Yesterday we wrote a post about various Religious Right figures blasting the “Compassion Forum” that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama participated in over the weekend. Among those most bitter about the event was the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins who dismissed the entire thing as a sham mainly because he wasn’t invited to take part:
[O]rganizations like FRC, which have historically addressed faith issues, were not invited to participate or even submit questions to the candidates. Instead, the event’s radical board, which included pro-abortion and homosexual advocates, used the forum as an opportunity to chip away at the traditional agenda of the faith-based community.
Well, as it turns out, the folks over at Faith in Public Life, who organized and co-sponsored the event, have something to say about that:
Perkins claimed that he was not invited to the Forum. In fact, Perkins was invited to attend the Forum AND the VIP reception for faith leaders held beforehand. He never responded to the invitation.
So much for that complaint.
But while we are rehashing old blog posts, we may as well note that the other part of that post dealt with the fact that John McCain subbed the event entirely and the fact that nobody on the Right seems too upset about it. In fact, someone from McCain’s religious outreach team reached out to the Brody File to spread the word that McCain’s faith is “extremely private” and that he won’t be talking about it.
Needless to say, that sort of attitude isn’t going over too well with the Right:
Pastor Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council says not much is known about McCain’s personal faith, except that he was raised in a family that believed religion was to be kept private. But Schenck contends that does not comport with the beliefs, customs and practices of evangelicals.
“We live with a mandate to preach the gospel, to unashamedly testify what Christ has done in our lives, to generously share that information with others,” says Schenck. “… And John McCain has yet to give that kind of public testimony, and it’s undermining the confidence of evangelicals in John McCain.”
Schenck believes McCain’s reluctance to talk more in-depth about his faith is not a good thing for him, his support base, or the country.
McCain’s faith may be private, but if he wants to win over the Religious Right, he’d better start offering up some public testimony, because that is what they want to hear.
But McCain had better not be too open about his faith because Schenck will just start criticizing it as “woefully deficient” and saying that it shows that he has “no real moral philosophy.” Oh wait, no he won’t – he reserves that sort of criticism for Democrats.