Today’s news includes widespread mention that the Obama campaign has put up a website to fight viral internet rumors that the campaign perceives as dangerous to its candidate. The site, at its debut, lists five it works assiduously to debunk–and no fewer than three touch on religion, ample evidence of how potent matters spiritual are in this election. Here’s the link, so see for yourself:

One of these rumors (that Senator Obama is a Muslim) has been around so long–and has been so repeatedly debunked–it’s a wonder it still persists. But cyberspace gives all manner of claims an enduring life of their own. So, there it is on the campaign website, described bluntly as a lie and quickly followed by the declaration that Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised as one and “is a committed Christian.”

The latest anti-Obama rumor, which tops the site, asserts that Michelle Obama used the word “whitey” while speaking on a panel at Obama’s former church, Trinity United Church of Christ. In one version, rumormongers have her saying it from the pulpit. Not only did she not use the term, the campaign asserts, but Mrs. Obama “has not spoken from the pulpit at Trinity.” That last bit of information appears to answer a question no one had asked. And her absence from the pulpit is certainly not the result of any policy within Trinity’s denomination, the United Church of Christ, which has a long history of ordaining women, never mind allowing lay women to speak from its various pulpits.


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