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God-O-Meter

God-O-Meter

March 2008 Archives

Democratic Battle for Catholics Intensifies

posted by dgilgoff

In a sign of the intensifying battle for Catholic voters between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, particularly ahead of next month’s Pennsylvania primary, both candidates have brought Catholic outreach coordinators aboard their campaigns, God-o-Meter has learned. Just last week, Obama’s […]

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James Dobson’s Invitation to McCain

posted by dgilgoff

Here’s what James Dobson said about John McCain early last month: Should Sen. McCain capture the nomination as many assume, I believe this general election will offer the worst choices for president in my lifetime. I certainly can’t vote for […]

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One in Ten Americans Think Obama’s Muslim

posted by dgilgoff

There’s been some squawking from the chattering classes about the challenge this presents Obama, but God-o-Meter is shocked that so few Americans hold the mistaken belief that Obama is Muslim, given the virulence of the false rumor campaign against him. […]

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WIll Wright Stick Around?

posted by dgilgoff

In the current issue of The New Republic, Dayo Olopade makes a convincing case that Rev. Jeremiah Wright won’t be keeping a low-profile all the way through Election Day for a pretty simple reason: he’s too self-absorbed to go so […]

Should the Media Give Wright a Rest?

posted by dgilgoff

Faithful God-o-Meter reader Paul Shiras writes about the Wright/Obama controversy: Can we give this a rest? When I challenged my pastor over things he said from the pulpit, I was sanctioned by the church board. Let’s talk about the issues […]

Obama: Would’ve Left Church Over Wright

posted by dgilgoff

In an interview today on The View, Barack Obama said he would’ve left his church had Rev. Jeremiah Wright not retired from the pulpit last year: “Had the reverend not retired and had he not acknowledged that what he had […]

Bridging the Black/White Church Divide

posted by dgilgoff

Responding to a post on Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jules writes: “I think Barack Obama has given us a great opportunity to discuss faith and race in America…. the Wright issue underscores how divided we are racially in our Sunday worship.” […]

The Casey Endorsement and Catholic Outreach

posted by dgilgoff

Say you’re campaigning for president in Pennsylvania, where Catholics constitute roughly a third of the Democratic electorate, and a Gallup poll shows you badly trailing your rival among Catholic voters. You just lost Catholic voters by nearly two-two-one in Ohio. […]

Obama Not Toning Down Church Talk

posted by dgilgoff

So you thought that the brouhaha over Jeremiah Wright–the biggest crisis of his campaign till now–would have Obama dialing back some of his church talk? It’s not happening. On his first day back on the campaign trail after vacation, Obama […]

‘God damn America': Audio and Transcript

posted by dgilgoff

Courtesy of the Dallas Morning News Religion Blog.

Catholics Hold Key to Pennsylvania Primary

posted by dgilgoff

The Associated Press reports on the strenuous Catholic outreach efforts of the Clinton and Obama campaigns in Pennsylvania. Catholics make up 30-percent of the population there and may be the biggest factor in determining whether Clinton wins big and survives […]

New Poll: No ‘Rev. Wright Toll’ Among Dems

posted by dgilgoff

Last week, God-o-Meter cited Gallup’s daily tracking poll as evidence that the Jeremiah Wright controversy was a drag on Barack Obama’s poll numbers. But a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that the damage is not lasting, with Obama […]

The Charitable Obamas

posted by dgilgoff

The Chronicle of Philantrophy reports that the Obamas gave $240,000 to charity last year. The Chronicle doesn’t say how much of their salary that represents, but reports that the couple gave 5-percent or more in 2005 and 2006: The Obamas […]

Rev. Wright Cancels Public Appearances

posted by dgilgoff

And not just one or two. How long can “security concerns” be blamed for the cancellations? If Obama wins the nomination, will Wright forego public speaking till Election Day? Inauguration Day? Longer than that? From the Associated Press: The Rev. […]

Clinton Hits Obama on Rev. Wright

posted by dgilgoff

It took nearly two weeks and an uproar over her misstatements about a 1996 trip to Bosnia, but Hillary Clinton finally weighed in on the Obama/Wright controversy yesterday, in a long interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, […]

Clinton’s Huge Lead Among White Churchgoers

posted by dgilgoff

Fresh evidence of Hillary Clinton’s huge lead among white religious voters over Barack Obama from the Mother of all Public Opinion Polls, Gallup: While the candidates run about evenly among Jewish Democrats, Clinton does better among Catholic Democratic voters, leading […]

Doug Kmiec’s Inbox

posted by dgilgoff

In the day after endorsing Barack Obama, conservative Catholic legal scholar Doug Kmiec says he received several hundred email responses, with four in five of them applauding his decision. Four of those responses provide insight into the betrayal felt by […]

Clinton Joins Pennsylvania Faith Forum

posted by dgilgoff

From Faith in Public Life’s press release: Senator Clinton Accepts Invitation to Bipartisan Presidential Compassion Forum Religious leaders from across the ideological spectrum are pleased to announce today that Senator Clinton has confirmed that she will participate in an unprecedented […]

Kmiec’s Obama Endorsement: What He’s Thinking

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter called legal scholar Douglas Kmiec, former counsel to Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, conservative Catholic, and, until recently, an advisor to Mitt Romney, to discuss his endorsement of Barack Obama. Here’s the exchange: In endorsing Obama, you said […]

Can McCain Be Christian Right’s Savior?

posted by dgilgoff

Reader Paul Shiras writes: When the “Chosen” Right-wing Republicans controlled the Senate, House and the White House, they did nothing! Don’t expect that McCain, who is no different on the religious issues than Obama or Clinton, will be a Savior. […]

The Christian Right Fears Obama

posted by dgilgoff

A handful of Christian Right activists have told God-o-Meter that Barack Obama will be much more difficult to demonize among religious conservatives than Barack Obama. You can smell that fear in an email briefing that Focus on the Family Action […]

Carville Defends Calling Richardson “Judas”

posted by dgilgoff

Video here.

Clinton Camp Responds to “Judas” Charge

posted by dgilgoff

Clinton campaign communications director Howard Wolfson just said on a conference call that it’s up to James Carville if he wants to apologize for calling Bill Richardson “Judas,” but said that he would if he were Carville: You’ll have to […]

Trinity UCC’s New Blog

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama’s church, Trinity UCC in Chicago, launched a new blog last week to defend itself in the firestorm over its longtime pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It’s called “The Truth About Trinity United Church of Christ”

Obama’s Church Keeps it Fiery

posted by dgilgoff

Rev. Wright may have retired, but Trinity’s UCC’s new pastor isn’t staying mum amid the Wright/Obama controversy, alleging for the second Sunday in a row that the church has been subject to a “crucifixion.” From the AP: The new pastor […]

Obama Says He Has Challenged Wright

posted by dgilgoff

In a radio interview taped Friday for broadcast today, Barack Obama offered a new argument in response to criticisms that he didn’t denounce Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s most incendiary comments at the time they were spoken. Obama says in the interview […]

Huckabee Defends Wright and Obama

posted by dgilgoff

And plays down the effect the whole controversy will have come November, nothing that “this is March, this is not October.” (John Heilemann at New York magazine offers a contrary theory, noting that clips of Wright, Michelle Obama saying that […]

James Carville: Richardson = Judas

posted by dgilgoff

Just because the Democrats have become a lot more open about citing the Bible doesn’t mean all the references are positive. Here’s James Carville, longtime advisor to the Clintons, reacting New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s Obama endorsement in the New […]

Conservative Catholic Backs Obama

posted by dgilgoff

This isn’t the first time Douglas Kmiec–prominent legal scholar, former Catholic University dean, advisor to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, legal counsel to 2 Republican presidents–has made positive noises about Barack Obama. But Kmiec went so far as to formally endorse […]

Wright’s Toll

posted by dgilgoff

More evidence that the Wright controversy is pulling down Barack Obama’s poll numbers: the Gallup daily tracking poll now shows Hillary ahead for the first time in a month: Obama’s campaign has been plagued by controversial remarks made by his […]

Drafting Obama’s Speech

posted by dgilgoff

In drafting a major address, it’s not uncommon for Barack Obama to assemble a circle of outside advisors or pick the brains of scholars and experts in one-on-one phone calls. But for yesterday’s big speech responding to the Jeremiah Wright […]

More Evidence of Black/White Divide?

posted by dgilgoff

A reader responds to the new minister at Trinity United Church of Christ, Barack Obama’s church, using the word “crucifixion” to describe the media’s treatment of Rev. Jeremiah Wright: If atheists compared harsh criticism to the Crucifixion, I’d take it […]

Obama’s Big Admission

posted by dgilgoff

It was a long speech, but for the purposes of cable news, Barack Obama’s speech came down to these lines: “Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I […]

Has Obama Shifted Debate to His Own Terms?

posted by dgilgoff

It’s no suprise that Barack Obama’s speech today from Philadelphia, billed as a major address on race and politics, was really a lot more about church and faith. Obama struck a middle course with the speech, refusing to totally disavow […]

Family Reseach Council Pressures McCain

posted by dgilgoff

You read it hear first. Last week, God-o-Meter reported that Connie Mackey, lobbyist for Family Research Council Action–the political arm of what’s likely the strongest Christian Right group in the beltway–was calling on John McCain to promise that he wouldn’t […]

The Line From Trinity

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter just sent an email query to Barack Obama’s church–Trinity UCC in Chicago–about the controversy over retired Rev. Jeremiah Wright and thought the reply message was worth sharing. It’s a form email sent to members of the media, but it’s […]

Obama’s Church Cites Media ‘Crucifixion’

posted by dgilgoff

If you thought Barack Obama’s Chicago church would try to lay low in hopes that the controversy over the video-taped sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright would soon pass, you thought wrong. The church’s new minister struck back during Sunday’s services, […]

Rev. Wright Leaves Obama Camp

posted by dgilgoff

And God-o-Meter didn’t even know Wright served Obama in an official capacity (it might have been more a ceremonial position than anything else). Politico has the story. God-o-Meter is lowering its needle for obvious reasons.

Obama Would Have Left His Church?

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama has just responded to the flap over the videos of Jeremiah Wright’s controversial and racially-charged sermons with statements to the Huffington Post and Christian Broadcasting Network. (When’s the last time a Democratic candidate chose those two outlets as […]

Why There Was No Outcry Over Hagee/Bush

posted by dgilgoff

A week ago, God-o-Meter asked why there was no outcry over John Hagee’s endorsement of George W. Bush during his 2000 run for president, given all the controversy kicked up by Hagee’s John McCain endorsement, particularly over the evangelist’s harsh […]

Obama Camp: Now that Rev. Wright’s Retired…

posted by dgilgoff

ABC News has dug up more video of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Most Controversial Sermons, including one from 2003 in which Wright says this about the plight of blacks in the United States: “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger […]

Jeremiah Wright’s Revenge?

posted by dgilgoff

With a racially charged video of Barack Obama spiritual advisor Jeremiah Wright making waves today, lots of folks are asking, what was he thinking? The video features Wright giving a sermon from last December. “Barack knows what it means living […]

The GOP’s Platform/Nominee Conflict

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter spoke today with Connie Mackey, vice president of FRCAction, the legislative action arm of the Family Research Council, about John McCain’s chances with evangelicals. She said there was “very little” communication from McCain to Christian Right groups like FRC. […]

Obama’s Evangelical Appeal: Where’s the Evidence?

posted by dgilgoff

David Brody says John McCain’s chances with evangelicals will slide further south if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee: Let The Brody File state it here first. The McCain camp WILL have some work to do to make sure Evangelicals […]

McCain Steps Up Anti-Catholic Rebuke

posted by dgilgoff

In an interview with the Associated Press on Friday, John McCain went further than he had previously in acknowledging John Hagee’s controversial statements on Catholicism: “We’ve had a dignified campaign, and I repudiate any comments that are made, including Pastor […]

After Hagee, McCain Trumpets Catholic Support

posted by dgilgoff

And you thought the McCain camp was hoping the Catholic blowback from John Hagee’s endorsement would just blow over. Today, McCain rolled out his bigger and better National Catholics for McCain Committee. It’s been around for a while, but the […]

Clinton Wins Ohio’s Democratic Evangelicals

posted by dgilgoff

More evidence that Hillary Clinton enjoys a serious edge over Barack Obama among white evangelicals, from a new poll of Ohio primary voters by Faith in Public Life: Senator Hillary Clinton’s support from white evangelicals surpassed that of Senator Barack […]

Why No Outcry Over Hagee’s Bush Endorsement?

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter was just paging through Sarah Posner’s new book God’s Profits and noticed that the very first chapter opens with a quote from John Hagee’s endorsement of George W. Bush for president in 2000. God-o-Meter proceeded to enter the words […]

Pelosi Whacks Hagee Endorsement

posted by dgilgoff

The Huffington Post reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who it notes is the “most prominent Catholic serving in the U.S. government,” is the latest public figure to call on John McCain to reject John Hagee’s endorsement because of the […]

McCain’s Big Test Today

posted by dgilgoff

John McCain faces a big test with his party’s activist base today when he makes his first appearance before the Council for National Policy, a coalition of hundreds of conservative activists that includes such prominent names as Focus on the […]

Obama Reacts First to Jerusalem Attack

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama was the first presidential candidate to react to today’s news that an attack on Jewish seminar in Jerusalem had left at least 7 dead: I strongly condemn this cowardly and outrageous attack. The United States must strongly support […]

McCain Given a Pass on Hagee?

posted by dgilgoff

The American Prospect’s FundamentaList is calling for NBC’s Tim Russert to ask John McCain if he’ll reject the endorsement of controversial evangelist John Hagee, just as he asked Barack Obama if he’d reject Louis Farrakhan’s support at a recent debate: […]

Video: John Hagee’s Controversial Pronouncements

posted by dgilgoff

Courtesty of Talking Points Memo TV.

McCain’s New Round of Christian Right Outreach Greeted Skeptically

posted by dgilgoff

John McCain’s campaign has begun quietly reaching out to conservative Christian activists, including onetime Mike Huckabee supporters, but those activists remain highly skeptical of the Arizona senator and his ability to rally the GOP’s evangelical base in November. “I was […]

God to Huck: Not Now

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter just got off the phone with a prominent evangelical Mike Huckabee supporter who said Huck was telling friends last night that the message God was sending him with regards to his White House ambitions was, “not yet.” Huck echoed […]

The Hagee Effect: Scaring Off Evangelicals?

posted by dgilgoff

In light of all the flack John McCain is catching over his endorsement from John Hagee, God-o-Meter was curious as to just how much Hagee’s voice matters in the evangelical world. So it rang D. Michael Lindsay, Rice University sociologist […]

Catholic League Issues 8th McCain/Hagee Attack

posted by dgilgoff

Another day, another press release from the conservative Catholic League insisting that John McCain renounce his endorsement from John Hagee: In February, 2000, presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain’s campaign staff made phone calls to prospective voters in Michigan reminding the […]

In Ohio, Democratic Church Vote Murky

posted by dgilgoff

Hillary Clinton has won Ohio, basically a microcosm of the United States. She swept Protestant and Catholic voters there, while Obama won the unchurched and “other Christians.” At the same time, exit polls showed that Obama won weekly and monthly […]

Ohio Values Voters a Mixed Bag for McCain

posted by dgilgoff

In Ohio, John McCain finally beat out Mike Huckabee to win pro-lifers, 56-percent to 36-percent. And yet McCain still lost evangelicals to Huck, 49-percent to 43-percent. That’s nearly half the Ohio electorate. McCain was able to compensate through a landslide […]

McCain Loses Texas Evangelicals Big

posted by dgilgoff

McCain lost Texas evangelicals to Mike Huckabee 49-percent to 39-percent. It appears that McCain’s born again troubles have only worsened since Super Duper Tuesday a month ago. When does he launch his evangelical turnaround effort?

Texas Pro-Lifers Against McCain

posted by dgilgoff

John McCain won Texas tonight, and the Republican nomination. Mike Huckabee is giving his concession speech right now. And yet remarkably, even with Huckabee an asterisk in this race long before today’s primary results started coming in, he tied John […]

Dallas Morning News: God-o-Meter, not Obama, Blameworthy

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter is catching more flack for its post yesterday on Obama and the false Islam rumors and whether he’s made himself more susceptible to them. Here’s The Dallas Morning News’ Jeffrey Weiss: [W]hile I like a lot of Daniel’s [aka […]

Huff Post Editor: Obama Not Blameworthy for False Rumors

posted by dgilgoff

Nico Pitney, National Editor at The Huffington Post, emails God-o-Meter to take issue with yesterday’s post on whether Obama has made himself more vulnerable to false rumors about him being Muslim by playing down his actual experiences with Islam as […]

Calls for Hagee Denouncement Mount

posted by dgilgoff

On Friday, when the story broke that Catholic groups were furious with John McCain over his embrace of John Hagee’s endorsement, God-o-Meter wondered whether the story had legs. It turns out that it does, and not just because the Democratic […]

DNC Takes Third Swing at Hagee

posted by dgilgoff

The Democrats clearly think they’ve got a big one here. The Democratic National Committee is taking its third big swing at John Hagee’s endorsement of John McCain, following up on its Friday and Sunday denouncements over Hagee’s controversial statements about […]

A Mass Jewish ‘Barack-Lash’

posted by dgilgoff

How threatening is Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s warning that Jewish voters would make “a mass movement toward Sen. McCain” if Barack Obama is seen to clinch the nomination in tomorrow’s big primaries? Hikind, whom today’s New York Post describes as […]

Has Obama Made Himself Vulnerable to False Rumors?*

posted by dgilgoff

Last week saw Barack Obama’s enemies begin to exploit the previously latent “Muslim factor” against him, with Hillary Clinton aides reportedly feeding the Drudge Report a photo of Obama in Somali garb and a conservative radio host repeatedly invoking Obama’s […]

Obama’s Purpose-Driven Worldview

posted by dgilgoff

The Obama campaign called it a “groundbreaking moment for faith and politics… the first time a Democratic candidate has participated in a forum like this with Hispanic Evangelicals.” The forum was a meeting between Barack Obama and 200 Hispanic evangelical […]

Democrats Protesting Too Much?

posted by dgilgoff

The Democratic Party shows no sign of letting up in its campaign to shame John McCain for accepting the endorsement of John Hagee, the Texas evangelist who’s had some very unkind words for Catholics. God-o-Meter wonders whether, in continuing to […]

Previous Posts

Closed for the Season
With Election Day finally having come and gone, God-o-Meter is closing up shop till 2012--or at least 2010. Till then, get your faith and politics fix over at Beliefnet editor-in-chief Steve Waldman's blog. 7 ...

posted 4:32:33pm Nov. 19, 2008 | read full post »

On The Religious Left, Great Expectations
The first priorities for Barack Obama's administration will be the economy and a variety of foreign policy issues. But the burgeoning religious left, which worked so hard to get Obama elected, expects some movement on its issues, including a ...

posted 1:49:31pm Nov. 07, 2008 | read full post »

Howard Dean's Vindication
God-o-Meter wrote a piece for today's Roll Call on the vindication of Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean's much-derided 50-State Strategy, which is largely about reaching out to the nation's more religious voters in the red ...

posted 2:01:06pm Nov. 06, 2008 | read full post »

A Post-Election Chat with Ralph Reed
Amid today's talk that Barack Obama has narrowed the God Gap, God-o-Meter checked in with Ralph Reed, who spearheaded religious outreach for George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns and who pioneered such outreach for Republicans as executive ...

posted 3:09:07pm Nov. 05, 2008 | read full post »

More Innacurate Faith Storylines From the Media
God-o-Meter is struck by the number of faith-based storylines the news media appear to have gotten dead wrong this year. One was the line that Obama was poised to make big gains among white votes, especially evangelicals, who were undergoing a ...

posted 11:53:20am Nov. 05, 2008 | read full post »

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