Benedictions: The Pope in America

Benedictions: The Pope in America

To win political office–lose your religion?

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is not likely to fade into the woodwork anytime soon, but while we’re in the midst of l’affaire Wright and its toll on Barack Obama, it is worth considering another unsettling lesson in all of this: That for all the talk of closing the “God gap,” episodes like this one–and battles over a Catholic’s worthiness to receive communion or whether a Mormon should be elected president–show that no candidate in his or her right mind would want to close the “religion gap.”
By “religion gap” I mean the (politically) safe distance between a candidate and a religious tradition–a body of believers, a community of truth that can call you on your mistakes, or perceived mistakes. Throughout American history presidents have benefited most when they have maintained the greatest distance from a specific religious tradition. (Steve Waldman can elaborate or dispute this point more authoritatively.) Think of the Deists among the Founding Fathers, or Abraham Lincoln, who is both a god of sorts in the pantheon of our civil religion yet a hero to many atheists. Who recalls any president’s religious affiliation? It was usually a generic, non-threatening mainline Protestantism, but even the one Quaker president (Nixon) isn’t remembered as such.
Of course everyone knows that JFK was Catholic, and that he, like every Catholic candidate since, has had to contend with that. Same with Mitt Romney, who faced absurd and often scurrilous criticism because of his religion (though he did not respond as thoughtfully or courageously as JFK or Obama). George W. Bush learned the value of being “spiritual but not religious,” and could sidle up to the Methodists when it suited him–such as when he wanted his library and think tank built at SMU. But the uproar against Bush’s library (including calls to consider excommunicating him–how Catholic!) reinforced the wisdom of branding himself as a non-denominational “follower of Christ,” as one biographer says is the president’s preferred label. He is embraced by evangelicals as a born again Christian, but he has no congregation, no church, and no denomination. He is certainly more devout than Ronald Reagan–a spiritual master of appearing religious without being so–but not much more of a churchgoer, preferring prayer time and bible studies with friends at Camp David.
Hillary Clinton is a quick study as well. Raised in the United Methodist Church, when she came to Washington in 1992 Clinton began hanging out with a rather odd group of largely conservative evangelicals known as The Family (not The Family of cult infamy) which is also known by the Grisham-esque name of The Fellowship. It certainly has its own baggage, though no one would never speak about it publicly as The Fellowship is a very secretive group. The first good exploration of this group was in Mother Jones last September, though there have been some follow-ups. The beauty of The Fellowship is that it doesn’t impose any difficult or embarassing burdens of history or tradition or leadership on Clinton, as does, say, Catholicism, Mormonism, or even the UCC congregationalism of Barack Obama (and Jeremiah Wright, the denomination’s unelected pontiff).
That freedom from religion has left Clinton at liberty to criticize Obama on his religion without herself being held to any similar standards. She told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (in a carefully-targeted interview with her old right-wing nemesis) that Wright ”would not have been my pastor…You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.” Perhaps she also chose her race and upbringing? She certianly hasn’t chosen a church. And no one cites the fact that the pastors in the Methodist churches she has attended (such as Foundry near the White House) defended Wright.
Nor would Clinton even engage a question last month–as she was trumepting her small-town bona fides as a churchgoing Annie Oakley–as to when she had actually attended church, or where. Whether she goes to church, she said, “is not a relevant question in this debate” over Barack Obama’s comments on small town Americans. “We can answer that some other time,” Clinton said. (Now would be good.)
Similarly, when Dan Burke of RNS tried to pin her down on the Methodist Church’s upcoming debate (redux) on gay clergy, Hillary punted, probably wisely.


Q: Your church, the United Methodist Church, is getting ready to meet later this month. One of the issues they will address is whether to allow gay and lesbian clergy. Would you like to see gay and lesbian clergy who are in committed same-sex relationships in the United Methodist Church?
A: I really have not been able to focus on what the church will be debating at its upcoming conference, and it’s obviously a very difficult decision and I am going to wait and follow and watch and not express an opinion or assert my views into the process.
Q: So do you have an opinion on gay clergy?
A: I just want to follow the debate. I have not had time to think through all the points that will be made and want to give a chance for the conference to have a full and thorough debate on the matter.


Well, that’s politic, and wise, and in line with what the Clintons did re gays in the military. But the point is that Obama and others who publicly declare themselves part of a religious community and tradition, who practice a religion as well as nurturing a spirituality, face a more difficult political road than those with a free-range faith that can sound awesome in stump speeches but has blessed little baggage when it comes to reconciling one’s faith and one’s public actions.
As a Catholic, and a convert to that long and messy and saintly church history, I appreciate (as if you couldn’t tell) a believer who embraces a community of faith, a candidate who has to contend with the tensions and ambiguities and scandals and egotistical leaders (who just may be speaking the truth to power even as they lust for the spotlight). Because if the difficuties of an Obama or a Romney or a Giuliani can make them look uncomfortable or hypocritical or just downright silly–and can make their churches look the same way–then their struggles are really those of every serious believer trying to reconcile their conscience and faith and personal wishes with the truths and doctrines and communal requirements of a religious tradition.

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posted May 1, 2008 at 12:03 pm

I believe it is a real stretch of truth to say that everyone, except perhaps JFK himself, knew he was a Catholic. By observing his actions, it soon became obvious to any intent observer that he was not a practicing Catholic. If your actions don’t reflect what you claim, credibility becomes a real problem.

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Robin Thomas

posted May 1, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Obama doesn’t have to distance himself from religion…he has to distance himself from an idiot who might well have cost him the presidency. I don’t believe for a second that Wright represents mainstream black religion. In fact, all of the big church pastors in LA came out yesterday in the Times and said that an attack on Wright was NOT an attack on the black church itself.

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posted May 1, 2008 at 8:24 pm

Can we talk about something else now?

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Teresa Touey

posted May 2, 2008 at 9:02 am

You should read Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s Book “Failing America’s Faithful: How Today’s Churhces are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way”– see I know many local state reps and senators who had to stop attending their local churches due to the invasion of their privacy by pastors and members when the gay marriage debate occurred in the legislature. It is sad that a chance for peace and prayer has turned to this kind of aggressiveness and disrespect. Also your article said nothing about the outrageous statements of John McCain’s pastor. Fair is treating this issue across the field of candidates. It is an important one. When TV preachers are the norm it should be an expected point of discussion for the highest office in the land affecting so many people throughout the world.
Teresa Touey

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posted May 2, 2008 at 9:47 am

Poor Black people. They also have to seperate themselves from their skin color and their ancestry.
Only we White people have the “right” to be ourselves in this country.
As much trouble as we have been to the world ever since we started “discovering” people, places and things, everyone else should be afraid of us!
Want to be part of the powerful elite of America, Obama?
Well, you had be ready to give up everything you are to satisfy the racial boogie man in the room.
Imagine. We are more afraid of you than you are of us!
I don’t see how Blacks and other minorities take the daily mental and verbal racial strip search and beating!

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posted May 2, 2008 at 9:48 am

Readers and true believers, let us not forget through all of what is going on God has the last say. As my faith will have it, he helps those who helps themselves. We have not seen interest in polictics like this for generations and the fact that we are trying so hard to do the right thing by participating by going out and voting means we are in fact trying to help ourselves. A reason & a season. Leave the rest to God. A “true believer” in his faith will not and should not distance him/herself from his religion. That is “faith” in itself.

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posted May 2, 2008 at 9:57 am

I’m with Robin Thomas.
Wright’s a nutburger. I know why everyone is making a big deal about this, though. Wright’s a hate-filled racist, and Obama was buddies with him for 20 years and viewed him as a mentor. You don’t do that unless you admire, look up to and agree with what you are hearing.
The real story here is that Obama agrees with Wright, but has to lie about it to get elected.

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Dolores Metoyer

posted May 2, 2008 at 10:13 am

Obama does nothave to distance himself from his religion, just the person who is perpatrating an evangilical speaker. Rev. Wright is in the limelight for himself only. He has seized an opportunity on the coat tails of Obama and he has ran with it. I think if Rev. Wright will just sit for a moment and listen to what he is preching about, he will realize he is hurting not only himself but his congregation.
Rev. Wright is a man out for opportunity, he wants to take his message from the pulpit where he has some undivide attention, to mainstream america where he is dividing the black community.

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posted May 2, 2008 at 10:17 am

I have a rather controversial theory about this whole concept of Obama distancing himself from Rev. Wright.
Perhaps–just perhaps–Rev. Wright acted the way he did to ultimately help Obama. I think the two men really may care for each other, and maybe Wright loves Obama so much, he was willing to act like a complete and total fool to give Obama the permission to distance himself from him.
Is that too far out of the realm of possibility? At any rate, I hope Obama can put this thing behind him so he can focus on winning this election.

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Kathy Clark

posted May 2, 2008 at 6:52 pm

I can’t believe there is anyone who is sane who thinks anything good about Wright. I will not call him reverend because that is a title to be honored. He is a hateful racist. Some say to look at all the good he has done. Hitler had social programs, too. Hamas, who supports Obama, is a terrorist group and also provides services for the people. If things are so bad for black people, why must Wright make up our sins – like blaming AIDS on us – to incite hate? We have come a long way from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hundreds of millions of people have changed their hearts and their minds to eradicate racisism. We are a good and compassionate country. Racism and hatred are the exception to the rule not the rule. Wright needs to be exposed for what he is. By the way, he’s moving to an all white neighborhood. Why is that?

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posted May 2, 2008 at 10:41 pm

Many of the things I’ve seen Wright talk about on TV happened. He lived through some of them and his parents or grandparents lived through most of them. They included terrible things that can leave a lasting mark.
But America has changed a lot for the better on racial issues. So while Wright has a right to be upset about what’s happened, and while his church has apparently accomplished a LOT for people in that area, it is a great shame he doesn’t also recognize the changes for the better along with the changes still needed.
And it’s a greater shame Wright is dragging down Obama who is, I think, our best hope in this election.
As for the advantage of generality in religion, no religion can stand to be inspected closely; everyone can see things to disagree with. If you have a more general religion that still seems to be in the mainstream most people can make themselves think you agree with them.

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posted May 3, 2008 at 11:32 pm

One needs to come two things in mind, first Obama is not Rev Wright puppet and the second is what is rela Obama ? Cleary he felted the need to be in church that foucs bit more on ethnic then gospel message. Nevertheless, I feel he is best man for job right now. I think his message of change is good and it sound reasonable. I just can not, help but feel Clinton family thinking she the right person, becuase of her husband being in white house before her. I still deeply resent her moving to New York State for just a spot to settle in until white house. Sadly RFK did the same in Ny state as well. BUT IF OBAMA LOST, PLEASE PEOPLE DO NOT VOYE MCCAIN. WE DO NOT NEED TO BE IN MIDDLE EAST FOR 100 YEARS OR EVEN FIVE YEARS.

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posted May 4, 2008 at 9:11 am

I find it interesting that absolutely no one is the least bit curious as to whether or not George W. Bush likes meth and gay prostitutes. He did have Ted Haggard as his spiritual advisor in the White House, and you don’t do that unless you look up to, admire, and agree with what he’s doing.
What about all of the candidates that are Catholic? Are they as ready to denounce their church’s leadership over the sex abuse scandal? Are they ready to get up out the pews and never come back? We’re talking about a double standard of the highest order here.

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posted May 4, 2008 at 10:19 am

I am truly amazed after hearing Rev Wright speak, that he was Obama’s minister for 20 years! Rev Wright married Sen. Obama and baptized both of his daughters! So for 20 years Sen. Obama heard this man preach (almost half of Sen. Obama’s life), and he stuck by him for 20 years and even said he was like family to him! Could it be Sen. Obama the politian speaking up now? You bet it could. (I held an elected office for almost 8 years, on a much, much lower scale–so I know political talk first hand when I hear it!) Just due to the above facts, I cannot vote for him! I certainly cannot vote for Sen. McCain either as it will be at least four more years of what we have been subjected to with Bush over the past 8 years! We cannot afford to lose another 4,000 young people to death. Also, how many young people have become disabled in this war (which we NEVER hear the figures on). Sen. Clinton at least wants to bring our young people home from a war that was started for all the wrong reasons! Sen. Clinton has my vote. I have never missed an election, primary or general, (and I am in my mid sixties). I urge you also to vote for Sen Clinton.

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posted May 4, 2008 at 7:44 pm

I’d like to address Gibson’s “religion gap” comments. To get elected, a candidate has to be religious, but not too religious. Why is this? He didn’t touch on the difficulties related to a Presidential candidate’s celebrity causing considerable difficulty in the act of going to a church. Such a church would start receiving death threats from the unbalanced opponents of that candidate.
Of course there are many, many religious factions in America. When you appeal to one group, you can offend another. A successful candidate has to appeal to some sort of common ground shared by most of the churches. Part of that common ground is appealing to pragmatism, the national philosophy of America.
If he or she isn’t viewed as being pragmatic, they will be viewed as being an unbalanced extremist. When Jimmy Carter admitted in Playboy magazine that he committed adultery in his mind, that admission caused him to be viewed by the great middle as impractical and inappropriate. It hurt him, as much as anything, in the polls. When Barry Goldwater said “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” that quote stuck to him as being non-pragmatic. So, a little civil religion is a good thing, but don’t get carried away or it will cost you the election.
Pragmatism is the national philosophy of America, and believing in one’s cherished political ideology is the national religion for a great many, because, after all, church is pretty boring.

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Vivian Fulton

posted May 5, 2008 at 1:04 pm

In short, did Rev. Wright lie in any of his answers/comments/sermons?
I don’t think so! America is upset because he tells it like it is.

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posted May 6, 2008 at 1:23 am

No candidate for political office should feel compelled to state their religious beliefs, for as soon as they do they will have critics who often don’t have a clue about the basics of that particular religion, only what they have “heard.” A political candidate’s voting record or political history should reveal whether that person has compassion for ALL persons regardless of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political persuasion, economic status, whatever. I feel candidates have a right to refuse to answer specific questions designed to “trap them” or to cause them some political turmoil. As a voter I look to the candidate’s “voting history” on all issues as this most clearly reveals how compassionate that person is, and compassion is what I am looking for. Among the candidates currently running for president, I see Hillary Clinton as “the most compassionate.” I believe she will be able to restore America’s standing in the world as a compassionate nation.

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posted May 6, 2008 at 9:53 am

Sometime it is not what you say but how you say it. Pastor Wright spoke a few home truths but to the detriment of Obama who will make an excellent president. All over the world governments are changing because people want change and change to someone new. Experience has to be gained at some point, so I wonder what is all the talk about experience, Senator Clinton has it has a former first lady.
Yes we can, yes we can, make a change for the better for a person whom I believe can help the world view Americans differently.
Just my view from far away in the Caribbean.

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posted May 6, 2008 at 10:01 am

We have to move beyond Pastor Wright and see Obama the man, how he grew up as multi-racial in what most people deemed a racial country (history is there to prove it with the slave trade)and how he has risen above it all. What better person to have as a president who has been on all sides. The world is watching America and the reporters who constantly talk about blacks and mexicans negatively. Remember America was built by immigrants and I am sure that some of those said reporters have mexican blood in them. What about the native American Indians, were they given a fair break?
I said this to say OBAMA IS THE MAN for the job. He is a man who does not see colour or religion but the person at heart. Not wearing a lapel to pledge allegiance and show your sincerity for your country does not mean you do not love your country (actually it is against bible principles to worship idols and tags).
Just my views from far away in the Caribbean as a multi-racial person.

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posted May 6, 2008 at 2:28 pm

As I’ve been listening to all this hullabaloo I found myself wondering about how the current candidates are living out their Christian faith. While everyone’s being all upset about Rev. Wright no one seems at all bothered that Sen. McCain divorced his wife and married a much younger (and richer) “trophy wife”. Just because they’ve been married for 20 years doesn’t change the facts. Sen. Clinton is married to a very public adulterer. Sen. Obama is happily married with two happy, healthy well balanced children. So who do the “family values” folks support? Sen. McCain will be the third of the last four Republican candidates to be divorced.
Recently a Roman Catholic Bishop boycotted his local Catholic college’s graduation because Sen. Clinton was invited to speak and she is “pro-choice”. I can’t help but wonder if he’d have been as upset if the invited speaker was George W. Bush, warmonger.
The truth is I don’t think it matters in the least what a candidate believes. It’s how they live, what they do and how well they keep their commitments.

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posted May 8, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Read the Candorville strips beginning with the May 5 one. It gives a rather interesting perspective on Rev. Wright’s post-911 sermon.
I’m more inclined to judge Senator Obama by what *he* has said than what his former pastor says. Is there anyone who agrees with every single thing his or her minister says? Does one leave the church every single time someone disagrees with your views? Barack Obama is a grown man; he’s perfectly capable of thinking and speaking for himself. He doesn’t need his minister to do it for him.

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Pat.tea O, Houston,Tx

posted May 12, 2008 at 6:54 am

I am persuaded to believe beyond ANY shadow of doubt that Barrack Obama is the best Presidential candidate for several reasons. First of all, he has exhibited a character of true grit and drive that will turn our nation around. Drive in a leader with spiritual fortitude and humility who has lived the lifestyle relevant to many of us will, no doubt, restore faith in our government for so many of us who are heartbroken and have had our dreams reduced to living in complacency.
We as an American people are pictured bewildered by the thought of war having to continue with no hope of victory in sight. Our children’s lives mean very little as they are born to be sacrificial lambs. Leaders and Politicians are not held accountable for their actions, exposed for dishonesty in their financial dealings or substantiated by their beliefs (beit spiritual, moral and ethics).
Secondly, religion and pastorial exertations are not an issue that should consume us. Quite frankly, I would feel dismayed and betrayed to have my mentor speak out frivolously and insensitively to my stance. Especially when it is my desire to be that one catalyst that will bring change for the better of everyone involved in the MOVEMENT for CHANGE. Wouldn’t you think there needs to be some distance (common sense used)in reverence for “What thus says the Lord” from the pulpit.
Moveover, we (the voters) are prospecting with this election to channel change that is in reverse from top to bottom–cutting all the waste.
These candidates–Obama, Clinton and Mc Cain–all know this is not an easy task. This task will require expertise of a collective group of people helping to make the best decisions possible for our national benefit.
In addition, I like that he has shown humility and that he is human–admitting his mistakes along this campaign journey, yet not losing focus on his insight to much needed administrative reforms. He has personal charisma that says he is like me. Not born with a silver spoon and 24kt gold rimmed china bowls to eat from. He relates to me that change needs to make a difference in the lives of people. Most importantly, he incites change should give future growth to policies of health care for those who can not afford it, should continue education reforms and increase financial support for teachers, as well should spur minimal wage incentatives that will allow employers to hire workers to keep the American people working while the economy grows strong and should rekindle the dreams of the small businessman and farmers.
With this change, we have no need for summer stimulus bandaids that help no one past the day after the check is deposited. Bandaids only cover-up more contributions of tax reformations and cuts in support of the social security system which supports the aged, the indigent and the widowed. Taking the bandaids off and changing the way politics affect many of us through our collective efforts and constant vigil watches of a new–and we make no mistake in being reminded that there will be a new forthcoming administration.
As I close (and take my seat), I am delighted for this once in a lifetime historical movement of change in the right direction to see someone who truly esteems what a leadership role as Commander in Chief. Even more, I am delighted to see a wholesome leader with a strong Family at his side as his connection to his personal and emotional facets. I am overjoyed that I will have lived in history to see the CHANCE this November bring for CHANGE. We should make NO MISTAKE that this time is the time we should elect a true leader. Barrack Obama IS the RIGHT CHOICE!

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posted May 12, 2008 at 10:57 am

I am a christian,as christians we should know we are suppose to forgive and not hold the past mistates.I truly belive in obama .we needed a new started in the white house, we seen what been going on for years,now its time for change,I know it will take time to change,because we are really in a mess. rev. wright isnt running for president

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posted May 12, 2008 at 11:07 am

I think those who are against and afraid Obama is be best candidate of the three continually are using religion to scare voters away from the polls. Just imaging everything they have used and said against him, first he is not an American, second he is a muslim, third they brought out picture where he was honored in his father’s homeland, in every third world country, the people are always very proud of their sons and daughters who are successful and they show their pride and appreciation by giving you a title. Lastly, they are now using the Rev. Wright sermon against Obama. Since when has it been the rule that the congregation are held accountably for the pastor’s sermon? Why should Obama be held accountable for Wright’s sermon? I am knowledgable in the bible and I have been to many church’s that I have listen to pastors mis-interprete the verses of the bible. All I just do is shake my head. I have changed more than 10 churches since I have been in this country but I have not been able to find a perfect pastor or a good church. Now, I don’t attend any church but I pray anytime of the day my spirit want me to. My prayer is without season, but my spirit still long for a church. Now, if I decide to go back to any church I will not judge the pastor for his teaching, preaching or knowledge about the bible. He is anwserable to God. I will go to church to seek God not a pastor.
I think, people should leave Obama alone and let him be. I am absolutely sure that Obama is the right person for America this time around. I think God is with him.
One more point, I don’t quite trust Rev. Wright. Watch out for him. I think he is not done yet. He just want to use Obama to get fame, he does not mind to destroy Obama in that process. That Wright man is not a christain, he is a snake.

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posted May 12, 2008 at 1:03 pm

The verse that I see Obama using and we all say is wise and political is Be wise as a serpant and gentle as a dove for we are sheep among wolves. Now is Obama using this verse because he is a sheep among wolves or is he using this verse for gain as in taking the Lord’s name in vain. I have done it too that is why I know about his psychology.. I rebelled against the system for world peace but in it I was not able to be honest with my actions to God or to the surrounding community and I was led on a road that didnt seem quite right. I fear that Obama may be using the Bible in a similar way and using his religion to lead us on a road that isnt quite right. I appreciate his devotion to his church because it shows that he is willing to be humble and shape his steps towards how God wants him to walk. But the real question that should be asked is: Is obama using his religion for his own gain or is he really an unimposed sheep among wolves?

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Joan Stringfellow

posted May 12, 2008 at 10:20 pm

I love the Lord, I will be happy to follow his word. I also put my hand over my heart to honor the Flag of this country, because I also love my country I have a real problem with Obama not putting his hand , over heart for a flag that stands for the very job he is asking us to give him. I don’t believe in all this fussing, he and Clinton are always up to. They need to get busy on the problems of the US, one OZONE warming, gas prices, insurance not giving the people the care they need, and teling us they want cover the medicine the Doctor says we need.Making the dollar strong. Until when I will not be changing my mind about OBAMA, CLINTON ,

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posted May 12, 2008 at 11:31 pm

This all goes to show how far America has moved away from God. Without God first in our lives, we are and have nothing. For me, being a Catholic Christian is first and always first. That is why I would never vote for Clinton or Obama because of their abortion on demand stance. I don’t care who you are, if you truly see abortion for what it is, and you say you believe in God, then there is no way you can vote for them. And Black Ministers across the country are starting to speak against Obama because of his abortion beliefs…they say that around 60% of all abortion is on black babies. Talk about the real, silent genocide…the real racism in our country.
My only response is to pray for all in our country because we so desperately a return to God, in whatever faith we were raised. We need to say, as a nation, “In God We Trust”.

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posted May 12, 2008 at 11:55 pm

I have talked to so many people about Senator Obama. Some are for some against. Those against are mostly Black People. They are afraid of someone killing him. Like I told them, remember what happened when Marther Luther King got shot? Riots were everywhere. I believe it will be worse should anyone attempt to harm Senator Obama. First off we are not United in the United States. I wish we were. But there is still too much hatred not only within races but religion. The only way we are going to get along is mind our own business. Help one another before a crisis happens. Look at the weather. G-D is angry with The United States. Tornadoes in places where they have never been before. Floods on flat land. Katrina. People dieing unnecessarily from poverty in one of the richest countries in the world. Many of us pray but for what? Prayer and belief in what pray for means so much. Let’s pray for real.

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Amy Bullard

posted May 13, 2008 at 10:09 pm

In this great nation called the United States of America, we are so very BLESSED. As Americans, we have so many blessings that we can not count them ,yet in my opinion, if one of these two candidates(OBama or Clinton) are chosen as our next commander-and-chief, oh, woe unto us. This great nation was founded on Christianity(THE HOLY TRINITY: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost). The concept of the same sex marriage, well, I am a woman, and if man was made for man then what in the world am I doing here? Guess what? The Almighty GOD does not make mistakes. And all those earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and cyclones, we have not seen anything yet. First, prayer was taken out of our schools, and now some want to remove GOD from our money. What NEXT. I am a single mother with one child,and the word ABORTION does not apply to me. Same sex marriages and Abortion, seems to me that people just want to do whatever they want without the thought of conquesences or with any guilt or shame. We all need to stop, look and listen to what is going on around us and then understand that before cleaning up another country’s backyard, we must start at home(USA) first. Remember PRAYER is Power. Don’t give up.

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