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Obama Plans Major Outreach to Young Evangelicals and Catholics

What do Barack Obama and the Democrats have to offer young evangelicals and Catholics? We'll soon find out. Obama is launching the Joshua Generation Project to bring more of them on board with his campaign.

The name is based on the biblical story of how Joshua's generation led the Israelites into the Promised Land. A source close to the Obama campaign tells The Brody File the following:

"The Joshua Generation project will be the Obama campaign's outreach to young people of faith. There's unprecedented energy and excitement for Obama among young evangelicals and Catholics. The Joshua Generation project will tap into that excitement and provide young people of faith opportunities to stand up for their values and move the campaign forward."

Why would evangelicals and Catholics support a pro-choice candidate? Is he planning on modifying his position? Are his campaign speeches going to incorporate religion even more than they have in the past?

Where is this headed? [More...]

Some clues are in his March, 2008 Selma speech. Is anyone else concerned about the separation of church and state? I've opposed the faith-based programs of George W. Bush. I'm not looking forward to more of them. It's fine for Obama to be religious and spiritual in his personal life. I don't think either belongs in Government.

(Comments now closed.)

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    Nowhere I want to be (5.00 / 10) (#1)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:47:49 PM EST
    This is concerning. I'm all for "big tents" and all, but ... this is one of the things that unsettles me about Obama, no matter superior on "the issues" he is than McCain.

    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Dalton Hoffine on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:50:14 PM EST
    He's already being sued for this because he's calling it Joshua Generation Project--something really similar to Generation Joshua, a 2004 Bush Youth outreach program.

    As to what he can offer young evals and Catholics, I happen to know a good number who are going to vote for Obama in the fall. Obama fits the Millenialist ideals as far as politics is concerned, from the tone of his post-partisan message, to meeting without preconditions with foreign leaders, and making concessions to your ideals if it brings in more people to achieve consensus. He does struggle with Catholics, though, so the Catholic youth might be a prime area to target for him.

    And for many of us (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:52:05 PM EST
    it is precisely what attracts them that we find repellant. I will be voting for Obama despite the post-partisan rhetoric and millennialist aura.

    Parent
    He doesn't need to win over the bloc... (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:52:45 PM EST
    ...he needs to chip away.

    And he does have support. Especially among those evangelicals and Catholics who (a) aren't one-issue (abortion) voters and (b) don't think Republicans are doing anything for ANY of their issues, including abortion.

    Honestly, I don't think (5.00 / 6) (#6)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:54:39 PM EST
    he can chip away enough anywhere that it's going to matter (except maybe Virginia, and even there I doubt it will work).

    The 30% of the white vote he needs to win in Mississippi, for example, just isn't going to be forthcoming. And really, this is a bible belt project.

    Parent

    Well... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:59:32 PM EST
    ...it depends on how you judge the effort to chip away "mattering" or not. If there's even a slight deterioration of this group toward Obama then McCain has to shore that group up instead of going after other demographics.

    I disagree about this being a Bible Belt project, though. I think you're far more on base locating its focus in Virginia. And NC, and PA, and OH. Etc.

    But really it's about switching a basic narrative to put the GOP off-balance nationally, and forcing a reallocation of $ resources.

    Parent

    What concerns me is that Obama seems (5.00 / 11) (#21)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:04:28 PM EST
    uninterested--still--in doing anything to appeal to the partisan Democratic base.

    Parent
    Yup - I'm still waiting for the (4.87 / 24) (#50)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:18:02 PM EST
    initiative for 50 yr old white women.  And it better have a nicer name than Operation Get Over It.

    Parent
    And all of those people (5.00 / 5) (#23)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:05:28 PM EST
    who criticized Bill Clinton and Mark Penn for going gaga over school uniforms in 1996 might just want to make sure they're being consistent.

    Parent
    The difference is (5.00 / 1) (#225)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:49:52 PM EST
    unlike Bill Clinton and school uniforms, Obama isn't endangering any core progressive values by bringing more religion into politics.

    Parent
    do you believe ... (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:58:40 PM EST
    in the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot, too? Evangelicals who aren't one issue voters -- there are, what, two of them?

    /snark

    To the extent that this is a strategy to pull away 2-3%, I can be pragmatic enough to accept that. But I remain skeptical of his quickness to pander on religious issues (viz. KY campaign) when he doesn't know what else to do.

    Shouldn't his priority be to unify the party, not to grow it minimally with people whose values are ... not shared ... by many within the party? Will he be reaching out to homophobes next (I'll pretend that he didn't already do that here in SC)?

    Parent

    Maybe he doesn't share the same values (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:02:07 PM EST
    I have, may be he quite simply has more in common with the demographic here being discussed.

    Parent
    I think you'd be surprised about evangelicals... (3.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:01:43 PM EST
    ...abortion is huge, but if they don't necessarily believe McCain will be a good defender of the pro-life cause, other issues will come to the forefront. And as more and more of their fellow congregation gets kicked out of their homes or lose their jobs or whatever, McCain will have to make his case to them instead of independents.

    Parent
    But, but (5.00 / 11) (#24)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:06:02 PM EST
    all I've been hearing for weeks is that McCain is virulently anti-abortion and the SC apocalypse is coming if I 'let' McCain win.  So which is it?

    This is a serious question, I've never heard or read anything that would indicate any wiggle room in McCain's abortion position.

    Parent

    abortion (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:53:48 PM EST
    is the one issue that they trust him on, actually. have you seen his ratings by pro-choice organizations? They're pretty much zero. He does not appeal to them because he has, in the past, belittled religious demagogues like Falwell (until he realized he couldn't do that and be a Republican). It's not abortion.

    Parent
    My 23 year old nephew is an (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by bjorn on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:54:42 PM EST
    active Catholic, considered the priesthood, and is a huge Obama fan.  That is just one person but maybe there is some potential there.  I think this is part of Obama's huge pivot to the center.  Rachel Maddow already pointed out today that Obama seems to be taking a page from Bill Clinton's triangulation strategy now that the GE is on...she was not altogether happy about it.  Let's see if Obama love can stand this pivot, my guess is that the crush is so huge it will not hurt him.

    Crush? (5.00 / 5) (#27)
    by pie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:07:05 PM EST
    I'm backing away.

    Parent
    I never had the Crush myself (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by bjorn on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:09:11 PM EST
    so I am not backing away but trying to move slowly forward.  Stuff like this makes it hard.

    Parent
    I'm not moving. (5.00 / 9) (#37)
    by pie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:12:18 PM EST
    The presidetial campaign hasn't even begun to heat up, and I'm less than happy with the presumptive nominee.

    :(

    Parent

    It is headed (5.00 / 13) (#8)
    by Molly Pitcher on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:55:30 PM EST
    no where I want to go!

    It's what worried me even before Iowa (5.00 / 11) (#140)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:59:43 PM EST
    when I witnessed Obama's religiosity in his approach, in 2007.  And it turned me off . . . and he just can't seem to turn me to him, ever since.

    Parent
    If they are the Joshua Generation (5.00 / 20) (#9)
    by zyx on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:55:30 PM EST
    then, I suppose, that Obama is, implicitly, Joshua?

    I know he probably didn't say that, but this kind of thing seems over the top.

    I guess the marketing department figures it will pick up more votes than it will lose--but that sort of thing makes people like my husband swear he can never vote for the guy, ever.

    Have you ever looked at his website? (5.00 / 15) (#11)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:56:53 PM EST
    My god, the halo thing makes me want to vomit.

    I'm over that stuff because I not longer have any other choice, but it's still BAD.

    Parent

    the halo picture is on ABC news website (5.00 / 11) (#14)
    by bjorn on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:58:54 PM EST
    with this story.  Yucky!

    Parent
    from the ABC article (5.00 / 5) (#103)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:42:15 PM EST
    >>>But Roll Call reports today that the Home School Legal Defense Association might sue Obama for trademark infringement, since its "Generation Joshua" group has been established since 2003.

    "This is an improper invasion of our trademark and we've retained legal counsel to notify the Obama campaign to stop this," HSLDA's co-founder, chairman, and general counsel, Michael Farris, told Roll Call. Farris also wrote a 2005 book called, "The Joshua Generation: Restoring the Heritage of Christian Leadership."

    Parent

    just posted on that down below (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by kempis on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:45:46 PM EST
    LOL

    I don't know about you but I needed that laugh.

    Parent

    sorry-can't resist (5.00 / 8) (#142)
    by sleepingdogs on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:59:47 PM EST
    Is this more "change you can xerox?"  :-D

    Parent
    It is bad, and I'm not over it (5.00 / 14) (#16)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:59:43 PM EST
    it is disgusting to me when the GOP does it and it is just as disgusting when the Dems do it. My mama taught me that two wrongs don't make a right.

    Parent
    I'm less concerned about Obama (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:07:27 PM EST
    because his policy positions are different.

    I can distinguish the messenger from the message, but I don't like to have to.

    Parent

    Does it bother you at all to hear yourself say (5.00 / 7) (#40)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:13:46 PM EST
    I not longer have any other choice

    I don't remember too many times in my life when I felt that way. I think we always have a choice, even if that choice is to fight what's happening.

    Admittedly, I get in trouble a lot for standing up for what I firmly believe is right, but no one knows me to be someone who gives in to what is wrong.


    Parent

    Bother me? (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:16:44 PM EST
    No, not really. My commitment is, as to always has been, to get behind the choice of the Democratic party.

    We have a choice between two candidates in the fall, and unless John McCain suddenly commits to appointing liberals to the Supreme Court and signing ENDA--for example--Obama is my choice.


    Parent

    What democratic party? (5.00 / 13) (#73)
    by pie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:28:43 PM EST
    Wha does it stand for anymore?

    Parent
    The issues I cited in the comment (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:30:48 PM EST
    you're replying to. Those will only move forward under a Democratic President. End of story.

    Parent
    I have no idea (5.00 / 13) (#99)
    by pie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:40:51 PM EST
    what either one would do at this point.

    that's the dilemma.

    Obama is no Hillary Clinton.  We know where she stands, and she wouldn't have had to go begging for religious voters.

    Parent

    I may not be entirely comfortable (4.50 / 2) (#107)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:42:57 PM EST
    with Obama, but I am confident that his policies will be vastly better than McCain's. That seems to be Hillary Clinton's position too.


    Parent
    Okay. (5.00 / 7) (#110)
    by pie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:44:39 PM EST
    That's you.

    Parent
    There's always a third choice (5.00 / 9) (#101)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:41:07 PM EST
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
    The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.

    I am always so grateful to be part of the generation that marched for what they believed in.


    Parent

    Interesting, isn't it, that now (5.00 / 7) (#155)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:05:46 PM EST
    that generation, my generation, may find that the way to protest is to not march but to stay home?

    The older I get, the more I am intrigued by the ironies and paradoxes of existence on this planet.

    Parent

    Actually, it seems the boomers (5.00 / 6) (#196)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:25:41 PM EST
    are the ones who will be doing the protest over what is happening this election. It isn't the young women who are trying to organize a million woman march on Denver.

    There are wolves after our children.

    Parent

    Paradox (none / 0) (#192)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:24:46 PM EST
    but the fact that your generation marched also gave them the wherewithall to choose not to go along with whatever 'The Party' tells you.  Earlier generations were less inclined to speak out against authority in general.  So the means are a paradox (marching vs staying home) but the underlying principle has stayed the same.

    Parent
    Cream makes a good point, though (5.00 / 3) (#214)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:31:44 PM EST
    I sure wish the youth of today realized where they are being led.

    I have two in Obama's demographic and have read others online who are aware enough of their surroundings to know how insecure their futures are. They at least know when they need to stand for something.

    At my age, and after all the energy it took to raise my kids, I'd march again if need be. I just really wish the young ones would take over.

    Parent

    i wish he were running :P (5.00 / 1) (#209)
    by boredmpa on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:30:15 PM EST
    i appreciate what your generation did, but from the greatest generation to the entitlement generation such terms have been a weee bit oversold.

    With the dumbing down of our education system, loss of communications regulations starting in the 80s, globalization/materialism, and rise of new technology, our country is still far behind what it could be and hasn't provided much of a foundation for young folks to grow into well informed citizens.    We've been losing the war, though maybe web 3.5 will help.

    then again, maybe I'm just annoyed at being stuck between the greats and the entitleds. :P

    Parent

    Did You Ever Wonder How The (5.00 / 7) (#143)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:00:04 PM EST
    more moderate Republicans let their party get where it is today? I think they said exactly what you are saying now. Something to the effect that this definitely goes against my principles (replace with Republicans equivalent: McClurkin, blurring the lines between church and state, disenfranchise voters, SS on table, working class no longer necessary etc) but at least Candidate X is not a Democrat.

    I realize you will probably stick with what you are saying but something to think about. Is there ever a line that can't be justified away by the meme of the lesser of two evils?

    Parent

    interesting (none / 0) (#151)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:04:24 PM EST
    and kinda sorta disturbing.

    Parent
    Well, this is my first time going there. (5.00 / 10) (#41)
    by Burned on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:14:48 PM EST
    Goodness Gracious.
    I'm not doing that again. I was feeling halfway okay about tapping the screen for the guy. Now I have to start all over.

    Parent
    Yeah, (5.00 / 8) (#56)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:21:28 PM EST
    It would make me feel much better if he got rid of that picture. It contributes to the cult aura.

    Parent
    Ha (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by Burned on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:31:22 PM EST
    Aura.

    Parent
    Where? (none / 0) (#193)
    by MichaelGale on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:25:13 PM EST
    What are you all seeing and where?

    Parent
    I don't want another Preacher in Chief (5.00 / 10) (#83)
    by Ellie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:31:28 PM EST
    Can't these eternity-gazing theopols who are determined to send no soul to heaven unjudged stick to earthly stuff for four fricken years?

    It's just four years fehChr!ssakes. Look after the economy and the state of the union and get the he!l out of my soul (and medical appointment and legal appointment and temple.) Sweet Wonky Jeebs how hard is that???

    Ex rectum: (a)I wonder who's getting tossed curbside next, and (b) how Club Obama's Ladies' Auxiliary will like being shunted to the side-tent of the Big Unity Travelling Show.

    Parent

    perhaps Rev. Wright will headline events (5.00 / 7) (#109)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:44:19 PM EST
    Oh - and Donnie McClurkin too. Wahoo!


    Parent
    Isn't Joshua (5.00 / 14) (#102)
    by PamFl on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:41:32 PM EST
    a prominent figure in Black Liberation Theology?
    This religous strategy is very much like GWB's compassionate conservatism & faith based initiatives.
    Bush used the same tactics to sway evangelicals and very conservative Christians. He does, however, believe he is inspired by the divine.
    Belief in the divine grows out of a very personal experience. This Joshua Project feels like the manipulation of young minds that lack life experience and critical thinking skills.
    It is not the job of the president to lead religious movements. We have a secular government for a reason. America was founded on the principals of religious freedom. I for one, do not want to live under any government that promotes, dictates, or otherwise constrains my freedom of thought.
    I don't like the direction this is taking.

    Parent
    Obama exploiting kidz again? (5.00 / 10) (#118)
    by Josey on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:47:55 PM EST
    >>>This Joshua Project feels like the manipulation of young minds that lack life experience and critical thinking skills.

    He owes part of his success to university kids in delegate-rich red states that will still be red in Nov.


    Parent

    And remember what Joshua is most (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:17:50 PM EST
    famous for..bringing down the walls of Jericho. I wonder whose walls Obama plans on bringing down.

    And if you google Joshua generation, you will find several organizations with that name. One of them has the name copyrighted, apparently. So perhaps Obama will get to use his lawyer skills to fend off the law suit. Heh.

    Parent

    I read that Selma speech (3.00 / 2) (#88)
    by talex on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:33:49 PM EST
    and I wonder if he wins what the Inauguration speech will be like. The State of the Union?

    Not to sound racial here but what will America do when they wake up and see that we elected a Black preacher for President? Is this really what we want? Wasn't Bush talking directly to God enough already. Now we want someone who wants to lead a flock?

    Parent

    Not to Sound Racial? (5.00 / 2) (#205)
    by Spike on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:29:31 PM EST
    How can you say that and NOT sound racial?

    Parent
    One of the first things I became aware of (5.00 / 8) (#10)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:56:06 PM EST
    In the Obamablog community is how they felt about religion and politics.  The atheists felt they were under seige by American government.  No one really supporting that wierd dude who was trying excise the word "god" from all public documents and architecture (I forget his name), but it was very extreme.

    If you believed in God, you believed in Unicorns.  You believed in Santa Claus.  It was considered that one could define a psychological disorder by which one could be diagnosed.

    Anyway.  Bottom line.  Atheists > Theists.

    My guess is they have made a special case for Obama in this regard.

    Because Obama is a very special guy.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#60)
    by blogtopus on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:23:08 PM EST
    Jerry's kids are special too. Doesn't make it any less frightening! :-P

    Parent
    Are these New Democrats (none / 0) (#162)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:08:47 PM EST
    the kids rebelling -- as a younger generation so often likes to do -- against their parents . . . the Reagan Democrats?  Get your head around that, and see where that heads us.

    Parent
    You're On to Something (none / 0) (#200)
    by Spike on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:27:28 PM EST
    A new generation of Christian evangelicals is emerging that is rebelling against their cultural warrior parents by expressing their concern with alleviating poverty, fighting aids and protecting the environment. I suspect that Obama is trying to encourage the evangelicals to move in a more progressive direction that is more in line with the actual teachings of Christ. After all, the civil rights movement of the 60s was rooted in the church.

    Parent
    One of Obama's legacies... (5.00 / 15) (#12)
    by Oje on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:58:14 PM EST
    Should he win in November, the further mainlining of theocratic public discourses (which by the way is far more misogynist than racist) will be one of the legacies of an Obama presidency. I regard that as change for the worse.

    I personally (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Dalton Hoffine on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:09:24 PM EST
    Have no problem with candidates trying to reach out to religious people. I'm not one of them, but religion is something that's important to a ton of folks in this country, and intertwines with their politics. I actually think an error the Dems have made in the last decade or so is to become the party of the "secular-ites", with almost an abhorrance for people of evangelical backgrounds.

    Parent
    Reaching out is one thing, (5.00 / 15) (#44)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:15:51 PM EST
    bringing them in as determinative in the political process is another.

    Parent
    Good point (5.00 / 11) (#64)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:24:35 PM EST
    Do we/Does he want to owe these voters something?

    Like Jeralyn asked ... where is this going?

    Parent

    It goes in the direction of correcting the mistake (3.00 / 2) (#129)
    by carlosbas on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:53:43 PM EST
    of letting the Right "own" the religious space and expanding the base of the Democratic party. Being a Democrat does not entail necessarily being an atheist or be perceived as amoral. Although we might think that it requires a dose of stupidity to believe such things, the fact is that many assume it's true. So, any effort to attract legitimate religious minded people on issues in which there is common ground and without any compromise on our core values is welcomed news, and another step being taken to win the 2008 elections and regaining the ground lost by the DP in the past few decades.

    Parent
    to the extent (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:19:20 PM EST
    that this is ALL he is doing, I can live with that. However, I don't trust that this is all it is. Why announce this now? There should be different priorities this early in the campaign, imho. I am concerned that there is too much room in the Obama mindset for people who want to legislate their faith. I hope I'm wrong.

    Parent
    Hmmmmm (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by Eleanor A on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:27:24 PM EST
    As a person who lives in the Southern U.S. and has seen plenty of Democrats assaulted by the religious right, I don't yet quite know what I think about this.  Certainly I do believe the province of religious faith, in general, has been ceded to Republicans.

    The problem is this:  Some of this has to come from the religious community itself.  What happened to the Golden Rule?  Walking a mile in someone else's sandals?  The poor unwashed masses, loaves & fishes, etc.?

    What we have now is the Republican vision of same:  Megachurches where the pastor rolls up in a Bentley and hatred against gays, etc. is accepted as a matter of course.  I think any Dem politician trying to embrace religion as a central part of his or her platform should make some strenuous demands on the religious community, and make it quite clear that hate- and greed-based "religion" is not at all what Democrats ought to be about.

    Frankly, I'm a little worried about the traditional lefty denominations on some of this stuff, even.  Last year I wanted to visit the Masonic Temple in Memphis - site of Dr. MLK's last speech - and, while looking up directions, was horrified to see a long anti-gay screed on the home page of COGIC, which owns the place.

    Parent

    (Didn't mean to single out gay issues (none / 0) (#203)
    by Eleanor A on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:29:05 PM EST
    as the only ones that are often subject to distortion by "religious" folks...many of them are just as bad on women's rights, "welfare handouts", etc.)

    Parent
    That statement (5.00 / 13) (#116)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:47:17 PM EST
    is right out of an Obama speech. He too feels the Democrat's have hurt themselves by being secular. I bet there are probably over a million Republican's who hope he succeeds in winning the Evangelican's after what they did to the Republican Party. I don't want a pastor for president. Our strength in this country comes from our separation of church and state. Look at the troubles throughout the world over religous intolerence. Religion doesn't belong in politics.

    Parent
    I whole heartedly agree with you (5.00 / 4) (#190)
    by standingup on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:24:33 PM EST
    And will take it a step further with not wanting politics in my church or religion either.  I won't stick around in a church where a minister tries to suggest how I should vote either.  

    We should be moving back to the direction of keeping a healthy distance between the two.  I can't believe in the year 2008, after the last 7 1/2 years, the Democrats have this idea to elevate the active outreach to religious groups.  

    Parent

    A Christian discourse... (1.00 / 4) (#22)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:04:56 PM EST
    ...should be hoped for by all. We should all be so lucky to get a tolerant and poverty-focused doctrine as the backbone of our national debate

    It's the perversion of that discourse that's caused culture wars.

    Which is not to say that is what Obama's doing. I believe he's probably basically a Unitarian at heart, and therefore this is a heartfelt and true but, in its expression, political move. And as such it's a smart move to make.

    Parent

    NOT in politics (5.00 / 16) (#26)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:06:49 PM EST
    Do not say a Christian discourse should be hope for in Politics.

    Parent
    Well, I am saying that... (2.33 / 3) (#36)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:11:19 PM EST
    ...because it'd be a lot better than what we have now.

    And I certainly don't mean any interpretations of Christianity besides tolerance, understanding, service to the poor, and separation of church and state (render unto Caesar...).

    After all, I don't have to let my Christianity get hijacked by anyone else in either my theology or my usage of the term, right?

    Parent

    Just for starters (5.00 / 11) (#42)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:15:18 PM EST
    Christianity isn't the only religion in the world, right?

    Parent
    I would hope not... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:19:38 PM EST
    ...though the idea that merely expressing my judgment about my interpretation of Jesus Christ apparently means some people think that I believe it's the only religion made me laugh a little bit. So thanks.

    Parent
    No (5.00 / 11) (#63)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:24:23 PM EST
    I think it's important people understand why one particular religious message should not be adopted in the political theater and elevated over others.

    Don't worry.  I'm not going to persecute you.


    Parent

    I merely said we'd be lucky... (none / 0) (#77)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:29:21 PM EST
    ...to have a truly Christian discourse in this country rather than what we have. It was a relative opinion, not an absolute one.

    You took that to mean theocracy, apparently.

    Parent

    Why can't we have (4.55 / 9) (#84)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:31:36 PM EST
    A truly Hindi discourse in America?

    Parent
    There's no reason why not... (none / 0) (#87)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:33:31 PM EST
    ...if it's about tolerance and understanding.

    You're completely misinterpreting what I said just because I said it about Christianity instead of another set of morals.

    Parent

    Are you saying Christianity (4.00 / 4) (#89)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:34:48 PM EST
    is the most tolerant and understanding of all the religions in the world?

    Parent
    Obviously not... (none / 0) (#96)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:38:12 PM EST
    ...please stop distorting what I say and, therefore, engendering a debate full of chattering.

    Parent
    Sorry (4.20 / 5) (#113)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:45:45 PM EST
    But if you say "yes we can adopt another religious messages too, as long as it's as tolerant and understanding as Christianity," I don't know how to hear that as ...... tolerant and understanding.


    Parent
    Wait... (none / 0) (#126)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:51:37 PM EST
    ...are you making up quotes now?

    Parent
    Not really (4.00 / 4) (#160)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:08:37 PM EST
    There's no reason why not
    ...if it's about tolerance and understanding.

    I've assumed two things.

    1.  You think true Christianity is about tolerance and understanding.

    2.  You believe it's a possibility other religions might not be.

    Which assumption was incorrectly derived from the quote I just cut and pasted above????!!!!

    This has been an object lesson in why you do NOT want this sort of discussion mixed in with politics.

    Whether you know it or not, whether you intended it or not, a hierarchy was established, and if you didn't know it, this is, in essence, one of the reasons why the folks who created this country didn't want the kind of discussion we just had in politics.

    I have no problem with Obama putting together a non-denominational message the appeals most deeply to the better natures of our most religious compatriots.  But when it starts being a network of churches.  When it starts being organizational, when it starts going by a name that sets one religion, one religious icon, in a different status than others, it can only end badly.  It is not progress.  It is regress.

    Even if it's for the right set of values in your mind, it will come to know good in the long run.

    Parent

    You made up a quote... (4.33 / 3) (#198)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:26:35 PM EST
    ...you're a dishonest commenter here.

    Here:

    1. I think Christianity, as I understand it and clearly have described my understanding of it, is clearly about tolerance and understanding.

    2. Other religions might be. And, of course, other religions are. As I have said. As I personally believe. And I've said that atheists can be and are. And agnostics. Etc. etc. etc. I haven't ever disputed that. I agree with that, and I agree with those other beliefs, not being a dogmatic crazy person. A question was asked and I answered it.

    You made up a quote to discredit me, and to distort what I said, so you could continue a conversation and keep some illusory upper ground. When you did that it was clear to me and everyone that you'd reached a dead end.

    Parent

    Well (4.00 / 4) (#217)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:34:37 PM EST
    at least you didn't tell me that there was anything wrong with what I said, in terms of specifics.

    I said:

    1. You think true Christianity is about tolerance and understanding.

    2. You believe it's a possibility other religions might not be.

    And you say:

    1. I think Christianity, as I understand it and clearly have described my understanding of it, is clearly about tolerance and understanding.

    2. Other religions might be. And, of course, other religions are. As I have said. As I personally believe. And I've said that atheists can be and are. And agnostics. Etc. etc. etc. I haven't ever disputed that. I agree with that, and I agree with those other beliefs, not being a dogmatic crazy person. A question was asked and I answered it.

    As if it exists in stark contrast to what I said.

    I suppose we will have to leave it up to everyone else to decide for themselves what is going on here, and leave it at that.

    Parent

    We might as well w/ all the Bollytech in India now (none / 0) (#111)
    by Ellie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:45:23 PM EST
    At least it would make efficient use of the Bush admin's legacy of combining theocracy and corporate outsourcing.

    Basic Karma.

    And who DOESN'T have a question or two about whether s/he's coming back as a sea sponge or President Georgia BarbJen Bush Cheney or a bigger sea sponge?

    Parent

    And just to bring this back on topic... (1.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:22:41 PM EST
    ...Obama should reach out to all people, for political, social, and moral reasons. There's no downside to doing so if he's just reaching out. Obviously people fear he's doing more than that. I don't see that.

    Parent
    I'm sure you don't. (5.00 / 5) (#65)
    by pie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:26:11 PM EST
    But this is unacceptable.

    Parent
    Reaching out to Americans' moral (5.00 / 3) (#158)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:08:08 PM EST
    sense is a long political tradition.  Robert Bellah studied this "civil religion" in an article well worth reading.

    What Obama's doing here, however, comes IMO from a far too specific context of social gospel Christian themes.  He doesn't seem to understand that the social gospel may just not matter too much (at the polls) to people immersed in their own traditions, traditions easily coalesced into a Republican voting coalition.  After all, Republicans allow them to do good!  They fund their faith-based initiatives and allow them to preserve their conservative ideas to boot.  

    These people aren't just going to come into the fold.

    Parent

    IF you don't want a reflexive argument (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:29:30 PM EST
    then don't write what you wrote -- The problem may be in the way YOU wrote it, but not in the way I read it.

    Parent
    Oops, posted in wrong place (none / 0) (#86)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:32:49 PM EST
    please delete. Thanks.

    Parent
    you want Christianity (none / 0) (#59)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:22:57 PM EST
    without the Christians.

    Parent
    well, if we have to have the Christians (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by ccpup on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:27:56 PM EST
    with the Christianity, can we at least have the lions, too?

    (snark)

    Parent

    I don't hope for it at all (5.00 / 12) (#34)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:10:33 PM EST
    And I'm a Christian. First of all, this is a Judeo-Christian society, not a Christian one. Second of all, there are many more religions in this world then Christianity the doctrines of which are just as tolerant and poverty-focused as Christianity, and to characterize Christianity as the "superior" one in these areas is arrogant in the extreme. Our founding fathers, most of whom were deeply religious, knew that religion should be kept out of politics (and actually public life in general) and wrote a little thing called the First Amendment. When I want Christian discourse, I look to my priest, not my president.

    Parent
    When did I talk about superior and inferior? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:16:33 PM EST
    Don't be reflexive. Respond in good faith to what I'm saying, don't immediately think I'm a theocrat, ok?

    Right now we have perverted theology guiding us, and amoral economics guiding us, and a variety of other such nonsense. It'd be better if our politicians were tolerant and understanding at least partially in the way that Jesus was portrayed in the New Testament, or Buddha's teaching in the Dhammapada, etc.

    Parent

    It was implicit in what you wrote (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:32:15 PM EST
    If you don't want a "reflexive" (your words) reaction, then you should not have written what you did. The problem may be in the way you wrote it, but it certainly wasn't in the way I read it. And for the record, I don't give a flying fig about what you think about "perverted theology" or how you use your Christianity, and I don't want to hear about it from my President, either.

    Parent
    It actually was as explicit (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:15:31 PM EST
    in what Addison wrote as I ever want to see stated in a discussion of political discourse in this country.  But I bet I'll see worse, even here.

    When so much relies on "just words," they need to be chosen much more carefully -- if, that is, these words really don't convey your meaning, Addison.

    Parent

    Sorry (5.00 / 12) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:15:24 PM EST
    but as a Christian it bothers me. I'm a mainline Christian and this evangelical stuff is just too much. We've already had 8 years of the "jesus syndrome" in the presidency do we need to continue on that thread?

    You can have all the debates about poverty you want but don't have to evangelize about it. This just reinforces my belief that Obama is bushlike.

    Parent

    Well (5.00 / 7) (#48)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:17:07 PM EST
    I do agree somewhat with your comment about secularization but using religion to get votes is exactly what Bush did. Do we want a repeat? It has brought nothing but disaster upon our country with the evangelicals running it.

    Parent
    Religion is a set of morals... (4.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:23:42 PM EST
    ...and people, including Obama, should reach out to peoples moral sense.

    Parent
    eh. (5.00 / 9) (#90)
    by pie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:34:49 PM EST
    You say that, of course, because he has little to offer in the way of leadership.

    You make me like him less and less, btw.

    Parent

    You reach out to people's morals (5.00 / 6) (#92)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:35:40 PM EST
    without reaching out to just 2 religious groups out of many.

    This is similar to what Bush did, at this stage.  Does it mean that Obama will follow Bush's path?  Not necessarily.  But having seen where Bush went with it, not to mention the rise of the Christian Right under Reagan (who wasn't any big pro-Christian  Right guy when he began), it't not unreasonable for people to be nervous.  

    Personally, I don't see this being nearly as much about mixing religion and state as about going after more young voters, regardless of religion.

    Parent

    Oh, please (5.00 / 11) (#93)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:36:03 PM EST
    People have morals without any religion, and there are plenty of people with religion lacking in the morals department. Again, you are implicitly implying that having religion makes one morally superior -- you need to rethink your talking points.

    Parent
    No. (1.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:40:47 PM EST
    ...I'm clearly not saying that. I'm saying that in political tolerant and understanding morals are preferable over no morals: Christian, Buddhist, or whatever.

    And, back to the topic, that a presidential candidate should reach out to those who have morals.

    Parent

    you keep telling us what you mean (5.00 / 9) (#117)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:47:33 PM EST
    but it's not what you typed.

    you stated that religion is about morals.

    i beg to differ, especially when it comes to christianity. the essence of the religion is faith, not morals. if you believe that Jesus was the son of God and died for your sins, you will have life everlasting. that's faith, not morality.

    you argument is very jumbled, and you are blaming others for misunderstanding it.

    Parent

    Religious people have morals... (3.00 / 2) (#121)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:49:20 PM EST
    ...moral people may or may not have religion. What you assert I typed I didn't type.

    Parent
    Gimme a break (5.00 / 3) (#131)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:53:48 PM EST
    I don't think, at this point, you if know or understand what you typed, and your clarifications and denials aren't doing you much good.

    Parent
    I made the mistake... (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:59:12 PM EST
    ...of using Christianity and the teachings of Jesus Christ instead of something less inflammatory to this audience. That was my only mistake. I should've known better. Christianity in this country has become a divided toxic wasteland, prone to reflexive interpretations of motives just through the use o the term, which is too bad.

    All I said was that a Christian discourse (as I clearly, and repeatedly defined it) would be better than what we have now. We'd be lucky to have a discourse about tolerance and understanding rather than about greed and hate. I could've made the same point with any religion. Or about atheism. I would gladly do so.

    This post is, however, about Christianity, and reaching out to moral Christians for the inherent good in doing so and also how it would make McCain fight for Christians he doesn't represent, so I focused on Christ and Christianity. Again, though, I should've known better.

    Parent

    you stated (5.00 / 4) (#138)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:58:49 PM EST
    "religion is a set of morals."

    I disagreed, arguing that many religions, especially Christianity (which is where we started), are more about faith than about morals. Moral teaching is important in religion, but you can get that quite readily outside of a religious context. The faith's the thing.

    You parsed words and didn't respond to what I said.

    Parent

    Well... (none / 0) (#149)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:02:39 PM EST
    ...at least this is a sensical discussion. I think religion is a set of morals. It's a set of teachings about how to live, and that's morals. There are baroque additions added by power-hungry men and women, and then there's a focus on "faith" rather than morals that gets added occasionally to scare people and occasionally to inspire people. But almost always for the wrong reasons.

    I don't have to agree with Calvin to be Christian. I don't have to agree with violent monks to be Buddhist.

    But, on topic, if people are inspired to act in ways greater than their own self-interest -- even if we think they are misguided -- they ought to be approached.

    Parent

    okay (5.00 / 5) (#163)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:09:21 PM EST
    but i still think you are willfully looking beyond the centrality of faith in religion. people do not become religious to receive moral guidance. they seek meaning and security, which comes from faith.

    only a moron would dispute your points that you don't have to agree with Calvin to be a Christian. But ... you do have to believe in the joint divinity and humanity of Jesus. You can't be a Christian if you don't - that's the fundamental article of ... say it with me ... faith.

    Parent

    I don't have faith... (none / 0) (#172)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:13:53 PM EST
    ...and I consider myself a Christian. To me the supernatural stuff is superfluous. And I don't believe in Nirvana, but the Dhammapada is true to me. I don't know what to call that. Is it faith that I think these things are true even though they don't really benefit me? I don't know. But I also don't think that whatever ambiguity I feel in my own spiritual life should be interpreted -- despite repeated clarifications and explanations and defenses -- as a call for theocracy or fundamentalist Christian rule over America.

    Anyway, thank you so much for at least coming halfway and discussing whatever all this is with me in this disaster of a conversation.

    Basically, on topic, people who are truly inspired toward what they think is good should be approached. I'm so sorry that I didn't come upon that formulation until within this conversation.

    Parent

    Please don't take this personally (5.00 / 4) (#218)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:36:45 PM EST
    or as an insult (because if anything, in my world view it's the opposite), but if you don't believe in "the supernatural stuff," then you aren't a Christian. Adopting the principles espoused by, say, the Sermon on the Mount, without the credence in the mysteries, is much closer to the tenets of secular humanism. You may think of yourself as "Christian," but the doctrinal Christians would disdain you.

    However, I can agree with your last paragraph wholeheartedly. I just don't think they are all religious, and it's the prosletyzing aspects of his campaign and his potential audience that give me pause.

    Parent

    Just to clarify... (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:48:02 PM EST
    I mean to type "politics" not "political" above.

    And of course atheists and agnostics and people of any faith other than self-gain have morals. I'm basically atheist myself, in the sense that God is basically unknowable, and therefore if there is a God one has to get to know God through other people. A lot of this discussion is predicated that one can't believe in many of the truths of Jesus Christ as a profoundly humanistic set of morals.

    Parent

    No offense Addison (5.00 / 4) (#215)
    by tree on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:31:49 PM EST
    but I think you are a bit religiously uncertain. (I'd use the word confused but it sometimes has a negative connotation that I don't intend.) First  you say you are Christian and then you say you are atheistic. What you describe as your beliefs are neither Christian nor necessarily atheistic. Agnostic is probably the proper term. You cannot be Christian unless you believe in Christ as the Son of God. You can agree with some Christian precepts but that doesn't make you Christian. I think your failure to understand this is the major reason why you don't see any danger in appealing to voters on a purely religious basis, especially when restricted to only two specific religions.

    Parent
    Wrong again (5.00 / 6) (#124)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:50:53 PM EST
    some one wanting to be President of the USA should reach out to ALL Americans -- not just those with "morals" or with "religion" -- in fact, that shouldn't come into play at all.

    Parent
    Democracy is predicated on morals... (1.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:53:53 PM EST
    ...so I don't see your point at all.

    Humanists have morals and sociopaths shouldn't be coddled. Everyone who thinks they're doing the right thing, in their hearts, should be approached by our governing system.

    Parent

    Don't tell me what democracy is (5.00 / 4) (#141)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:59:47 PM EST
    predicated on -- my ancestors created democracy. The two principles of democracy are that all members of the society have equal access to power and the second is that all members enjoy universally recognized freedoms and liberties. Saying it is predicated on "morals" is your projection.

    Parent
    Uh... (1.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:04:47 PM EST
    ...I don't think your ancestors supposedly creating democracy (you're Greek?) has anything to do with anything. Democracy says that people are important, and that everyone has a voice and "freedoms" and "liberties." To decide for themselves, to have free will. That's a moral. That's so clearly a moral.

    Parent
    Problem is (5.00 / 5) (#184)
    by Eleanor A on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:19:38 PM EST
    Who decides what (or who) is "moral"?  I think a lot of the problems we've seen so far is out of some religious and political folks, who seem to believe themselves arbiter of same.

    My problem with the Dem nominee doing "faith based outreach" is that it implies he's qualified to decide who has "faith" and which kinds are acceptable.  I'm an atheist.  According to plenty of people that makes me immoral.

    And frankly I resent having to define myself among those terms in order to discuss having government that will, say, fix potholes or send the fire trucks when the building's burning down.

    Parent

    Before Obama reaches out to (5.00 / 5) (#210)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:30:37 PM EST
    other peoples' moral sense, he should get one of his own. From what I have seen Obama is an amoral opportunist who believes in getting himself ahead using whatever and whoever he needs to do so. This includes his family, his church, his constituents, and his friends. So far, none of them have gotten anything out of it except for road rash from being under the bus. Obama, however, has done very well for himself. I am sorry, but that is not my idea of morality. And it certainly isn't the way a real Christian behaves.

    Parent
    Unitarian or Chameleon (5.00 / 7) (#112)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:45:34 PM EST
    I don't see how he fits into the Unitarian system at all. He would have to embrace all religions and he does not.

    Parent
    He's not a Unitarian (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by tree on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:53:15 PM EST
    He's very vocal about being a Christian. Unitarians are not Christians. They do not believe in Christ as the Son of God. Jesus is considered a prophet just like Moses, Mohammed, Buddha and Confucius.

    Parent
    That's not a Christian discourse (5.00 / 6) (#166)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:10:51 PM EST
    anymore than it's a Judaic discourse, as it was first, of course . . . or an Islamic discourse . . . or a discourse seen for eons worldwide.

    And as I'm descended from Celts, I don't like to leave pagans out of our political discourse, either.

    Parent

    or (5.00 / 3) (#176)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:16:41 PM EST
    Flying Spaghetti Monsters.

    Parent
    Hear, hear (5.00 / 3) (#188)
    by Eleanor A on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:21:23 PM EST
    I was just thinking a little Stonehenge might be in place in this conversation.  ;)

    Parent
    Oh, and pagans had (and have) (5.00 / 4) (#187)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:21:20 PM EST
    a moral code, too.  

    Parent
    I agree with you... (none / 0) (#204)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:29:29 PM EST
    ...but this post is about Christianity and so I responded in kind. That people freaked out so much and assumed I wouldn't have said the same thing about Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism, Atheism, etc. says a lot.

    Parent
    Hey Jeralyn... (3.00 / 2) (#161)
    by Addison on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:08:38 PM EST
    ...I'm sorry about all this. I think it's a relatively constructive topic considering your post, and I've tried to keep it on-topic, but at this point the discussion may have escaped its bounds and be well into chattering. I feel like it's a interesting discussion, and hopefully you won't hold it too much against me that I am the main antagonist against so very many commenters.

    Parent
    I think this is a good discussion (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:16:42 PM EST
    and clearly one we will be having often if Obama continues to push this type of campaign.  I do think the way he is doing it is Dem brand dilution (that would encourage people without Core Dem values to 'join' our discussion as Democrats, then vote as Republicans!)  but that's my opinion.  

    But what we really must do is get everyone onboard about the crappy economy.  If Obama focuses more on that (as I'm sure he will), I'll be a happier Dem.

    Parent

    Market Research (5.00 / 19) (#17)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:00:27 PM EST
    My new theory about the information coming out of the Obama campaign, including the story this morning about McCain's first wife, is that it's all just market research.  Some of it is spin -- his campaign needs people to believe that there are enough new voters out there to be mined to make up for votes lost from the base, for instance.

    But the rest I'm beginning to think is to float idea after idea and see if it sticks.  Will the media/blogosphere pick it up?  Does it fly?  What kind of traction does it get?  More than just spin, it's product research.

    I know this will sound slightly paranoid, but I think that's why TL gets dive-bombed with tpm every day.  I don't mean the regular posters who strongly argue their support.  But the ones who show up, throw out a bunch eerily similar memes and disappear.  

    It's like there's no strong strategy because in this no-lose year, the plan was to coast to the GE.  

    My first reaction to this article was 1) I have no idea about Evangelicals, whether this is likely or not; and 2) hasn't almost all the polling on Catholics shown they aren't big fans?  But now I think it's out there to see if people will pick it up and go with it, and maybe even to market-test whether more emphasis on religion will alienate pro-choice supporters or the reverse.

    Ugh, sorry so long, this has been on my mind all day.

    Yep. (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Dalton Hoffine on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:02:28 PM EST
    What's that old phrase? "Throw enough mud on the wall, and some of it'll stick." or something like that.

    And yes, he does absolutely stink amongst Catholics in polling. However, he does amazingly well amongst youth voters. So I guess this is a ploy to meet in the middle.

    Parent

    ITA (none / 0) (#38)
    by eleanora on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:12:37 PM EST
    and the constant changes in argument are making my head spin. Most recent meme was Clinton shouldn't be offered the VP spot because she deserves better and wouldn't want to be "subservient" to Obama. Can you imagine someone saying that Edwards or Gore were subservient to Kerry or WJC? And Cheney is such a shy, retiring little flower, lol.

    Parent
    I can only speak for myself (none / 0) (#70)
    by namekarB on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:28:13 PM EST
    I drop in a couple of times a week to read the comments. On occasion I reply. Then I get ganged up on. I defend myself but eventually I just go away.

    No sure which you prefer. Diverse opinions or an echo chamber.

    BTW. Its not just this site. Same thing happens to me over at DKos. I didn't think my opinions were outrageous but perhaps others do . . .

    Parent

    namekarB, I was not referring to you (none / 0) (#105)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:42:25 PM EST
    You often hold a minority opinion, it's true, and I certainly apologize if I've done anything to make you go away.

    I don't usually agree with you but the way (for the record) I distinguish between talking point memo hit-and-runs and serious posters is whether what they post sounds like they copied it right from somewhere else as opposed to expressing their own thoughts, or opinions that they formed themselves rather than were fed to them.  Evidence of thinking behind the opinion is the key.  So I don't put you in the hit-and-run category, fwiw.

    Hmm, I meant that to make a clear distinction, not sure how successful that was.  Well, however clear or not, speaking for me only.

    Parent

    Oh f**k. (5.00 / 16) (#25)
    by pie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:06:07 PM EST
    Are you kidding me?

    Can't the guy win on policy?  Certainly, he can't win on experience.

    I'm going to be sick.

    Considering Obama's prior (5.00 / 14) (#28)
    by stillife on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:07:16 PM EST
    (under the bus) religious mentors, this seems like a risky move for him.  Doesn't it just raise the spectre of Rev. Wright, et al?  

    Whatever the case, it doesn't make me more inclined to vote for him.  It merely confirms my suspicions that he's a Trojan horse candidate.  What's the Joshua Generation Project's stance on gay rights and Roe v. Wade?

    Rev Wright (5.00 / 4) (#148)
    by suisser on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:02:35 PM EST
    who he cites in the speech ...

    What a mess we're in.

    Parent

    There's something about it that makes (5.00 / 20) (#35)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:10:37 PM EST
    me very uncomfortable.  It's not that I don't think there is a place for people of faith in the Democratic party, or that the party cannot attract people of faith - clearly, the party is not just heathens and heretics, and many of the things we advocate for are things people of faith can enthusiastically support - but there has been entirely too much religious flavor to and imagery in the Obama campaign from the beginning.

    The Promised Land?  With Obama as what, the savior?  The One to lead us all out of the wilderness?

    I guess I've never understood why there has to be an overt invocation of religion in order to attract voters who care about things like poverty and health care and oppression - isn't attention to those things, advocating to make the lives of those less fortunate better, working for justice and freedom, in and of itself appealing enough that we have to make it about faith and religion?

    Are we working on building a party and doing the right things because they are the right things, or is there a movement being built that centers around one particular person?

    I'm already annoyed that I, as a pro-choice person, have been talked about in rather condescending tones as not really understanding the wrenching moral implications of abortion, so I am not taking well to this latest development.

    Condescension (5.00 / 17) (#75)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:28:52 PM EST
    It's not just the condescension that bothers me (although that bothers me plenty).  It's the statement about including one's pastor in the decision and the statement that pro-choice advocates don't understand the wrenching moral implications of choice.  (sorry, I looked for exact quotes but google brings up 8 zillions entries on this).

    Both statements align alarmingly well with the restrictions on choice that anti-abortion groups have been pushing with significant success in state legislatures for the past 20 years.  Twenty-four hour waiting periods, mandatory informed consent language, two-parent consent for teens -- these are all premised on the fact that on her own, no woman can be trusted to make a choice that fully considers the moral implications without the state.

    I have no idea how well his comments will play with anti-abortion groups but it's not reassuring that his stance echoes theirs.  

    Parent

    Obama on choice (5.00 / 8) (#178)
    by befuddledvoter on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:17:08 PM EST
    IN writing on Obama, Prof. Kmiec has quoted Obama's positon on abortion as:
    As he [Obama] writes, "I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all."
    Prof. Kmiec also posits the following question/statement:
    "[B]ut here's the question: Does Obama's thoughtful appreciation of faith mean that he would work toward the protection of life in all contexts even if that protection cannot be achieved in a single step?  I am inclined to think so . . ."

    Obama is all over the place.  I simply don't know who he is.


    Parent

    BTD, with all due respect what would be concerning (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Dax on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:15:53 PM EST
    to me is if Obama, or any democratic nominee, failed to make a concerted effort to peel off some evangelicals.  Particularly given the numerous accounts of disillusionment within that group regarding the GOP's performance over the past 7 years.  

    As others have noted above, there has been some non-trivial movement within the evangelical community to broaden the values debate to issues other than abortion, such as climate change, torture, poverty, AIDS, war, etc. -- and there are many more values issues that line up with the democratic platform than the republican platform.

    I understand the discomfort with the Obama-messiah stuff, but for the life of me I can't fathom why democratic voters would be "concerned" that Obama would try to exploit the obvious cracks in the evangelical-GOP coalition.  It would be political malpractice not to try, particularly given Obama's resources and McCain's own limitations within this group.

    For the life of you? (5.00 / 9) (#55)
    by pie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:21:26 PM EST
    They're not democrats.  

    The fact that he's pandering to them is infuriating.

    Parent

    Pandering? (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by indy in sc on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:15:39 PM EST
    Taking the premise of your argument that evangelicals and catholics are not dems (not true-how many catholics in congress are dems), are you trying to say that Obama should only try to appeal to democrats? Not exactly the way to win a general election.  He is setting out to run a country not just a party.  Regardless of the fact that it seems to disgust some folks that people of faith are part of this country--we are.

    Parent
    my pity for you runs deep. (5.00 / 7) (#191)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:24:45 PM EST
    i live in SC, too, and i'm gay. if you want a competition on disgusting closed minded people, i'll be happy to play.

    as i noted elsewhere, people of faith have ALWAYS been welcome in the Dem Party and continue to be. People who want to legislate their faith are not. Evangelicals, especially in our state, and in the last 20 years nationally, have been MUCH more likely to fall into the latter category. Certainly you must understand that.

    Parent

    Thanks for the pity (none / 0) (#216)
    by indy in sc on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:32:42 PM EST
    but I don't need it.  There are closed minded people on both sides of every issue.  I don't see what that has to do with Obama reaching out to people of faith.  Did he say he was going to legislate faith?  He is just saying that people of faith don't (and shouldn't) have to hide it to be on board with him.

    Of course there are closed-minded people of faith who believe that homosexuality is the root of all evil--but there are also close-minded agnostics and atheists who believe all people of faith are gay-bashing hicks.

    I am proudly a person of faith--Catholic--and I am pro-gay marriage, but I guess you still pity me.

    Parent

    The problem (5.00 / 7) (#202)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:28:44 PM EST
    is that he ISN'T trying to appeal to democrats and is more concerned with people who probably won't vote for him.

    John McCain is actually trying to get out votes. Obama expects them. That's the difference.

    Evangelicals brought you the Terri Schiavo mess. They destroyed the GOP. I think pandering to them is a big mistake. There are plenty of Christians who don't think that the government is a tool to enforce religious policy.

    Parent

    are nativists next? (5.00 / 5) (#68)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:27:38 PM EST
    they hate McCain, too.

    Let's make a list of disgruntled Republican freak constituencies that hold views antithetical to our platform that we can go after, shall we?

    Parent

    What are nativists? (none / 0) (#123)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:49:47 PM EST
    from the unimpeachable Wikipedia (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:01:31 PM EST
    (which is in this case correct, except for a spelling error that I corrected):

    Nativism is a form of xenophobia usually targeting immigrants who are scapegoated as undermining the core essence of a nation or society.

    Too bad that Wikiepedia is not the only thing that's unimpeachable in this country. ;-)

    Parent

    Thank you (none / 0) (#181)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:19:08 PM EST
    for both the definition and the laugh.

    Parent
    So right! (none / 0) (#226)
    by Dax on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:55:32 PM EST
    We should limit our outreach to liberal progressives who agree with the whole democratic platform.  That'll work in November!

    Seriously, if you have a problem with a democratic nominee trying to show/persuade religious voters (which is a lot of people) that a lot of what they care about is more consistent with the democratic party's values and platform than with the GOP, then, well, I don't know what to say; sounds like an absurd and counterproductive purity test for both the party and the VOTERS.  

    You actually don't want the democratic nominee to fight for the votes of religious folks who might, at this point, give greater weight to their preference to democratic positions on climate/war/poverty issues as opposed to abortion/gay wedge issues?  Did you have a problem when Bill Clinton reached out to this group of voters in 1992, or when Carter did?  That's what winning campaigns do.  It's not about pandering or changing your policies; it's about reaching out and showing that you care about a group that is not a natural ally, which can open the door to them LISTENING to what you have to say and potentially voting for you even though they have some serious disagreements.  

    And to answer your question, if there is a sizable number of nativists out there (or pro-lifers, or whatever) who are open to voting democratic because they place a higher value on the climate, ending the war and having a fairer tax and economic policy, then yes, I absolutely want my candidates to go after those votes.  That doesn't mean condoning or pandering to the nativism.

    Just to give one example, I've read a couple speeches Obama delivered in evangelical churches.  He straight-forwardly states his pro-choice views on abortion and without sugar coating, and then basically says, "look, we're never going to agree on that and that's ok; I understand and respect your position even if I have a different one; but let's talk about the fairly long list of moral issues where we can agree and actually make some concrete progress on, like the climate, poverty, etc."

    Politics is about the possible and coalitions folks.  No purity tests please, especially not with respect to the voters.  I had hoped we'd learned our Nader lesson in 2000.

    Parent

    I think (5.00 / 12) (#72)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:28:38 PM EST
    the fact is that we don't trust Obama. Instead of Obama trying to convince them that we're right or better (which I would have no problem with) he seems to be trying to adapt to their positions.

    Parent
    We don't trust Obama. (5.00 / 11) (#79)
    by pie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:29:58 PM EST
    That says it all.

    Parent
    Look at the demographics (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by pie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:19:33 PM EST
    state-by-state.

    The young voters, the AA vote, and his other supporters spread across the country are not going to carry him over the threshold.

    Then post-election there will be a (5.00 / 3) (#169)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:12:23 PM EST
    huge rush to de-program the youth of the country.

    Parent
    It's like communion service got a salad bar ... (5.00 / 8) (#53)
    by Ellie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:19:50 PM EST
    ... and Stations of the Cross with circuit training! Dayum why wasn't this around when I was a yoot?!?

    When I graduated from the Holy Flying Cr@p!! academy for easily startled girls it was all about stand-up / kneel-down cardio and out-pacing the black & whites (your basic Ford Crown Vics incarnate).

    LOL, that's the (5.00 / 3) (#135)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:54:49 PM EST
    spit-take comment of the evening.  Brilliant.

    Parent
    Ellie, trust me, it all started (5.00 / 5) (#208)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:29:44 PM EST
    to go downhill when, at my counterpart to your Holy Cr@p Academy, we not only no longer had to adequately cover our glorious hair that apparently elevated guys' testosterone to unseemly heights . .  . and then we not only no longer had to at least make a nod to the Blessed Mother's veil with those ghastly faux-lace circlets called chapel veils . . . but when we started to get away with just bobby-pinning a piece of kleenex to our bouffant hairdos.  

    The memory haunts me still.  Have you ever seen how weird kleenex looks when bobby-pinned down through half a foot of teased hair?  And I'm still in full rebellion against 12 years of Catholic girls' school uniforms.  Ugh, this brings back so much. . . .

    I

    Parent

    Well, I certainly respect people's rights to (5.00 / 7) (#57)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:21:29 PM EST
    find unity with a common belief in religious settings.

    However, Obama needs people who will follow him with blind faith. What better place to find them?

    Please say it isn't so... (5.00 / 13) (#62)
    by lentinel on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:23:45 PM EST
    Outreach to evangelicals...

    How about a little outreach to those of us who want to end the war in Iraq?

    Can you spare a few moments?
    Can you drop a few crumbs in our direction?

    Where is this headed - you ask?

    It's not as if we haven't been warned.

    If we don't start pressuring Obama to start representing progressives, he never will. We are an interest group too, but he thinks he has us in his pocket because McCain is the bogeyman.

    Well, Obama may as well look in the mirror. He is likely to see McCain's face looking back at him.

    He has talked before about Dems (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:27:22 PM EST
    needing to not shy away from taking about faith.  If that is all this is I guess I don't have a problem with it.  I do worry about his tendency to throw one group under the bus when reaching out to another.  As a nonreligious recovering Catholic I will be watching for that.  He better not insult the secular wing of the Democrats while courting the religious right (let's call them what they are - this 'young people of faith' name does not begin to describe it).

    he's (5.00 / 8) (#80)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:30:12 PM EST
    already insulted secular people in the party. I see this as a huge problem simply from the fact that he should be talking about issues and not religion.

    Parent
    Yes, that is true (5.00 / 3) (#100)
    by ruffian on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:41:05 PM EST
    I guess I meant insult us any more than he already has.  I'm not optimistic.

    Parent
    Yes, but the more people who (5.00 / 9) (#125)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:50:57 PM EST
    BELIEVE!!! the less he has to talk about actual issues.  The more he inspires, the more who BELIEVE!!! the easier they, like sheep, can be lead to wherever the heck he wants to go.

    Wherever that is - I have no idea.  But, no worries, he's gonna get it figured out, eventually - so for now, you just need to BELIEVE!!!

    I still can't quite believe that THIS is the person the Democratic party has decided is the future.

    Parent

    Reminds me of (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by stillife on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:56:25 PM EST
    a televangelist my husband and I used to watch back in the 80's.  He would smack people in the forehead as they came up to be cured and yell, "Yay!"

    Oh, Democrats!  Ya could have been a contender!  Now, not so much.

    Parent

    He is talking about issues here (none / 0) (#213)
    by Cream City on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:31:28 PM EST
    Ga6th.  That's exactly the problem. . . .

    Parent
    Seemed to me (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by suisser on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:05:34 PM EST
    that he rather threw Oprah under the bus during that speech. Or at least her Prada shoes

    Parent
    just not (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:10:59 PM EST
    her Hermes scarf!
    /snark

    Parent
    She hadn't boarded yet (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:16:05 PM EST
    That speech was over a year ago.  

    Parent
    Religion has no place in government (5.00 / 15) (#74)
    by stillife on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:28:46 PM EST
    I'm reminded of the aftermath of the 2004 election when Bush got votes from the Christian right b/c of the gay marriage initiatives on the ballots of many states.  Afterwards, I remember reading articles in the NYT and elsewhere saying that Dems had to take back the religious issue from Repubs, which is just wrong, IMO.  

    Religion has no place in politics.  It's the worst kind of pandering.  Once again, it confirms my suspicions that the new kind of politics is just the old kind of pandering.  What does this man stand for, anyway?  Aside from getting votes at any cost.

    If he pursues this course, it will make it easier for many Clinton supporters to vote for McCain or stay home.  

    Amen. (5.00 / 6) (#224)
    by MisterPleasant on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:44:54 PM EST
    er, perhaps I should say "right on".

    Obama's religious bent is one of the foremost reasons that I could never vote for him. In an interview with the Chicago Daily Tribune Obama stated that "I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman."  The full quote is available at
    http://lesbianlife.about.com/od/lesbianactivism/p/BarackObama.htm
    OK, so right out of the gate my partner and I are under the bus if we ever hope to see our dream realized.

    His speeches are chock-full of bible quotes and stories.  Re-read his reflections on race in America that was supposedly the greatest political speech since sliced bread.  As an agnostic, it scares the living daylights out of me to hear a politician describe present-day social issues by contrasting them to biblical narrative.  Of course  each of us has our own reference point and belief as to whether these stories are fact or fiction, but one would think that he could better make his point by discussing historical rather than theological context.

    Sorry, but this latest pander to the Christian religious community cements my decision.  Cynthia McKinney is looking better and better for my vote in November.

    Parent

    Marketing, I Hope (5.00 / 5) (#76)
    by santarita on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:29:01 PM EST
    I remember reading that both Clinton and he had hired consultants specializing in reaching evangelicals.  His March, 2008 speech in Selma seemed appropriate given the location and the audience.  But using biblical names for political campaign efforts is a little frightening.  Haven't we had enough bad experiences with religious zealotry?  I don't think he's serious about religion the way Bush seemed to be.  It's marketing.  Like the "Obama Fellows" that someone mentioned today - the young professionals who are supposed to give up 6 weeks to work on GOTV.  Obama Fellows is a classy sounding marketing name for college kids who volunteer to work on his campaign.  Pretty soon we'll have the Obama Pioneers and Obama Rangers as names for donors.  Oops, Bush already used those names.

    and look at the difference... (5.00 / 8) (#94)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:37:38 PM EST
    in the way the 2 candidates attempted this. Hillary spoke very frankly about her own personal faith and how it informed her policy decisions. She spoke about (and adopted positions consistent with) her views. She did not "reach out" with a big attempted group hug. She spoke about the positions she held and how they were consistent with her religion.

    Maybe it's me (and I'm an atheist who doesn't think there should be one ounce of religion in government), but hers is a much preferable way of convincing people to see things your way than pretending (I hope?) to share their political views.

    Parent

    sigh (5.00 / 5) (#97)
    by boredmpa on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:39:06 PM EST
    Just another highly offensive excuse to reuse those mailers showing him in the pulpit.

    Now this is change I believe in! (5.00 / 7) (#104)
    by MarkL on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:42:16 PM EST
    Say hello to the real Obama.

    LOL--Did y'all see this? (5.00 / 6) (#108)
    by kempis on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:43:14 PM EST
    An evangelical home-schooling outfit are suing the Obama campaign because they think they own "Joshua."

    link


    Whoa (5.00 / 7) (#137)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:56:54 PM EST
    Why he thinks he can toss out the old for the new is now starting to make a lot of sense.

    This is one really organized and planned effort to steal the minds of our youth.

    I'm reminded of the evening my son went out with the family of one of his friends and came home only to proudly announce to me, "I've been saved". Seems he went and got baptized in a reborn church. The look on my face and the fear in my voice when I hollared, "saved from what?" was enough to convince him he needed to do more research before joining anything again.

    He's now 26 and happily consults me on everything he considers important in his life.  :)

    Parent

    Round two (5.00 / 5) (#115)
    by Sunshine on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:46:47 PM EST
    McCain and Obama have both had to work their way out of a mess created by trying to use religion as a means to get votes, both got more than they bargained for... Nobody is going to be fooled by this... Neither of them understand the Evangelicals and that is the reason they picked the nut cases they decided to follow before.. They would do much better to just decide to endorse the separation of church and state and use another gimmick to get votes...

    It's very problematical (5.00 / 5) (#120)
    by stillife on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:48:25 PM EST
    to me.  I'm the result of a mixed (Jewish/Catholic) marriage and was not brought up in any religion.  I'm halfway between atheist and agnostic and while I used to think that religion was a great thing for believers, the cynical use of religion by Republicans in recent years has thoroughly turned me off from religion.  

    I'm disgusted that a Democratic candidate is pandering in this manner.  Whether he believes it or not is irrelevant.  GWB, from many accounts, is not truly religious, but uses religion for political gain.  

    Just another parallel between Bush and Obama.

    Catholic here-and (5.00 / 10) (#122)
    by honora on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:49:44 PM EST
    all the Catholics I know, and I know quite a few, are pro-choice and pro-Hillary.  Good luck to him, but he may want to leave Fr. Mike at home.

    Interesting (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by lilburro on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:54:36 PM EST
    I wonder how this will help him fare with Jews, who generally supported Clinton and have some influence.
    The statement in the article by Obama explaining what he means by Joshua generation is kind of weird.  
    Gotta love how CBN classifies faith voters as ....guess...Christians.

    A more cohesive criticism:

    I understand the importance of "civil religion" in effective leadership.  But this is just pandering and identity politics.  It's B.S.  Civil religion isn't about bringing Christians to the fore - it's about, in the words of Bob Bellah, subordinating "the nation to ethical principles that transcend it in terms of which it should be judged."  It's about affirming the principles of the Constitution and progressively extending them, to gays, to African-Americans, to immigrants, to the poor.

    In my opinion, Obama has conceded too much to the Christian right perspective in his campaign, through his flyers and emphasis on faith and accepting their dialog.  And he's already saying, it's okay if you can't vote for me due to your traditional issues(well, according to CBN).  So then why even bother?  "The social gospel" is not the bedrock of all American churches - the Protestant ethic evolved into "God blessed me with riches.  I don't have to feel bad."  His campaign isn't setting itself up well to really fight that attitude.

    Civil religion sets us up to pursue bigger goals, like going to war, getting out of war, passing the Civil Rights Act, etc.  "Poverty, Darfur, Climate Change and yes, even the war" are just a platter of issues, none in and of themselves transformed into a national mission just by talking about them to evangelicals.

    Does anyone have any spare surgical tape? (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by SamJohnson on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:54:44 PM EST
    I got dizzy, then I think my head exploded. There is this loop in my head There will be Blood, There will be Blood, There will be Blood. I never should have seen that movie. You'd think my kids would have not allowed me to see that movie. Does anybody else feel like they are walking on the ceiling?

    That's the Donna Brazile (5.00 / 4) (#150)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:03:59 PM EST
    mantra should Obama not get the nomination. "There will be blood" and she is not afraid to say it outloud and to whoever asks.

    Personally, I follow the Jessie Ventura school of thought. Too bad he's done with his book tour, he'd have some interesting thoughts to share on this.

    Parent

    Could backfire (5.00 / 5) (#144)
    by Lou Grinzo on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:01:07 PM EST
    Am I the only one here who sees this as having a huge potential downside in the ad wars?  He reaches out to this group, and whether it works or not, McCain then runs ads hammering Obama for having no experience to run on, so he has to try to exploit the faith of American voters, etc.  They could throw in some clips of You Know Who saying really inconvenient things in a church, just for kicks.  It would also implicitly distance McCain from Bush and signal a return to sanity, etc.

    Almost Laughable. (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:01:09 PM EST
    I just read this morning about the letter he sent the Gay and Lesbian community in Chicago, thanking them for their support. And now tonight I read that he's doing an outreach program to the bery people that think I have no place in society! I don't know if the tent is that big.

    Obama is such a (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by weltec2 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:02:12 PM EST
    camelion. Hillary called upon us to put our support behind him. I think the only way I can achieve this will be to ignore everything he says and does until election day and then go vote.

    That's exactly what they are (5.00 / 3) (#159)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:08:15 PM EST
    counting on.

    Parent
    All I know (5.00 / 3) (#157)
    by Redshoes on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:07:18 PM EST
    of Joshua comes from Wikipedia, which notes that among other things he was a spy and warrior who succeeded in part by employing "ambush tactics."

    As to BHO's endless invocation of religion, there's a reason congregants are referred to as a flock!

    He probably chose Joshua because (5.00 / 10) (#164)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:09:26 PM EST
    The Pied Piper would be too obvious to the adults.

    Parent
    Too funny! (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by Redshoes on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:23:09 PM EST
    :-)

    Parent
    I can't believe any one is surprise or (5.00 / 9) (#168)
    by kimsaw on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:11:38 PM EST
    upset. Did you think this wasn't going to happen after his gospel tour, after he threw his church under the bus with grandma. He's the leader of a movement, which is based on rhetoric and image rather than policy expertise or action on substantive issues. Ah the memories of 2000. Only this time Obama is Bush.  

    Obama sat in a ranting racist church for 20 years and that is excused. If McCain had sat in such a place, he wouldn't be allowed to run. Double standard you bet. And don't throw Hagee in the mix, McCain didn't go to his church and sing his praises for 20 years. I don't care if they were 30 second snippets, they were "just hate filled words" and kids have been expelled from school for less.

    Who knows what Obama really believes? Nary a contradiction passes from his lips offer his supporters. They are blinded by his halo and deafened by his oral cadence.  Everything you know about Obama can fit in a brochure.  He's a movement remember. His message is more messianic then Bush's ever thought of being from verse to halo. Obama's got it boiled it down to political science with a splash of no change needed, just do what you predecessor did. How's that the new politics!  I don't like it when politics is driven by religious fervor, it steps outside reasonable thought and common sense. It is very disturbing that he is  going after the youth vote on the pretext of religious outreach when in reality its nothing more than a political operation to bait voters and workers. This program is to engage and mold minds and link that energy to an Obama mindset. The big question- what is Obama's mindset about religion other than winning the presidency? Given Obama's questionable Christian alliances, I would not feel comfortable offering up one of my children for his brigade.

    I guess the Dem are ready to surrender the separation of church and state if they can win in Nov.. In a war there is always collateral damage. After all it's only the Constitution and the Dems  have told us in so many ways that sometimes we have to compromise our values for political gain.

    Don't you think... (1.00 / 0) (#194)
    by carlosbas on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:25:24 PM EST
    persons here aren't the dumb uninformed you are probably USED TO TALKING TO??????

    Parent
    Born again? (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by Sunshine on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:19:34 PM EST
    So Obama has had another conversion just in time to finish the campaign...  Hope he's not going with the Rev. Moss this time...  He hasn't been thrown under the bus yet, has he?

    Relax, relate, release (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by indy in sc on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:20:59 PM EST
    I don't understand the strong negative reaction to this.  He is reaching out to people of faith not instituting a state religion.  

    He is pointing out that people of faith have far more in common with the ideals and policies of democrats than those of republicans.  Republicans have managed to win elections by drawing a narrow view of faith so that it was down to two issues--abortion and gay marriage.  Evangelicals themselves have been making the move towards broadening their issues of concern.  Obama would be completely inept as a candidate if he didn't seek to tap into that.  

    Maybe it has something to do (5.00 / 6) (#195)
    by Redshoes on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:25:40 PM EST
    with the fact that I've yet to see him reaching out to the base.   Maybe he's waiting to exhale.

    Parent
    it's about trust (5.00 / 5) (#207)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:29:39 PM EST
    If that's all he's doing, I don't think the pragmatists here have a problem with it. However, his campaign has been overly reliant on religious figures and religious iconography to make many of us feel comfortable with it.

    And for the record, many of the people he's "reaching out to" WANT to institute a state religion. And that's frightening.

    Parent

    Have to know more... (5.00 / 12) (#201)
    by OrangeFur on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:28:10 PM EST
    I want to know whether Obama is trying to bring religious voters to the Dem party or trying to move the Dem party to the religious voters.

    I'm already suspicious of Obama's habit of trying to please every audience he sees.

    He went on FOX and said that the GOP is better than the Dems on a whole host of issues.

    He praised Ronald Reagan in front of a conservative editorial board.

    He was pro-Palestinian in Chicago, but then told AIPAC that Jerusalem must remain undivided under Israeli control, and then for good measure, backed away from that the next day.

    He let Donnie McClurkin represent him in South Carolina.

    He told his San Francisco donors that small-town people cling to religion, but then sent out leaflets in SC and KY featuring a cross the size of Stonehenge.

    I really don't know what his convictions are and who he's willing to sacrifice in his quest for popularity. If he determines there are more votes to be had by catering to evangelicals than the traditional Democratic base, will anything stop him from doing so?

    He thinks he is Joshua (5.00 / 7) (#211)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:30:37 PM EST
    I have heard people talk about that.  This is disturbing.  

    Will Obama denounce Evolution next? (5.00 / 5) (#212)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:31:06 PM EST
    That has a certain religious audience too...  

    Here's why I won't vote for Obama (5.00 / 5) (#223)
    by stxabuela on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:44:31 PM EST
    I have listened to his speeches, read his website, looked at his record, listened to debates, and asked his supporters for the last 6 months, and I DON'T KNOW A BLASTED THING ABOUT HIS POSITIONS!  He has built his entire persona on a foundation of elusion.  "Better the devil you know, than the devil you don't."  I have no clue what Obama would do as POTUS, and that frightens me.    

       

    as a former evangelical I am gravely concerned (5.00 / 7) (#227)
    by mexboy on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:56:10 PM EST
    I don't like this move one bit.

    I spent years in the evangelical church and evangelicals teach that unless you accept Jesus Christ as your personal saviour, you are going to hell.

    These "biblical" teachings led to disregard for non Christians, after all, they are not God's children. Not until they repent and accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

    Our goal was to pass laws that are biblical, in other words, creating a theocracy. This scares the sh*t out of me now.

    Obama is turning the Democratic party into the G.O.P.

    How will these evangelicals who come into Obama's movement treat those non saved people?

    How will they want Obama to treat gays, jews, atheists, the pro choice, etc?

    Who will Obama throw under the bus to get these people whose religion leave no room for anyone who does not believe like they do?

    Their belief system demands they don't associate with such sinners. I know, I was one of them.

    No way will I vote for this guy!

    the road to hell is paved with good (5.00 / 6) (#229)
    by hellothere on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 10:32:36 PM EST
    intentions. once you go down that road, it is very hard to undo foolish deeds. i think religeous affiliation is just fine and i respect faith. what i don't respect is pandering to faith to get votes. now there are those who will say i am wrong that "he is just a politican" or it is for real, he means it. yeah right and so does reverend wright. obama has not shown good judgment in these areas so why should i or voters who have had enough of politics and religeon being too close think he will be an exception.

    Any doubts I had... (5.00 / 0) (#232)
    by Cheryl on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 10:48:48 PM EST
    about not voting for Obama after Hillary's amazing speech are now completely erased.

    The Joshua Generation Project? Scary. He has lost my vote forever. Pure and simple.

    (And McCain won't get it either.)

    One of the "lessons learned" (5.00 / 1) (#235)
    by beachmom on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:06:38 AM EST
    coming out of the Kerry campaign in 2004, was that it was a mistake not to do outreach to religious voters.  I liked that John Kerry didn't talk about his personal faith in '04; however, that allowed the Right to paint in what his faith was -- they said he was really just a lapsed Catholic with no values, which is not true, but since he never talked about it, many found that lie credible.  Religious value voters were Bush's ace in the hole, and many of them his "soldiers" on the ground.  I agree, I am not thrilled with how religion has entered politics so much and prefer a total separation of church and state.  But we tried that, and we got beaten.  The fact is we live in a religious country and we need to ask religious people for their vote.


    Religious Obama supporters (5.00 / 1) (#236)
    by Mr Z on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:46:01 AM EST
    I am a Jewish Obama supporter, and my girlfriend is a Catholic Obama supporter - both of us have been firmly in his corner for quite some time.

    Not all Catholics think that the choice vs. life debate should be #1 when deciding who to vote for.  The Pope has been against the war in Iraq from the beginning, so neither candidate is 100% of what the Catholic church asks for.

    As a Democrat, I am 100% behind the separation of church and state, but I make my political decisions based upon values that my religion helped create.  It would be electoral folly to ignore this demographic and not do outreach to them.

    As someone who is (5.00 / 0) (#238)
    by DCDemocrat on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:04:26 AM EST
    going to vote the Democratic nominee, let me tell you, "young people leading us to the promised land" seems completely creepy to me.  I was hoping that Obama would ditch the messianic overtones.

    On top of that (5.00 / 0) (#240)
    by KristenWinters on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 06:39:13 AM EST
    as a blog that is focused on the rights of those accused of crimes, you should be aware that there is no stronger anti-death penalty group than the Catholic church.  Pro-life does not ONLY mean anti-choice.

    http://www.americancatholic.org/news/deathpenalty/


    addison, your comments on fatih (5.00 / 0) (#244)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 09:33:29 AM EST
    and morals are well meant no doubt. the bottom line for me is this. IT ISN'T THE PRESIDENT'S BUSINESS WHETHER I HAVE MORALS OR NOT. that is not the basis of reaching out to a voter. it is his job to make life equitable for all morals or not. the discussion about religeon needs to move out of the oval office except for the occasional prayer or reference. we aren't voting on obama to be our minister or counselor. we are voting for president for heaven's sake. what has he done for us as a politican? nothing what has he done in the regigeous area? made some bad decisions.

    so nothing this man has to say about faith appeals to me. it is pandering of the worst sort.

    him out of it, no?

    He has mentioned that women should discuss their pregnancy options with their families and pastors.

    How progressive is that, again?

    He'll fit right in with the fundies.

    I am 100% for this (3.80 / 5) (#156)
    by newms on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:06:51 PM EST
    Obama is reaching out to people of faith. That does not mean that he is breaching the separation of church and state. What it means is talking to issues that concern people of faith. Yes most people of faith are against abortion, but a lot of them are able to differentiate between a personal moral choice and what should be law, ie it maybe morally wrong to fib, but that doesnt mean it should be illegal. So many will vote for Obama because they like his position on protecting the environment or in fighting poverty even if they disagree on abortion.

    There are progressive people of faith. I am one of them and we have much more in common with the Democratic party than with the Republican party. The problem for a lot of progressive evangelicals is that the Dem party has totally ignored them on a national level and so they vote republican even though they may have more in common with democratic principles than republican ones. They want to see how a candidate relates to issues of faith in their own lives, even if they are agnostic/atheist, because for them faith is an important issue in their own life. To me it doesnt matter what a candidate's religion is (even if they are agnostic/atheist), but (some) evangelicals want to at least see how a candidate relates to the issue of faith for himself/herself and can be swayed to vote for the democrat.

    And the name "Joshua generation" is a common phrase in evangelical circles. And no it is not referring to Obama as 'Joshua' but is referring to how members of this new generation can each be leaders as Joshua was. It is actually an empowering, progressive, grass roots concept.  

    Good try but (5.00 / 11) (#197)
    by ap in avl on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:25:59 PM EST
    I was raised in the Bible Belt and my father is a minister.

    The church I grew up in was small and rural.  Wonderful people in our little church.  No political involvement at all.  Definitely conservative but truly compassionate.  Maybe not even really conservative; probably just "traditional".  Just people taking care of each other.  This little church wouldn't even be on the map for Obama's campaign.

    My sister's church, however, is one of those Mega-Evangelical Faith Chapel thingies.  5000 people attend every Sunday.  They are all about home schooling.  Very politically involved.  Lots of Christian pop bands coming through aimed at the youth movement.  They have the Joshua stuff going on.  Three big screens front and center.  And on the one time I visited and my sister convinced me to attend (I did because I really wanted to see what was going on there) George Bush plastered all over those screens exhorting the congregation to defend America from evil people like me.

    THIS is where Obama's Joshua Generation will be played out.  Not the good little church made of a small group of people dedicated to tirelessly taking care of each other and their community.

    I want no part of any candidate that wants to be on that big screen.

    Parent

    Evangelical (5.00 / 3) (#220)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:38:57 PM EST
    Is quite a bit more than just opposing abortion. What about curriculum at schools, gays,the judicial system. There are a lot of differences and the idea that you can bring everyone together is a fools errand. I still think he needs to remind himself of one of his political heroes, Reagan. Reagan made sure he secured his base before he worried about the fringe.

    Parent
    so... (4.00 / 4) (#171)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:13:24 PM EST
    following a messianic leader comes naturally to you. knock me over with a feather.

    Parent
    the pb of Religion or rather faith (1.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Oceandweller on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:35:39 PM EST
    fAITH OR RELIGION THOUGH NOT THE SAME THING ARE ABOUT PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN A SUPREME OR SUPERIOR BEING INTERACTING WITH THEIR LIVES.
    that is what it is about, ome of those people believe in a seet of rules they self impose to themselves
    some have the will to impose those very personal rules unto others
    somee try to follow those rules yet understand society rules and while aiming for those better to them rules accept society as it is, sort of carrying this world imperfections and dealing themselves with their contradictions without bringing in society those contradiction
    one can be a christian and help women wishing for abortion, prefering to be called hypocritical by faith based people who refuse to cut deals with society and accepting at the same time society intolerance and weaknesses
    damn ed if they do and damened if they dont
    believing that the superiorbeing one day will be well that perefct being who heals every thing
    you go to abortion but for a religious person, you indeed raise the question of faith
    Society is not perfect and contraception and adoption should be way easier in our society that does not prevent to be understanding, generous and compassionate
    in short tolerant in a responsible way, and sort of saying if there is a sin, I am the one to carry it
    I am sorry if that seems a bit hard to understand, but anyone who is really into the business of deal really-not in words but actually in abortion clinics will understand my erratic explinations
    THAT OBAMA WHO IS A CHRISTIAN HAS THIS APPROACH NOT OF PASSION BUT OF OPENESS AND SADNESS IS FOR ME VERY RESPECTFUL OF WHAT IS REALLY AN ABORTION. since 32ys I have helped, refered women for abortions, I have for Hell quite a caseload, I know God is forgiving and merciful. I dont see anything wrong in reaching out to faith americans
    why should we be banished from the democratic party beats me
    do any of you think we are not able to accept and share the burden
    I woulsd think that having faith gives us more responsability  

    i am struggling to (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by dws3665 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:42:43 PM EST
    resist making a homeschooling joke here (oops, failed), but honestly I have no idea what you are saying. can you retype that (more briefly) with punctuation?

    no one is saying that people should not be free to practice Christianity or the religion of their choice. what is generally anathema to (old school? old?) Democrats is enforcing religious (as opposed to moral) beliefs via law.

    i have no idea what your comments on abortion are referring to. people of faith are welcome in the democratic party; people who want to legislate their faith are not.

    Parent

    Not sure of what you mean-- (5.00 / 1) (#228)
    by Molly Pitcher on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 10:02:43 PM EST
    First, I am a heretical Christian; by which I mean I was raised a (horrors) Baptist, but that there is only one theological statement of which I am sure: there is a God, a joyful God.  What language and which words and what kind of book you treasure is your individual choice, according to the dictates of your conscience and faith.

    About abortion:  my first child, now 51, was born with Downs syndrome when I was 24.  No tests then, but would I have have aborted my first baby, especially without any real understanding of Downs?  I doubt it.  Two more kids came along--my fervent wish was not to have another Downs baby, but having known my oldest, I'd not have had an abortion (illegal anyway, as was sterilization.)  When I was 41 I made a decision to not have testing done when I became pregnant.  Downs kids come with a peculiar package of joys, sorrows, and trials, it is true.  But having loved my oldest for 17 years, there was no way I'd have had an abortion.  And, yes, I was surely relieved that that last baby was normal.

    For others--I make no recommendation.  Taking care of a severely retarded child is no picnic, even if the child is a joy.  Each family has to make that decision, hopefully with more knowledge than I had.  I call my oldest a blessing and note that passers-by often smile just seeing her (kids sometimes are not always so polite).  If like the governor of Alaska and me, you can gather up the faith to undertake that journey, then I congratulate you.  If someone fears that she lacks the strength, determination, and help to undertake that journey, then I bless that decision too.  (Just don't tell me someone should go ahead and birth a handicapped child because it will be adopted by someone who will treasure it.)

    Finally, my family's well-being today is underlaid by government programs that are sometimes disliked by Republicans--things like Medicaid and SSI and special ed classes and group homes.  If people are sincere in opposition to abortion, then they need to realize that some parents can't manage without help, a lot of help.

    Parent

    Well, the religious speechifying never (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 07:48:29 PM EST
    did anything for me, but this is politics, and cutting off 3-5% from the other guy can be the difference between winning and losing.

    From your link:

    [T]he Obama campaign understands that the issue of abortion is a problem for some voters of faith. They respect that and understand if some just simply can't come on board because of that. However, they look at this project as a way of broadening the values discussion. Poverty, Darfur, Climate Change and yes, even the war are issues younger Evangelicals may be able to see eye to eye on with the Obama campaign.

    I don't think this is likely to be very effective, but it doesn't concern me too much. And with Obama, it seems to me that the damage has been done as far as bad connections to religion are concerned (McClurkin. . .).


    Last time I checked, the Kennedys are all (none / 0) (#30)
    by halstoon on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:08:27 PM EST
    Catholic, as is Kerry. Also, Hillary was getting strong support from Catholics throughout the race, so your question about Catholics supporting a pro-choice Democrat seem a tad misguided. He may not win Catholics, but I really doubt a lot of American Catholics follow the Vatican's dictates on procreation; after all, doesn't the Holy See consider birth control of any kind a no-no?

    Separation is important, but people of faith have a role to play in helping to rebuild our communities and repair some of the damage that's been done by Bush. Obama does have a strong faith story, and he's not afraid to speak to Christians, telling them why their faith should lead them to be Democratic; Gore and Kerry were too afraid to, and thus ceded far too much to Bush.

    One of the core building blocks of Obama's campaign, and his eventual administration, is community involvement, and there is no better place to start in a lot of the country than in the local church if you're looking to do some good.

    uhhhhhhhhh (5.00 / 13) (#33)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:09:56 PM EST
    Obama does have a strong faith story,
    Not anymore he doesn't. . .

    Parent
    Yeah, this is (5.00 / 2) (#222)
    by frankly0 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:43:14 PM EST
    my real question.

    What kind of "faith" can Obama possibly claim as his own, after we see what Wright was preaching? How can he possibly get any white American to see Black Liberation Theology to resemble in any important way their own concept of Christianity?

    Obama can say all he wants that he's Christian and act as though that puts him in touch with others of the Christian faith, but what Christian faith sees the white man as symbolic of evil (which is I gather the central tenet of Black Liberation Theology)?

    I'd think that for most Americans Black Liberation Theology is at least as foreign to their concept of Christianity as is Mormonism -- which was certainly a problem for Romney. Indeed, I'd say it's a lot more foreign than Mormonism.

    Parent

    It's not just important (5.00 / 5) (#39)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:12:38 PM EST
    It's a constitutional obligation.


    Parent
    Actually no it isn't (none / 0) (#219)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:37:16 PM EST
    The Constitution does not, in any way, call for a separation between church and state.  

    Making that argument discredits legitimate calls for reducing the overbearing influence of religion.  

    Parent

    I'm Catholic (5.00 / 7) (#54)
    by eleanora on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:20:47 PM EST
    and for most of us, social justice issues are paramount. Catholics voted for Clinton 92/96 and Gore in 00, but they moved to Bush in 04, which was really important in Ohio and several other swing states. IMO, Kerry lost them by failing to talk personally about social justice issues, poverty, equality, etc, not because he didn't talk about religion itself.

    Parent
    Was that the election the POPE (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:26:42 PM EST
    came out and stated no Catholic should vote for anyone who is pro-choice?

    I remember being furious he injected his influence, and then Mel Gibson backed him up. I've never seen another Mel Gibson movie...not even reruns.


    Parent

    John Paul II (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by eleanora on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:38:00 PM EST
    was already really ill then, so that was really Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict. And the hardline American cardinals backed him up. Caused quite a stir among Catholics, but I don't think it was a deciding factor in the vote because most Catholics who are anti-choice vote R anyway. If Kerry had appealed on other issues, the five percent of Catholics he lost from Gore's count might have stayed with him.

    Parent
    Yep, in 2004 (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by stxabuela on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:52:43 PM EST
    Our diocese handed out bumper stickers that said, "Vote Catholic, not Kerry."  I quit going during the 2000 election, when the church did everything but openly support Bush the younger, harping "Vote pro-life!"  The same church that asked us all to follow the example of Pope John Paul II and send letters to Bush (when he was Governor of TX,) asking him to stay the execution of Karla Fay Tucker.  Too much hypocrisy for me.    

    Parent
    Ridiculous argument (4.66 / 12) (#49)
    by angie on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 08:17:26 PM EST
    All of the presidents we have ever had have been a member of a Christian church -- that doesn't mean that they mix politics and religion -- the Kennedy's don't, for example. Furthermore, the fact that Hillary did well with Catholics does not me she was mixing religion with politics. What Obama is doing is mixing the two like the GOP does, and I don't like it.

    Parent
    Nitpick here... (5.00 / 6) (#170)
    by tree on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:12:45 PM EST
    But many of the early Presidents, and Founding Fathers were NOT Christians. They were Deists or Unitarians.

    Parent
    THE Joshua Generation already exists... (none / 0) (#206)
    by exlibris on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 09:29:34 PM EST
    Is Obama outsourcing to The Joshua Generation Ministries or just stealing/using their name?

    I once had this same worry (none / 0) (#230)
    by s5 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 10:35:59 PM EST
    When I was still a Hillary supporter at the beginning of the year, this was the biggest thing that concerned me about him. Until I looked at his approach a bit more.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a card carrying atheist, and church and state should remain far, far apart. My view of this is that many people, through their religion, hold personal values that align perfectly with Democratic values. Being against pointless wars seems to be a good fit for Catholics, for example. So this isn't a "we're caving in to the Religious Right on abortion to scrape up some votes" approach, and more of a "we believe in charity / caring for the less fortunate / not bombing innocent people in other countries" approach.

    I think it makes perfect sense. Most of the country still believes in a god and many of those people learn their morals and values from their religion. Just because the right has replaced the word "morals" with "anti-abortion" doesn't mean we should cede that ground to them. Plenty of religious people will see that our party values align quite nicely with many of their religious values, and that's okay with me.

    So it's more like the opposite approach of the Bush administration. Instead of using government to do the work of religious fundamentalists, we would be showing the people how their existing religious values should lead them to support the secular work that a Democratic government would be doing.

    Religion part of America (none / 0) (#231)
    by Rashomon66 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 10:37:18 PM EST
    Reaching out is not the same as grasping and holding onto. The CBN story notes that:
    Yes, the Obama campaign understands that the issue of abortion is a problem for some voters of faith.... However, they look at this project as a way of broadening the values discussion. Poverty, Darfur, Climate Change and yes, even the war are issues younger Evangelicals may be able to see eye to eye on with the Obama campaign.

    I for one would like to see a definitive separation between church and state. And I certainly don't think there should be some kind of litmus test concerning ones personal religious beliefs or non beliefs. But many Americans are of religious faith and Obama wants to be President for all Americans. So by reaching out he hopes to get some young Evangelical voters. I don't see anything more than that. [Just my opinion].

    What an unusual discussion here (none / 0) (#233)
    by tribe643 on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 10:58:51 PM EST
    Honestly, I'm not sure how any remotely objective person believes that an outreach program to mostly young evangelicals in somehow tantamount to Obama possibly not really being pro choice or how he is blurring the line of church and state like Bush. What he's trying to do is not automatically cede people for whom religion plays an important role in their lives. For the first time and thanks largely to this administration there are a sizable number of evangelicals, mostly those under 30, are questioning why they have to give blind loyalty to the Republican Party every election. These are people who are increasingly concerned about the environment, believe in economic fairness, don't believe in unnecessary wars, etc. and are looking for other options in this Presidential campaign. They represent millions of voters every 4 years and we must engage them in a meaningful way, especially on issues such as health care and the environment and pointing out they are more inherently christian than anything the GOP has produced the past three decades.

    Either talk to them and give them options or just concede an entire voting bloc to the GOP, making our job that much more difficult each Presidential election cycle. It's a worthy venture and we'd be fools to not at least give it a try. Let's not allow a hotly contested primary battle to allow us to question the motives of our party's nominee when he's trying to expand our voting base by engaging a group of voters that might listen to us this time around. Just my two cents.

    Comments now closed (none / 0) (#234)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:06:37 PM EST


    obama outreach to relegious (none / 0) (#237)
    by phoebecaulfield on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:59:46 AM EST
    His position is pretty clear and seems to be consistent , has been for some time.  Speech on this issue  can be found <:/obama.senate.gov/speech/060628-call_to_renewal>

    Seems to me his position is  very clear on separation of church and state.   Of course is could backfire.  Piss off the secularists.  Piss off the democrats that think he is pandering to the religious.  I really like the position.  My parents and their friends are from a long line of christian activists.  Wonderful people, care about the poor, church was supportive of gay marriage before any state was etc.  Hillary supposedly got her social activism start from the church, my childhood church was all antiwar (vietnam, i am old) and pro civil liberties, pro integration, feminist etc.  

     

    Working Class Catholics Are Historically (none / 0) (#239)
    by KristenWinters on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 05:27:33 AM EST
    core Democratic voters.  They always have been.

    Why would a Catholic support a pro-choice candidate?

    Because he/she is a Democrat.

    Hillary Clinton's key demographic in Pennsylvania and Ohio was working class Catholics.  If you subtract them from Hillary's total, Obama wins each state easily.  Obama needs these voters in the fall to win, just as Hillary would.  And I assume that you consider Hillary pro-choice.

      This entry shows an appalling lack of understanding of Catholic voters.

    i love it! (none / 0) (#242)
    by cpinva on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 07:11:05 AM EST
    yeah boy, let's get us some of that old testament lovin' and a smoting and some genociding! while we're at it, let's bring back stoning too, just like them there islamofascistterrorist countries have! oh, let's not forget slavery! slavery was real big in the old testament.

    for real! do any of these people actually read, or do they just pick up on something, with no clue as to the actual context? or maybe (which i'm inclined to believe is the case) they can't distinguish between the old and new testaments, and just assume the "bible" is, well, um, the "bible"?

    of course, one cool thing in the old testament, polygamy was ok by god, for a while anyway, as long as you didn't marry sisters or brothers. and really, who'd want to, and deal with all that sibling rivalry nonsense?

    Young Evangelicals (none / 0) (#243)
    by cardcarryingmember on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 09:26:52 AM EST
    There has actually been a lot of media coverage over the past year or so about young evangelicals. They say they are more concerned with issues like genocide, care for the poor, health care, etc., rather than culture war issues like abortion and gay  rights. This doesn't mean that they're pro-choice and pro-gay rights, but it does mean that there is an opening for a Democratic candidate to exploit, so why shouldn't he try to exploit it? Is there any reason not to try to open a hole in what was once a monolithic anti-Democratic coalition? I would think it stupid of any Democratic candidate NOT to try to do that. I'm even willing to bet Senator Clinton would have tried to do the same thing if she were the candidate.