What About the Early Service?

Like many other religious-right activists, Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council is not a big fan of John McCain. While Schenck gave him an okay assessment a year ago, the activist has made “in-depth examination” of candidates’ “religious beliefs” a key political test, and McCain apparently fails that test: Schenck recently wrote on his blog that the senator “doesn’t appear to me to have any vital faith.”

What exactly does that mean? Apparently, it has something to do with scheduling conflicts:

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has scheduled a town hall meeting at 11:45 AM this Sunday in Polk City, Florida. … National Clergy Council president, the Reverend Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) today released this statement:

“John McCain is showing an obvious insensitivity to church people by scheduling a major campaign event smack in the middle of Sunday morning church hours. We object to any candidate interfering with church attendance by encouraging supporters to skip church services to participate in political activities. If Senator McCain or any other candidate wishes to connect with church attendees, they need to respect Sunday morning church hours.”

On the other hand, Schenck had the chance “peer into the soul” of Mike Huckabee, and concluded that he’s “the real deal.” So we probably won’t be getting any press releases denouncing Huckabee’s campaign strategy of speaking at friendly, politically-involved churches and relying on church-based get-out-the-vote.