The Right is always saying that candidates can and should bring their faith to the public square, but it seems like the more Barack Obama does it, the more he gets criticized.
As we’ve noted several times in the past, for months right-wing activists like Rob Schenck have been declaring “Obama’s Christianity woefully deficient” and demanding that Obama explain, in detail, the basic tenets of his faith so that the Right can judge just “how profound is the religious commitment that Barack Obama has made.” Others have echoed that point, saying that Obama is not a “true Christian,” that “there is a clear requirement for one to qualify as a Christian and Obama doesn’t meet that requirement,” and that Obama’s faith “tramples on the historic teachings of Christianity and the Bible.”
These attacks culminated in a nearly unprecedented episode last week when James Dobson dedicated his radio program to disparaging Obama’s understanding of his Christian faith, which was followed up by a three-part video series in which Focus on the Family Vice President Tom Minnery accusing Obama of having everything from a “completely and utterly ridiculous understanding” of the role of religion in public life to holding sacrilegious views.
And now that attacks on Obama’s faith have been given Dobson’s blessing, it seems as if every right-wing commentator cannot wait to pile on, with Pat Buchanan weighing in with his typically well-reasoned and insightful views:
Obama, however, is now preaching a kumbaya Christianity where leaders who believe abortion is the killing of the innocent unborn are to set their convictions and cause aside in the name of ecumenical amity.
It is Dobson who, in his intolerance of perceived evil, seems in the tradition of the abolitionists, and Barack who appears more like the milquetoast believers of whom Christ said he would spit them out of his mouth because they were neither hot nor cold and whom Dante consigned to the deepest reaches of hell.
For his part, George Neumayr was no less splenetic:
The willfulness he casually assumes in the traditionally religious defines his own stance, as he cobbles together a sham Christianity from scratch that conveniently dovetails with the platform of the Democratic Party, then calls his vote-searching the reconciliation of “religion and politics.”
And, of course, the folks at the Christian Defense Coalition could not let any opportunity pass to weigh in as well:
Senator Obama does not have the moral authority to address these issues while supporting the tragic killing of innocent children and diminishing of women through abortion.
“The question must be asked, how can one support faith and values while embracing policies that brutalize children and wound women? Senator Obama cannot talk with integrity about his faith and social justice anymore than a segregationist or racist can talk about their faith, justice or equality with integrity.
And then there is Rick Scarborough of Vision America :
“Like my friend Jim Dobson, I was appalled by the Senator’s remarks,” Scarborough disclosed. “This speech showed Obama’s real views on politics and religion. And, I can tell you, the presumptive Democratic nominee is no friend of Bible-believing Christians,” Scarborough added.
Of course, Scarborough has spent the last week loudly complaining that a variety of evangelical leaders even agreed to meet with Obama earlier this month (probably because he wasn’t invited, though he has been trying to make it seem like he was) saying that doing so only confuses right-wing voters:
Senator Obama (D-Illinois), the presumptive Democratic candidate for president, recently held meetings with prominent Christians, including Franklin Graham and Bishop T.D. Jakes. But Rick Scarborough, president of Vision America Action, says evangelical leaders send a confusing message when they meet with Obama.
“This is a man that has never seen an unborn fetus that he wouldn’t abort,” chides Scarborough. “While serving in the state legislature in the state of Illinois, [he] served on a committee that literally prevented a bipartisan piece of legislation which would have offered medical services to botched abortions,” he points out.
Scarborough goes on to criticize Obama’s stance on homosexuality. “He’s radically pro-gay…even to legislating against sections of the Bible and preventing those of us who embrace those sections of the Bible from preaching biblical truth,” he argues. “So I’m troubled by it.”