Obama’s Religious Test

Well before Sen. Barack Obama had officially announced that he was running for President, the good folks at the National Clergy Council were already hard at work attempting to discredit his Christian faith.

On January 8th, Faith and Action, an affiliate of the National Clergy Council, unveiled an “in-depth examination of the religious beliefs of Sen. Barack Obama titled: ‘Barack Obama: Sheep or Goat?’” that claims to “tell you what kind of Christian he is not … [he] is definitely not an Evangelical.”

Of course, Obama doesn’t claim to be an Evangelical, so why exactly the NCC thought it so necessary to “research who and what Barack Obama is … as far as his faith is concerned” is impossible to know.  

Maybe next, the NCC can release a lengthy exposé on the fact that neither Catholic GOP candidate Sen. Sam Brownback nor Mormon Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are Evangelicals either.

Now that Obama has announced his intention to run, the NCC is making clear that it intends to continue its “examination” of his faith … and that it is his own fault:

By injecting his faith so directly into his campaign, Mr. Obama has invited an examination and debate focused on his faith. Sadly, we will find Mr. Obama’s Christianity woefully deficient.

Not surprisingly, the NCC has a completely different position on this sort of tactic when it comes to Republican officials:

I recall sitting in on confirmation hearings for John Ashcroft who was up for attorney general in the first Bush Administration and it was nothing short of brutal. Besides attacking him for being a right wing extremist, opponents of President Bush threatened to grill Mr. Ashcroft on his Christian doctrinal beliefs. It was one of the most contentious, prejudicial, petty and insulting exercises I have witnessed in Washington since arriving here nearly twelve years ago.

So apparently what is “prejudicial, petty and insulting” when it applies to John Ashcroft is entirely legitimate when it comes to Barack Obama.