Faith-Based Attacks Now Fair Game

The AP has a good article about how “nonwhite Christians voted overwhelmingly for Obama, [while] most white Christians backed John McCain” and how black clergy believe that right-wing attacks on Barack Obama’s “religious beliefs and support for abortion rights crossed the line, hurting longtime efforts to reconcile their communities.”

Toward the end, Harry Jackson shows up to explain that attacks on Obama’s faith were perfectly justified and in no way vitriolic:

But Bishop Harry Jackson, an African-American pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C., and a McCain supporter, said questions about Obama’s more liberal reading of Scripture was fair game. Jackson noted that Obama became an observant Christian through the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Videos of Wright’s sermons that circulated widely earlier this year showed him cursing the government and accusing it of conspiring against blacks. Obama eventually left the church.

“Many, many people question whether Barack Obama had been under a legitimate Christian leadership figure,” Jackson said. “I personally never ascribed any vitriolic character assassination to it.”

So having his faith declared “woefully deficient” and the basic tenets of his faith mocked while his “religious commitment” is questioned is not vitriolic?  Being told he is not a “true Christian,” that he doesn’t “meet the requirements” to be a Christian and that his faith “tramples on the historic teachings of Christianity and the Bible” is not vitriolic?  Being told that he is the harbinger of the Anti-Christ who has “no right to claim” to be a Christian because he is “not a Christian by any Biblical or historic measure” is not vitriolic?  

Good to know.  I’ll be sure to keep that in mind the next time the Religious Right starts complaining about people like Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin being subjected to reverse religious tests because of their deeply-held beliefs.