obama21.jpgKnowing that he’s one of his party’s leading advocates for appealing to evangelicals and other religious conservatives, God-o-Meter was somewhat surprised to hear Barack Obama answer a question about one of his regrets by saying he should have done more to stop Congress from intervening in the 2005 Terri Schiavo case. Predictably, Christian Right groups have skewered Obama over his remarks. The statement from Focus on the Family Action judicial analyst Bruce Hausknecht was typical:

“Whether it’s abortion or end-of-life issues,” Hausknecht said, “he’s been consistently anti-life.”

Not that Obama has to worry too much about what James Dobson & Co. say about him. That’s not exactly his core constituency. But those rank-and-file evangelicals are a different story.
The fact is, though, that even they opposed the Terri Schiavo intervention, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted six months later:

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of the public say that Congress should have stayed out of the Schiavo case, while fewer than one-in-five (17%) say Congress, in its effort to ensure that Schiavo continued to receive medical treatment, did the right thing by requiring federal courts to hear the case. This is essentially unchanged from a July 2005 survey, which found only 20% saying Congress did the right thing.
Large majorities of all social and demographic groups, including Republicans and evangelical Protestants, say that Congress should have stayed out of the Schiavo case.

So, Obama, regret your Schiavo work with impunity (at least, as Christian Right leaders might say, in this world).


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