired, self-centered way. I remember reading an attack like that at some point in 2007 claiming there was something suspicious about Hillary Clinton being in a Bible study with Sam Brownback on Capitol Hill. Yes, liberal Christians are still Christians, and so is Barack Obama. If someone has a problem with that, then they're going to have the same problem with many Democratic candidates.
Religion is not a simple subject to discuss. It's easy to lift a sentence out of context and pretend it means the exact opposite of its obvious meaning when heard in context. It's easy to play guilt by association with religion. For those who are determined to hate someone, religion provides rich fodder.
It doesn't have to be like this. The faith of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama gives some pointers about that.