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God-O-Meter

God-O-Meter

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Closed for the Season

posted by dgilgoff

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.

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On The Religious Left, Great Expectations

posted by dgilgoff

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 robust […]

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Howard Dean’s Vindication

posted by dgilgoff

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 states: Years before Barack […]

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A Post-Election Chat with Ralph Reed

posted by dgilgoff

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 director of […]

More Innacurate Faith Storylines From the Media

posted by dgilgoff

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 […]

Democratic Faith Gains: Overblown?

posted by dgilgoff

For all the time, money, and effort that Democrats and their liberal allies spent trying to move the faithful into their column–particularly the white faithful–it seems that they have relatively little to show for it, despite Obama’s decisive victory. Yes, […]

Faith in Public Life Acknowledges Economy’s Punch

posted by dgilgoff

Responding to GOM’s earlier post wondering whether the religious left would take too much credit for Obama’s gains among the faithful, given that the economy was the primary motivator, Faith in Public Life’s Kristin Williams writes: Saw your post on […]

Live Blogging Election Returns

posted by dgilgoff

(6:41) Like God-o-Meter was saying earlier, the Democrats’ likely gains among various faith constituencies were probably aided by Democratic/progressive faith outreach, but the economy is the main driver. Early AP exit polls: Economy most important issue: Six in 10 voters […]

Palin’s Future: Christian Right Poster Girl and Uniter?

posted by dgilgoff

In Alaska today, Sarah Palin indulged reporters on the subject of her future political should McCain lose the election. Here’s what she said: “You know, if there is a role in national politics, it won’t be so much partisan,” she […]

Will the Religious Left Take Too Much Credit?

posted by dgilgoff

The progressive religious group Faith in Public Life is sending this memo (below) ’round to journalists and talking heads in anticipation of Obama’s expected gains among several important faith communities today. God-o-Meter agrees with the likely trends that Faith in […]

Family Research Council Action’s New Abortion Ad

posted by dgilgoff

Family Research Council Action has this last-minute ad running in Virginia, where polls show Barack Obama a few points up, hitting Obama for declining to oppose partial birth abortion in Illinois. For all of the candidates’–and the electorate’s–focus on economic […]

Pennsylvania GOP Airs Rev. Jeremiah Wright/Obama Ad

posted by dgilgoff

Honestly, God-o-Meter is shocked that state Republican parties have been so deferntial until now in honoring John McCain’s request that they refrain from making such Wright-centric ads. Was that a courtesy on McCain’s part? Or more evidence of discomfort discussing matters […]

Take Beliefnet’s Election Exit Poll

posted by dgilgoff

How did you vote–and why? Take Beliefnet’s 2008 Exit Poll.

The Response to Dole’s “Godless” Ad

posted by dgilgoff

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole’s challenger Kay Hagan has create a new ad called “Belief” in response to Dole’s “Godless” spot, which attacked Hagan for attending a fundraiser connected to someone who is connected to an atheist group.This is a very […]

Dole’s “Godless” Ad and McCain’s Reluctance to Attack on Faith

posted by dgilgoff

The “Godless” ad that U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole is running against her Democratic challenger in North Carolina is a stark reminder that faith-based attacks have been kept to a relative minimum in the presidential race. It’s also a reminder, to […]

McCain’s Christian Lit: All Hot Button Issues

posted by dgilgoff

David Brody has the scoop on Christian lit the McCain camp is distributing to churches across the country. The document is framed as a voting guide to the hot button social issues: abortion, gay marriage, judges, sex education, school choice. […]

The GOP’s God Gap, Take 3

posted by dgilgoff

Notice how so much political reporting these days about the future of the Republican Party is about the God Gap between religious conservatives and the rest of the party? Much of it hinges on the fact that Sarah Palin has […]

More Evidence of GOP’s God Gap: The Fight for RNC Chair

posted by dgilgoff

Like God-o-Meter said yesterday, the GOP’s God Gap problem is not necessarily that the party’s religious conservatives and more secular moderates are drifting further apart. It’s that there’s a shortage of figures who can unify those two wings going forward. […]

Who Can Bridge the GOP’s God Gap?

posted by dgilgoff

A reader, Mark G, responds to God-o-Meter’s New York Daily News piece about the growing God Gap between religious conservatives and the more secular establishment of the Republican Party: This post does not provide any solid reason to think the […]

McCain Adds “Americans of Faith” Page to Web Site

posted by dgilgoff

Months after rolling out pages for “American Indians for McCain and “Arab Americans for McCain,” the McCain camp has added an “Americans of Faith” page to its web site. Not much to the page, just short explanations–none more than 105 […]

Huck Hawks Bumper Stickers, Not McCain

posted by dgilgoff

It’s 8 days before Election Day and the GOP’s pastor-in-chief, Mike Huckabee, is emailing constituents with a fundraising pitch that’s silent on the party’s presidential nominee, not a good sign for McCain: I want you to help me reach our […]

Matthew 25 Slaps Focus, Airs Obama Christian Testimony Ads

posted by dgilgoff

The faith-based pro-Obama PAC Matthew 25 Network has posted its rejoinder to Focus on the Family’s letter from 2012, which looked back on what Focus considers a disastrous Obama first term.Matthew 25 is also out with two Christian radio ads, […]

There’s A New God Gap Growing – Inside The GOP

posted by dgilgoff

This piece originally ran at New York Daily News online: In the 2004 election, the pattern of religious voters supporting George W. Bush and secular voters backing John Kerry was so stark that it introduced a new term to the […]

Focus on the Family Action: Blaming Young Christians for Obama Win

posted by dgilgoff

At Christianiy Today’s politics blog, Sarah Pulliam points out that the 16-page letter from Focus on the Family offering a hypothetical look back on the first term of an Obama administration that’s disastrous for religious conservatives blames young evangelicals for […]

Barna Group President: A Christian ‘Bradley Effect?’

posted by dgilgoff

Yesterday, The Barna Group–the nation’s premiere Christian polling firm–released a survey showing Barack Obama making significant inroads among evangelical and born again voters. Among born agains, here’s Barna’s breakdown: McCain 45% Obama 43% Undecided 10% This is a group that […]

Does the Christian Right Regret Undermining McCain?

posted by dgilgoff

Inspired by conservative Christian radio host Janet Porter’s (formerly Janet Folger) recent newscast from the day after President Obama’s inauguration, Focus on the Family Action has sent a 16-page letter to constituents from the year 2012, recapping Obama’s first term. […]

The God Gap Over Palin

posted by dgilgoff

A reader, gmo2, responds to one of God-o-Meter’s recent observations: “It strikes God-o-Meter that the firestorm of Palin criticism from elites–both liberal and conservative–is not fueled by Palin’s apparently Biblical worldview but by the fact that that worldview appears to […]

Barna: Obama Gaining Among Born Agains and Evangelicals

posted by dgilgoff

This is from a new polling memo that The Barna Group, the country’s preeminent Christian pollster, just sent out: One of the surprising insights of the research is the significant inroads Sen. Obama has made among the Christian community, particularly […]

New Conservative TV Ad on Judges

posted by dgilgoff

The conservative Judicial Confirmation Network is running this ad in Ohio and parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio. Like a video released a few weeks ago by the conservative Catholic group Fidelis, the ad tells voters that there are more important […]

The Dobson Palin Interview: the Christian Victimization Card

posted by dgilgoff

Listen to Focus on the Family founder James Dobson’s brand new radio interview with Sarah Palin here. Dobson says he’s praying for a miracle on Election Day, a thinly-veiled prayer for a McCain/Palin victory. What most struck God-o-Meter about the […]

Obama Makes Big Gains Among White Catholics

posted by dgilgoff

The new Pew poll shows that Obama has made slight inroads among white evangelicals, from 21-percent in September to 24-percent last week. That’s roughly in line with how Democratic presidential candidates have performed, pre John Kerry. But the bigger news […]

Palin Grants Interview to Focus on the Family’s James Dobson

posted by dgilgoff

From CNN’s Political Ticker: While in Colorado Springs, the Alaska governor sat down for an interview with influential “Focus on the Family” founder James Dobson, who has long been critical of McCain but said in August that the selection of […]

Powell Speaks to Growing GOP Divide on Religion

posted by dgilgoff

A lot of what Colin Powell said was troubling him about his Republican Party during his Meet the Press appearance had to do with the ascent of religious conservatives. And nothing represents that ascent so starkly as Sarah Palin. Here’s […]

The Power of Powell on Obama/Muslim Myth and on Islam

posted by dgilgoff

On Meet the Press yesterday, Colin Powell skewered certain Republicans for trying to play the Muslim card on Barack Obama: I’m also troubled by – not what Senator McCain says – but what members of the Party say, and it […]

Getting Hard to Tell Which Party Wears Faith on Sleeve

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter was reading an interview today with a certain prospective vice president and was surprised to hear the candidate’s answer to a question about faith: I haven’t really worn it on my sleeve. I haven’t been out there preaching it. […]

Has Obama Been Muddying Waters on Born Alive Act?

posted by dgilgoff

Influential conservative writers Robert George and Yuval Levin make the case that Barack Obama is obfuscating on why he opposed the Born Alive Act as an Illinois state legislator: In Washington, D.C., consensus can be a rare commodity, and never […]

New Martin Sheen Videos on Catholic-Based Obama Support

posted by dgilgoff

The Christian pro-Obama PAC The Matthew 25 Network has just posted a new series of video interviews with Martin Sheen about his Catholocism and its influence on his politics and his support for Barack Obama on its web site. Here’s […]

Joe the Plumber’s Born Again Perspective

posted by dgilgoff

Even after years of reporting on religion in politics, God-o-Meter is always taken by how often a random voter turns out to be deeply influenced by his faith, and how often those voters hail from the born again tradition. Take […]

On Abortion, Obama Echoes Bush

posted by dgilgoff

The conservative pro-life movement has been hitting Obama on his explanation last night for why he opposed the Born Alive Act in the Illinois state legislature. But God-o-Meter thought the bigger headline from the abortion discussion in the debate was […]

Can McCain Keep Quiet on Connecticut Legalizing Gay Marriage?

posted by dgilgoff

Steve Waldman noted this week that Same-sex marriage is nowhere near the front-burner issue it was in 2004, when it might have tipped the election to George W. Bush. Today’s ruling from the Connecitcut Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage there […]

Younger Evangelicals More Progressive on Issues. On Candidates, Not So Much.

posted by dgilgoff

One of the big takeaways from today’s new poll on religious voters is that white evangelicals under 35 are a lot more progressive than their parents, by a number of different measures. It’s worth noting that abortion is not one […]

New Poll: Obama Gains Among Monthly Attenders, Younger Christians

posted by dgilgoff

The progressive religious group Faith in Public Life, founded after the ’04 elections, is holding a conference call right now on its new polling of religious Americans, paying special attention to young evangelicals, Catholics, and other Some key findings from […]

Huck, Culture Warrior

posted by dgilgoff

Remember back to the Republican primaries, when Mike Huckabee campaigned as a new kind of evangelical candidate, adding issues like the environment, education, and poverty to the hot-button agenda of God, guns, and gays? That big-tent Huck seems to be […]

Evidence of a Narrowing God Gap

posted by dgilgoff

Spiritual Politics’ Mark Silk took a close look at the new Survey USA poll from Virginia, which gives Obama an eye-popping ten-point lead, and discerned a narrowing of the God Gap–including the white God gap: Since SUSA’s late June Virginia […]

A Pro-Life View of Abortion as “Intrinsically Evil”

posted by dgilgoff

Many in the conservative pro-life movement are getting fed up with Barack Obama’s overtures to pro-lifers by offering a new take on the issue, vowing to reduce demand for abortion rather than curtailing abortion rights. This growing frustration is evident […]

New Fidelis Anti-Abortion, Anti-Gay Marriage Video

posted by dgilgoff

Check out this new election video emphasizing pro-life, anti-gay marriage positions from the conservative Catholic group Fidelis. The New York Times reports that the video, which implies support for the Republican ticket, has been posted by Catholic churches across the […]

More Worldview Talk from Sarah Palin

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter has proposed that when Sarah Palin uses the term “world view” she means biblical worldview. Here’s how she used the phrase in last night’s debate: But even more important is that world view that I share with John McCain. […]

New Pro-Life/Pro-Obama Web Site

posted by dgilgoff

The Matthew 25 Network, founded by John Kery’s onetime religious outreach director, launched a new pro-Obama site targeting pro-lifers this week. The site prominently features former Reagan/Bush 1 legal counsel Doug Kmiec, who God-o-Meter interviewed recently, making a case for […]

Sarah Palin as Harriet Miers Redux

posted by dgilgoff

Sarah Palin’s selection has split the Republican Party between the religious conservatives and everyone else, evoking the failed nomination of the evangelical Harriet Miers (right) to the Supreme Court three years ago. That split was more visible than every this […]

Despite Obama’s Lead, God Gap’s as Wide as Ever

posted by dgilgoff

Pew is out with new numbers tracking which religious groups (Beliefnet might call ’em tribes) are preferring which presidential candidate when over the last few months. What strikes God-o-Meter is how little movement there’s been among candidate preferences in the last […]

Doug Kmiec Responds to National Right to Life

posted by dgilgoff

In response to God-o-Meter’s interview with former Reagan/Bush White House counsel Douglas Kmiec (pictured) about his new pro-Obama book Can A Catholic Support Him?, National Right to Life Legislative Director Douglas Johnson posted a long critique in the comments section. […]

Richard Cizik: Evangelical Requests to Meet With McCain Unanswered

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter caught up this week with Richard Cizik, chief lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals, the nation’s largest evangelical organization. Cizik made news earlier in the week in Colorado Springs for questioning whether John McCain was a “principled person” […]

Obama Religious Reps Bow Out of Debate with McCain Team

posted by dgilgoff

Family Research Council Action is alerting constituents that a senior Barack Obama advisor on religious issues bowed out of a high-profile debate with a counterpart from the McCain campaign yesterday: People hoping for a lively discussion on faith and values […]

The Economy as a Values Issue. Will it Work?

posted by dgilgoff

Since 2004, Democrats have been working to frame economic concerns as values issues. A good example was the wave of state ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage in 2006, in which liberal religious groups played a leading role. That […]

Falwell’s GOTV Plan in Virginia

posted by dgilgoff

A new NBC News poll puts Obama within 3 points of McCain in increasingly purple Virginia. But Virginian/McCain backer Jerry Falwell has a plan to get his 10,500 Lynchburg-based students to the polls: To make sure students don’t have any […]

God-o-Meter Q+A with Doug Kmiec on His New Pro-Obama Book

posted by dgilgoff

Douglas Kmiec, legal counsel to President Reagan and George H.W. Bush and former dean of Catholic University, is out with a new book, Can a Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Questions about Barack Obama (read an excerpt). Kmiec talked […]

Is ‘World View’ Code for ‘Christian World View?’

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter first noticed it around the time of Rick Warren’s Saddleback Civil Forum John McCain and Barack Obama last month, when Warren talked about wanting to get a sense of the candidates’ “world views.” World view. It’s certainly not a […]

First Take on Obama’s Newest Christian Radio Ad

posted by dgilgoff

The faith-based pro-Obama PAC The Matthew 25 Network is hosting a press conference call this afternoon announcing a new Christian radio ad in Ohio. Watch it here: What jumps out to God-o-Meter: 1. The narrator of the ad, former Ohio […]

Obama Reaches Out to Religion Newswriters Association

posted by dgilgoff

In 2004, Christianity Today couldn’t get the John Kerry campaign to return its phone calls. Today, by contrast, the Obama campaign has sent out an invitation to religion reporters in Washington, DC attending the annual Religion Newsriters Association conference to […]

Obama Gains Big Among White Catholics

posted by dgilgoff

The Obama campaign is crowing to God-o-Meter about its uptick in white Catholic support in the Quinnipiac poll released yesterday. The poll had Obama ahead 51-42 among white Catholics, a turnaround from last month, when the Q poll gave McCain […]

Obama Launches (Another) Faith Tour

posted by dgilgoff

The Brody File has the scoop on a new faith tour the Obama campaign is launching next week. Reprising a strategy that Obama and Hillary Clinton began experimenting with in the primaries last year, the tour will feature religious figures, […]

Why A Tight Race in Indiana and North Carolina?

posted by dgilgoff

Washington Post Cartoon Targets Palin’s Faith

posted by dgilgoff

The Washington Post has printed this cartoon poking fun of Sarah Palin’s former Pentecostalism. Brody has the understandably indignant response from the Assemblies of God. Update:A reader notes that it was washingtonpost.com, not the paper’s print edition, that carried the […]

Obama’s Lingering Catholic Troubles

posted by dgilgoff

The New York Times delivers a postcard from Catholic-rich Scranton, PA that spells trouble for Barack Obama: Dozens of interviews with Catholics in Scranton underscored the political tumult in the parish pews. At Holy Rosary’s packed morning Masses on Sunday […]

Are Younger Evangelicals Cool to McCain/Palin

posted by dgilgoff

The AP is reporting that Sarah Palin isn’t the hit among younger evangelicals that she is among their parents. It cites some anecdotal evidence from interviews, but there are some big caveats: Polls have yet to measure the Palin Effect […]

Faith in Obama’s Christian Commitment

posted by dgilgoff

Responding to God-o-Meter’s post on the avalanche of comments coming in questioning Obama’s sincerity as a Christian, a reader posts video of conservative Faith of Barack Obama author Stephen Mansfield defending Obama’s faith while opposing his politics and taking the […]

Doug Kmiec’s Book-Length Obama Defense

posted by dgilgoff

Steve Waldman has excerpts from Douglas Kmiec’s new book, Can a Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Question about Barack Obama. The passages cover Kmiec’s being denied communion over his support for Obama and his defense of the Illinois Senator […]

Still Questioning Obama’s Christian Claims

posted by dgilgoff

Almost 200 comments since yesterday on God-o-Meter’s post about Obama’s new line of faith merchandise, and many of them read like this: Wonderful. Catholics supporting someone who supports infanticide. Can you even consider yourself Christian if you support Obama? and […]

New Anti-Obama Ad on Infant Born Alive Act

posted by dgilgoff

A group called Born Alive Truth is airing this anti-Obama ad in Ohio and New Mexico:

God-o-Meter on Video: Is McCain/Palin Slighting the Christian Right?

posted by dgilgoff

Obama Rolls Out New Line of Faith Merchandise

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter has learned that the Obama campaign is about to email religious supporters an annoucnement about a new line of Obama faith merchandise–bumper stickers, buttons, and signs with three different messages, featured here–along with the following note: Dear friends, Great […]

God-o-Meter wins an Online Journalism Award

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter has won the 2008 Online Journalism Award for Commentary (not quite an Oscar, pictured) in the large web site category. Competition was stiff. The other finalists were New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Houston Chronicle editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson. […]

Jesus Christ Was a Community Organizer. Pontius Pilate was a Governor.

posted by dgilgoff

      On Meet The Press yesterday, Tom Brokaw asked Rudy Giuliani yesterday about whether he was too hard on Barack Obama’s community organizer roots, holding up a pin that reads “Jesus Christ was a Community Organizer. Pontius Pilot […]

Palin’s Abortion Answer Pleases Christian Right–and Independents

posted by dgilgoff

How is possible for Sarah Palin appealing to the Christian Right and independent voters at the same time? Check out the final installment of her Charlie Gibson interview. GIBSON: Roe v. Wade, do you think it should be reversed? PALIN: […]

McCain/Palin Muddy Waters on Stem Cell Research

posted by dgilgoff

John McCain is out with a new ad pledging more federal dollars or stem cell research: ANNCR: They’re the original mavericks. Leaders. Reformers. Fighting for real change. John McCain will lead his Congressional allies to improve America’s health. Stem cell […]

Sarah Palin and Rick Warren Chat by Phone

posted by dgilgoff

Sarah Palin and Rick Warren are chatting by phone, though it’s unclear who initiatived. Warren seems less happy than ever with Obama, while still claiming to be above partisan politics.

The Religious Right in Florida: It’s Alive

posted by dgilgoff

In Florida, long a hotbed for evangelical/Christian Right activity, the Miami Herald reports Barack Obama’s evangelical outreach is running into some roadblocks: When two prominent evangelical Christians from Florida agreed to speak at the Democratic National Convention, the party proudly […]

Catholic Bishops Knock Biden

posted by dgilgoff

By way of Spiritual Politics, God-o-Meter learns that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a statement criticizing Joe Biden for his comments around abortion on Sunday’s Meet the Press, when he said that the question of when life […]

Faith-Based False Rumors About Palin

posted by dgilgoff

FactCheck.org has posted this list of the false rumors targetting Sarah Palin. Notice how many have a religious tie-in: Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn’t cut it at all. In […]

Is Sarah Palin a Victim of Religious Discrimination?

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter’s been taken by the Family Research Council’s insistence that the McCain campaign forcefully defend Sarah Palin’s faith in the face of the scrutiny it’s received as of late. GOM first noticed this yesterday and last night Family Research Council […]

Christian Right to McCain: Stand Up for Palin’s Faith

posted by dgilgoff

Just because John McCain picked a socially conservative former Pentecostal as a running mate doesn’t mean he’s out of the woods with the Christian Right just yet. Family Research Council president Tony Perkins says he’s gotta stand by his woman […]

National Right to Life: Biden’s Abortion Stance Shows Obama’s Extremism

posted by dgilgoff

Writing in the comboxes of God-o-Meter’s post today taking the news media to task characterizing Joe Biden as a standard issue pro-choice advocate despite some pro-life votes, National Right to Life Committee Legislative Director Douglas Johnson writes: it is true […]

Biden, Abortion, and the Media’s Either/Or Coverage

posted by dgilgoff

On Sunday, Joe Biden raised a few eyebrows–and the hackles of the conservative pro-life establishment–by saying that his Catholic faith dictates his belief that life begins at conception during an interview on Meet the Press. The New York Times treated […]

Obama’s Muslim Gaffe: The YouTube Effect

posted by dgilgoff

Looking for a clip of Barack Obama’s answer on abortion during his interview yesterday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, God-o-Meter just entered the terms “Obama This Week” on YouTube’s homepage. God-o-Meter found just a couple of clips of Obama […]

Signs of Progress for Obama’s Religious Outreach?

posted by dgilgoff

Responding in comments about God-o-Meter’s recent post on the same high proportion of weekly white church attenders supporting John McCain as backed George W. Bush in 2004, Spirirtual Politics’ Mark Silk links to his own post on the Gallup God […]

5 Ways Obama’s Abortion Answer Helps With Cultural Conservatives

posted by dgilgoff

Steve Waldman notes that after his year-and-a-half long campaign to target evangelicals and other cultural conservatives, Barack Obama is jeopardizing the outreach with a less-than-stellar appearance at Saddleback last month his new ads hitting McCain over his pro-life views.Obama’s interview […]

Palin Doesn’t Change the God Gap

posted by dgilgoff

McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin hasn’t made white religious voters any more likey to support him, at least not yet, Gallup reports. But religious whites were already supporting him by a more two-to-one margin over Barack Obama–the same margin that […]

It’s Not Just Pro-Lifers Who Like Palin

posted by dgilgoff

The new Rasmussen poll contains more evidence that Sarah Palin has appeal beyond the pro-life crowd: …[F]ollowing a Vice Presidential acceptance speech viewed live by more than 40 million people, Palin is viewed favorably by 58% of American voters. ….Perhaps […]

Are Evangelicals More Republican than Ever?

posted by dgilgoff

Spiritual Politics notes that the new CBS News poll shows that McCain’s support among white evangelicals has gotten a nice lift from convention week: 66% of white evangelicals are now backing McCain, up from 57% this weekend. Barack Obama’s evangelical […]

How an Anti-Abortion Candidate Could Win Moderates

posted by dgilgoff

The strategy was audacious on its face. Picking a vice presidential candidate who would energize the GOP’s Christian Right base while also appealing to millions of independent voters, including lots of former Hillary Clinton supporters? Sounded impossible. Gallup is out […]

Obama’s New Pro-Choice Ad Silent on Abortion Reduction

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama’s out with a new pro-choice ad that’s airing in at least seven swing states. Politico reports that the spit is the first major abortion-related ad from either side in the general election. Though Obama made big news this […]

Dobson Backs McCain/Palin

posted by dgilgoff

Focus on the Family Action sent this around to supporters just before last night’s Palin’s speech: Dr. Dobson: ‘If I Went into the Polling Booth Today, I Would Pull the Lever for John McCain’ ….”A genuine reformer. A deeply committed […]

How the Christian Right May Grow More Undead Still

posted by dgilgoff

The two speakers at tonight’s convention who will vie to lead the GOP in 2012, should John McCain fail this year, are Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. What’s the biggest difference between those two candidates and McCain? It’s that Romney […]

No Meeting Scheduled with Focus for McCain’s Colorado Springs Stop

posted by dgilgoff

The New York Times reported this morning that the McCain campaign recently requested a meeting with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson. ‘In July, when James C. Dobson, the influential founder of Focus on the Family, said on his […]

More Signs of Christian Right Undeadness

posted by dgilgoff

John McCain’ nomination for president once represented the waning of the Christian Right after the high watermark of its influence in 2004. Then Sarah Palin, a darling of the movement, became John McCain’s veep pick. The movement seemed to have […]

Palin’s Record as a Christian Candidate

posted by dgilgoff

Challenging her biographer’s claims that Sarah Palin hasn’t brought faith and values issues into her political campaigning to date, The New York Times reports that Palin campaigned as a Christian candidate even while running for mayor of Wasilla: The traditional […]

God-o-Meter Q&A With Sarah Palin’s Biographer

posted by dgilgoff

There’s been lots of confusion and questions about Sarah Palin’s faith life since John McCain picked her as his running mate last Friday. God-o-Meter caught up with Kaylene Johnson, author of the new book Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned […]

The Very Christian Republican National Convention

posted by dgilgoff

So you thought the Democratic National Convention was Christian, with its kickoff interfaith gathering, its caucuses for people of faith, and its closing benediction by an evangelical church megachurch pastor, was drenched in faith? You ain’t seen nothing yet. God-o-Meter […]

McCain/Palin to Rally in Colorado Springs

posted by dgilgoff

It now appears that John McCain is zealously courting the Christian Right. The latest sign: he and Sarah Palin have scheduled a rally in Colorado Springs, CO, capital of the evangelical universe, for this Saturday. and/but: God-o-Meter spoke to a […]

God, guns, gays: a Republican Distraction?

posted by dgilgoff

Bob Herbert writes this about Sarah Palin in today’s today’s New York Times: Here’s the deal: Palin is the latest G.O.P. distraction. She’s meant to shift attention away from the real issue of this campaign — the awful state of […]

Reports of Christian Right’s Demise Were Greatly Exaggerated

posted by dgilgoff

Remember all those stories earlier this year about the Christian Right’s waning influence, about how James Dobson and his crowd were on the way out and had been marginalized by their own political allies, the Republicans? That John McCain, who […]

Why Palin’s Post-Denominational Christianity is an Asset

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter asserted last week that McCain veep pick Sarah Palin is Catholic. It seems that Palin was baptized a Catholic after birth but was baptized into the Assemblies of God as a teenager and that she now attends an Assemblies […]

Christian Right Rallies to Palin Over Pregnant Daughter. Will Rank and File Follow?

posted by dgilgoff

Thought the news that McCain’s family values veep pick’s unmarried 17-year-old daughter is five months pregnant would dampen support for her from the family values crowd? Hasn’t exactly played out that way. In fact, Christian RIght leaders are applauding Bristol […]

With Palin, the Catholic Wars Heat Up

posted by dgilgoff

Below is a taste of the press release the conservative Catholic group Fidelis released this morning on the Palin announcement. Obama has a Catholic running mate. Now McCain does, too. The fight for Catholics is going to heat up big […]

Palin: Culture Warrior and Bipartisan Peacemaker

posted by dgilgoff

Below is McCain’s statement announcing Sarah Palin as running mate. There’s a big omission: no mention of her being a social conservative, a darling of the Christian Right. Instead, she’s framed as a bipartisan peacemaker. The McCain campaign must figure […]

Family Research Council Action Shocked and Elated Over Palin

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter just hung up with Connie Mackey, senior vice president of Family Research Council Action, who is absolutely thrilled at McCain picking Palin. She was also totally stunned. I know that a bunch of conservatives had pushed her name, but […]

Picking Palin, McCain Finally Reaches out to Christian Right

posted by dgilgoff

A lot of people are surprised by McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. God-o-Meter was suprised when Southern Baptist Convention politicla chief Richard Land pushed for her so forcefully in a CBS News interview a […]

Joel Hunter’s Ecumenical Convention Closing Benediction

posted by dgilgoff

Multifaith and overtly evangelical at the same time (watch Hunter’s special instructions the crowd ad the end):

Obama’s Olive Branch to Cultural Conservatives

posted by dgilgoff

Obama devoted one fat graph in tonight’s nomination acceptance speech to culture war issues: We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership […]

Hard Evidence of Christian Conservative Apathy

posted by dgilgoff

A few weeks ago, when spurned McCain booster John Hagee announced at his huge annual “Night for Israel event that he wouldn’t be endorsing another presidential candidate anytime soon, God-o-Meter expresses its amazement. It wondered aloud whether this was a […]

New Poll: Christian Right Gives McCain Tough Choices on Veep

posted by dgilgoff

On the eve of John McCain’s running mate announcement, a new Washington Post poll shows the trouble pro-choice running mate would bring: Choosing Lieberman or someone else who supports abortion rights, such as former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, would be […]

Bob Casey Jr’s Abortion Line

posted by dgilgoff

Bob Casey Jr. didn’t devote much of his primetime convention speech last night to abortion (he told God-o-Meter as much before taking the stage) but he did mention it: Barack Obama and I have an honest disagreement on the issue […]

Brian Schweitzer’s Faith Talk

posted by dgilgoff

When Democratic National Convention officials say they’re pressing this year’s speakers to stress their character and values–which includes their faith–over their political accomplishments and policy positions, this is what they mean: My grandparents were immigrants who came to Montana with […]

God-o-Meter Talks to Bob Casey Jr. Before Tonight’s Convention Speech

posted by dgilgoff

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey Jr’s landing a prime time speaking slot at the Democratic convention is another step in the party’s campaign to burnish its image among pro-lifers. Casey’s dad, then-Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey, was famously denied a speaking role […]

The Democratic Convention’s Opening Night Benediction

posted by dgilgoff

Here’s video of Blue Like Jazz author Don Miller’s Benediction from the first night of the Democratic National Convention:To God-o-Meter, the most noteworthy part of the video is how intently the convention audience is following the benediction, many with heads […]

Michelle Obama’s Convention Speech: Focus on the Family

posted by dgilgoff

Yesterday, God-o-Meter reported that the primary way the Democratic convention would showcase its new faith and values friendly message was through primetime speeches that emphasize what animates Democrats rather than their policy positions. The press release about Michelle Obama’s speech […]

Biden’s Catholic Experience: The Kerry Parallels Mount

posted by dgilgoff

First conservative Catholic interest groups attacked Joe Biden for being insufficiently Catholic on the abortion question. That was the first parallel to John Kerry’s experience as a Catholic candidate in 2004. Religion News Service reports that at least one Catholic […]

McCain’s Greatest Moral Failure Pays Off

posted by dgilgoff

It wasn’t when he said that life begins at conception without skipping a beat.It wasn’t when he said that marriage should be limited to one man and one woman.It wasn’t even when he answered the question about which Supreme Court […]

Joe Biden: The Catholic Factor

posted by dgilgoff

Steve Waldman notes that the attacks on Joe Biden’s Catholic bona fides came fast and furious after he was named Obama’s running mate on Saturday. But there’s little doubt that Biden’s Catholicism was a major factor in Obama’s decision to […]

God-o-Meter on Fresh Air

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter sat down with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross for a long interview that airs today. Listen to it here.

How this Democratic Convention Will be Different, More Faithy

posted by dgilgoff

A senior source at the Democratic Nation Convention Committee has just briefed God-o-Meter on how this convention will be more faith-friendly than those that have come before. For viewers watching the convention from their living rooms, the biggest change will […]

On the Difficulties of Getting in Touch with the McCain Campaign

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter is glad it’s not the only one who has trouble getting the McCain campaign to return its calls. In response to readers asking why he lavishes so much more attention on Barack Obama, CBN political correspondent/blogger David Brody explains […]

Obama Runs Ralph Reed Ad in Atlanta

posted by dgilgoff

Here’s the new ad:Notice how it identifies Reed only as a friend and business associate of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and doesn’t try to demonize the former Christian Coalition chief for being a member of the Religious Right? That’s intentional. […]

God-o-Meter Exclusive: Ralph Reed Q&A on ’08 Race

posted by dgilgoff

Ralph Reed has been in the news a lot in the last week for helping to promote an Atlanta fundraiser for John McCain on Monday. The Democrats got a lot of mileage out of lashing the Arizona known for his […]

McCain’s Post-Saddleback Bump and the Risks of Clearing Low Bars

posted by dgilgoff

The reviews from Christian Right leaders on John McCain’s Saddleback performance are in, and the Arizona senator gets major props from a crowd that has frequently pilloried him. The Politico prints glowing quotes Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, the Southern […]

Is Warren Less Open-Minded Than He Lets On?

posted by dgilgoff

Is the shine coming off Saint Rick? In the hours since Rick Warren granted God-o-Meter am interview on Sunday evening, a day after his Saddleback Civil Forum with John McCain and Barack Obama, GOM has been struck by Warren’s steadfast […]

Rick Warren to God-o-Meter: Obama, Dems Can’t Just Talk Faith

posted by dgilgoff

In an interview with God-o-Meter on the day after his Saddleback Civil Forum with John McCain and Barack Obama, Rev. Rick Warren sounded pretty dubious about Barack Obama’s and the Democrats’ chances of making inroads among evangelicals. The full interview […]

McCain’s Surprise Triumph at Saddleback

posted by dgilgoff

Team Obama was depending on John McCain, with a reputation for opting out of discussions about faith and hot-button issues, looking like a fish at a water at last night’s Saddleback Civil Forum (here’s the video). Didn’t happen. Not by […]

With Video, McCain Has Some Evangelicals Believing He’s One of Them

posted by dgilgoff

Tonight’s presidential candidate forum at Rick Warren’s Saddleback church has political pundits and in-the-pews religious voters wondering whether John McCain will finally open up about his personal faith, something his Democratic opponent has been doing for years. But some of […]

Obama Wants Saddleback to be His Comfort Zone. His Alone.

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter caught up with someone very close to the Obama campaign and its faith outreach effort late this week and asked about the campaign’s thinking going into this Saturday’s Saddleback candidate forum. On background, here’s what it was told: The […]

The New Pro-Family Obama Ad

posted by dgilgoff

The Matthew 25 Network, a faithy political action committee founded by John Kerry’s former religious outreach director, will begin airing this pro-family Obama ad during Saturday night’s candidate forum with Rick Warren at Saddleback Church:The Matthew 25 Network describes the […]

Christian Right Flips at McCain’s Pro-Choice VP Comments

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter knew John McCain’s comments about possibly picking pro-choice running mate wouldn’t be taken lightly by the Christian Right. Here’s an email GOM received last night from Family Research Council Action senior vice president Connie Mackey, comparing what McCain said […]

Why Doesn’t Karl Rove Talk About Evangelicals Anymore?

posted by dgilgoff

Karl Rove predicated George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection largely on the campaign’s ability to turn out millions of evangelicals who’d stayed home in 2000. From the December 12, 2001 edition of The New York Times: Karl Rove, President Bush’s top […]

McCain Leaves Door Open to Pro-Choice VP

posted by dgilgoff

This is not going to make the Christian Right happy. Not one bit. Just as the movement’s leaders were starting to warm up to John McCain, after years of being nauseated by him, the Arizona senator goes and sticks his […]

Catholic League Attacks Dem Convention, Casey Speaking Slot

posted by dgilgoff

The Democrats are keeping the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights busy. First the group released this attack on the Demcorats’ attempts to incorporate faith into the Democratic convention: “The Democrats are in a jam. Long the party […]

Casey to Speak at Democratic Convention

posted by dgilgoff

ABC News has the story: Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., an abortion rights opponent who endorsed Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. over Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY prior to the Pennsylvania primary, will address the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 26. Casey’s […]

The Strongest Pro-Choice and Pro-Life Democratic Platform Ever

posted by dgilgoff

Can this year’s Democratic platform simultanesioulsy be the the most pro-choice and pro-life in the party’s history? That’s what Democrats are attempting with <a href="rogressive Revival blognew proposed platform language that supports Roe v. Wade in the strongest possible terms […]

Democratic Convention to Open With Interfaith Service

posted by dgilgoff

Shortly after God-o-Meter filed on the absence of any faith themes on this morning’s Democratic National Convention Committee media call about daily convention themes, it got an email from someone identifying himself as “a member of the DNCC Specialty Media […]

Richard Land’s VP Advice to McCain: Pick Sarah Palin

posted by dgilgoff

It’s not the name you typically hear on the lips of Christian Right heavies leaning on John McCain to pick a rock-ribbed social conservative as a running mate: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. But that’s Southern Baptist Convention public policy chief–and […]

No Faith Themes Yet for Democratic Convention

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter just hung up from a conference call with the Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (pictured) and senior Obama advisor Anita Dunn laying out the nightly themes for the Democratic National Convention in Denver this month. It was suprised to hear […]

McCain Emails ‘Faith Excerpts’ to Wary Christian Leaders

posted by dgilgoff

CBN’s David Brody reports that John McCain is emailing conservative Christian leaders with excerpts from his books detailing McCain’s Christian faith, especially as a young man. Here’s an excerpt: Dear Friends, Many of you have asked about John McCain’s faith. […]

Another Pawlenty-Evangelical Connection

posted by dgilgoff

Another reason Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty could help John McCain with evangelicals, from today’s New York Times: He also carries qualifications important to many conservatives… longtime attendance at a church with a pastor who leads the National Association of Evangelicals […]

10 Ways Obama’s TIME Faith Essay Targets Evangelicals

posted by dgilgoff

TIME magazine has just posted short essays from Barack Obama and John McCain about faith in advance of their meeting next weekend with Saddleback Church leader and Purpose-Driven Life author Rick Warren. In keeping with his broader campaign strategy, McCain’s […]

The Vibrancy of the Catholic Vote

posted by dgilgoff

As Spiritual Politics’ Mark Silk puts it: Today’s NYT article on abortion and the Catholic vote by John Broder is pretty inadequate. The problem is that Broder treats Catholics like single-issue voters, a trap that the news media at large–including […]

Unlike Dad, Bob Casey Jr. Might Speak at Democratic Convention

posted by dgilgoff

The New York Times reports that one of the strongest indicators that Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee is thinking hard about winning back Catholics is they’re consideration of pro-life Sen. Bob Casey, Jr for a speaking slot at […]

Sebelius Silence on Catholocism Could be Liability with Obama

posted by dgilgoff

Yes, she’s Catholic. But will Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’s John Kerry-like silence about her Catholicism and its influence on her politics make Barack Obama less likely to pick her as a running mate? Michael Sean Winters, writing at The New […]

McCain, Romney and the Evangelical Threat, Revisted

posted by dgilgoff

Two pieces today combat this week’s Washington Times piece about the threat of Mitt Romney giving evangelicals more agita should John McCain draft him as a running mate. The first, a Politico story headlined “Romney could lift McCain in West” […]

Video: Tim Kaine on Faith as the Driver of his Politics

posted by dgilgoff

The Charlie Rose Show just posted video of its interview yesterday with Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who’s on Obama’s very short list of possible running mates. Watch it, particularly from the 15 to 30-minute marks, and you’ll see that a […]

New Quinnipiac Poll: Obama’s Catholic Problem Persists

posted by dgilgoff

A Quinnipiac poll out today shows that the presidential race is surprisingly tight in Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, given the unpopularity of President and lingering anti-Republican sentiment. One of Obama’s biggest vulnerabilities: white Catholics. These are many of the same […]

Obama’s Faith Team Coordinates with Hill Dems

posted by dgilgoff

David Brody has the scoop: The Brody File has learned that the Obama campaign met with over 30 House members and senior staff this morning to strategize on Obama’s faith outreach strategy this fall. A meeting participant tells The Brody […]

Would Romney as Veep Further Alienate Evangelicals?

posted by dgilgoff

Evangelicals were famously divided ruing this year’s Republican primaries–the New York Times dubbed it an “evangelical crackup–but the most viscous divisions were between those supporting Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. Huck’s evangelical forces saw Romney as the ultimately opportunist, converting […]

Does Obama Risk Catholic Backlash With a Catholic VP?

posted by dgilgoff

That’s what the influential conservative Catholic group Fidelis says in a press release it put out, responding to news today that Obama’s short list for running mates is mostly Catholic. Here’s Fidelis’s reasoning (read the full press release): Catholic voters […]

Revisiting John Hagee’s Vow Not to Endorse Again

posted by dgilgoff

The American Prospect’s Tapped blogger Sarah Posner takes God-o-Meter to task for a recent post analyzing John Hagee’s vow never to endorse another presidential candidate–and the enthusiastic applause the lined garnered from a packed auditorium of evangelicals. GOM said this […]

Ted Stevens Indictment: Another Turn Off for Values Voters

posted by dgilgoff

The Democrats succeeding in closing the gap among what Democratic National Committee pollster Cornell Belcher calls “values-first voters” from 30 points in 2004 to around 10 points in 2006. It was a major factor behind the Democrats’ congressional takeover. True, […]

Obama’s VP Short List: Religion on the Brain

posted by dgilgoff

From today’s Washington Post: Kaine and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius are the only state leaders believed to be under serious consideration, sources close to Obama said. As in Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine. As in serious consideration to be Obama’s Number […]

Is the News Media Fabricating Obama’s Evangelical Gains?

posted by dgilgoff

Newsmax says so, channeling National Review’s Mark Hemingway from last week. Hemingway makes a pretty convincing case. It’s deep in the ’08 cycle. Obama’s been trying like mad to reach white evangelicals and other religious constituencies for a year and […]

Faith-Based Initiatives’ Democratic Forbears?

posted by dgilgoff

In her column for USA Today’s Monday religion slot, TIME mag editor/Democratic faith expert Amy Sullivan reveals the surprising history behind George W. Bush’s White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. In arguing for the expansion of the program, Barack Obama […]

Some Think Obama Needs to Stress Faith Over Works

posted by dgilgoff

Religion Writer blogger Andrea Useem has posted this curious photo of a Baptist church marquee in Lynchburg, Virginia, home of the Falwell dynasty. Apparently, some evangelicals are irked at the perception that Obama is emphasizing works at the expense of […]

Israelis Prefer Obama

posted by dgilgoff

Much ink has been spilled and airtime filled by Barack Obama’s supposed Jewish problem. But Mark Silk at Spiritual Politics points God-o-Meter to a new poll showing Obama ahead of John McCain among Israelis. He’s tied among conservative Likud Party […]

In Politics, God is Never Private

posted by dgilgoff

To quote Jim Wallis, God is Personal, but never private. That’s especially true in politics. AP has the story of the Israeli paper that published Barack Obama’s handscrawled note to God in the Western Wall.

Obamicas. McCippahs.

posted by dgilgoff

They’re finally here, just in time for Barack Obama’s trip to Jerusalem.

Hagee on Presidential Endorsements: Never Again

posted by dgilgoff

At the annual A Night to Honor Israel banquet in Washington on Tuesday night, here’s what spurned televangelist John Hagee told the assembled: What will I say when I’m asked to endorse another presidential candidate? Never Again! According to the […]

In Rare Move, McCain Meets Religious Leader: the Dalai Lama

posted by dgilgoff

John McCain rarely schedules meetings with high profile religious leaders, in stark contrast to George W. Bush–and Barack Obama. But after whacking Obama this afternoon for campaigning among foreigners in Berlin, McCain is trumpeting his one-on-one meeting tomorrow with a […]

Religious Left is Growing Up Faster than Religious Right Did

posted by dgilgoff

The Matthew 25 Network, a new faith-based political action committee started by John Kerry’s 2004 faith outreach director, is preparing to launch its second pro-Barack Obama radio ad this week, the group’s founder and director said on a conference call […]

Had McCain Been Wooing Dobson?

posted by dgilgoff

James Dobson’s 180-degree turnabout on John McCain has God-o-Meter thinking: has the candidate who’s famously inept on religious outreach seen the light and picked up the phone to call Colorado Springs? Dobson went a lot further than he needed to […]

Obama Hires Muslim Liaison

posted by dgilgoff

Politico says the position has been created but not filled. It also reports the hiring as completely routine for presidential nominees: The creation of the position comes as Obama builds out a more traditional, constituency-based campaign structure than he had […]

Obama’s American Values Report, Take 2

posted by dgilgoff

Earlier this month, God-o-Meter reported on the Obama team’s launch of the American Values Report, a weekly newsletter. The 8-page second issue was published on Friday. The report It includes “Spotlight on People of Faith” interviews with a Reform Jew […]

McCain’s Evangelical Moment?

posted by dgilgoff

John McCain and Barack Obama have accepted invitations to sit down with Purpose-Driven Life author Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church for public (and open-media) interviews just before next month’s big nominating conventions. David Brody sees the forum as presenting […]

Dobson Might Endorse McCain

posted by dgilgoff

The AP reports: Conservative Christian leader James Dobson has softened his stance against Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, saying he could reverse his position and endorse the Arizona senator despite serious misgivings. “I never thought I would hear myself saying […]

Bush’s Stand on Gay Adoption? Take a Wild Guess

posted by dgilgoff

The question of gay adoption has been a back-burner for the Christian Right. Until now, of course. Brody has Family Research Council president Tony Perkins pillorying McCain for his campaign’s recent dialing back of his opposition to gay adoption, which […]

McCain’s Evangelical Problem: It’s All About Turnout

posted by dgilgoff

Spiritual Politics’ Mark Silk weighs in on the exchange between God-o-Meter and John Schmalzbauer on whether the Democrats ought to throw in the towel if Obama can’t make some evangelical inroads this fall: As with any dependable voting bloc, the […]

Will McCain Camp Dump Catholic Advisor Under Pressure?

posted by dgilgoff

Catholics United’s call for Catholic author/Republican operative Deal Hudson (pictured) to resign from his advisory role aboard John McCain’s campaign is generating some major news coverage. Catholics United is calling for Hudson’s resignation over allegations that he sexually harassed a […]

If McCain’s Vouchers Violate Church/State Separation, What About Obama’s Faith-Based Initatives?

posted by dgilgoff

The liberal People for the American Way just sent out a statement attacking the school voucher plan that John McCain discussed in his speech today before the NAACP. Here’s People For President Kathryn Kolbert: “John McCain is trying to score […]

Obama and Evangelicals: A Modest Mission

posted by dgilgoff

Yesterday, Missouri State University religion professor/Immanent Frame blogger John Schmalzbauer (politely) accused God-o-Meter of underestimating Democrats’ potential to win over some evangelicals in November. He could be right. It’s just that when GOM sees polls reporting 60-percent evangelical support for […]

McCain’s Latest Christian Right Stumble

posted by dgilgoff

In his interview with The New York Times over the weekend, John McCain took an unequivocal stand against gay adoption, a rare instance of him standing shoulder to shoulder with the Christian Right on a hot button social issue. But […]

If Obama Can’t Make Evangelical Gains, Should Dems Give Up?

posted by dgilgoff

In response to God-o-Meter’s earlier post about debunking the myth that the evangelical voting bloc is a myth (like the Catholic voting bloc, say) Missouri State University religion professor/Immanent Frame blogger John Schmalzbauer—whose post GOM was responding to–commented that evangelical […]

New Yorker Cover: Where’s the Outrage on Muslim Portrayal?

posted by dgilgoff

Despite all the denunciations of this week’s New Yorker cover for the damage it might do to Barack Obama’s, there’s been relatively little outcry over its portrayal of Muslims. The Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement: “Unfortunately, the New […]

The Myth of the Myth of the Evangelical Vote

posted by dgilgoff

The Immanent Frame, the Social Science Research Council’s blog on religion, secularism, and the public square, has a post up claiming that the current war of words between Focus on the Family’s James Dobson and supporters of Barack Obama may […]

McCain’s Uncomfortable Times Interview

posted by dgilgoff

Yesterday’s New York Times interview with John McCain covered lots of ground of interest to religious conservatives: his church affiliation, gay adoption, same-sex marriage, and evolution in public schools. And from where the Christian Right sits, he answered correctly on […]

Interns Arrive, Obama’s Faith Blog Takes Off

posted by dgilgoff

For a while there, God-o-Meter noticed that for all Barack Obama’s supposed prowess in religious outreach and online organizing, his campaign’s faith blog was pretty much dead. There’s been just a handful of postings per month since January. But as […]

Obama Launches ‘American Values Report’

posted by dgilgoff

The Obama campaign has begun issuing a weekly ‘American Values Report,’ with the first edition out last Friday. The report is sent as a PDF file via email, so God-o-Meter can’t post the whole thing here. But it has chosen […]

McCain’s New Ad: God’s Children

posted by dgilgoff

No, the ad’s not about “values” issues. It’s about immigration. In it, John McCain calls all immigrants–legal and illegal–“God’s children.” Is this Sam Brownback’s hand at work? Brownback has for years talked about every person–including the unborn–as being a “sacred, […]

10,000 Catholics for Obama

posted by dgilgoff

The Obama campaign is emailing around this video, produced by a new group called 10,000 Catholics for Obama:David Brody has the back story.

Why’s Rove Silent on Evangelicals?

posted by dgilgoff

Analyzing what he calls “Obama’s Brilliant Ground Game” in today’s Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove draws plenty of parallels between the Illinois senator’s burgeoning organization and George W. Bush’s in 2000 and 2004. In revealing some trade secrets from those […]

Joe Lieberman Headlines Event with John Hagee

posted by dgilgoff

Spiritual Politics notes that Joe Lieberman is headlining John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel annual Washington banquet next week. Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Sallai Meridor, is also listed as a keynote speaker. So is Hagee himself. Another moment to […]

Evangelicals Rally To McCain While Trying To Prevent Another Like Him

posted by dgilgoff

Last week’s decision by nearly 100 conservative Christian activists meeting in Denver to coalesce around presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain was a major coup for a candidate whose relationship with the Christian Right has been famously stormy. But the […]

Gallup: God Gap Still Wide. GOP Still Benefits.

posted by dgilgoff

Another day, another reminder that the God gap in the electorate heavily favors John McCain, even as Barack Obama screams his faith from the rooftops and McCain wears his close to his vest. A new Gallup poll analysis shows that […]

Will McCain Benefit From Marriage Amendments?

posted by dgilgoff

This morning at 10 Eastern, the Family Research Council plans to unveil the results of a poll that suggests that candidates’ support for state-based constitutional amendments banning gay marriage is a major benefit at the polls. Politico’s Mike Allen has […]

McCain Whacks Obama on Social Issues

posted by dgilgoff

Among the Christian RIght’s chief criticisms of John McCain has been his reluctance to point out differences between himself and Barack Obama on hot button social issues like abortion and gay marriage. A new McCain campaign briefing shows the Arizona […]

McCain Ups Religious Outreach. Evangelicals Up Criticism.

posted by dgilgoff

The Dallas Morning News has the best update in weeks on the McCain camp’s stepped-up religious outreach effort, its scaled-back vision for the role of evangelicals in 2008 as compared to ’04, and the continuing evangelical critique of the whole […]

Obama’s Left Flank

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama’s made a couple of serious plays for evangelical/culturally conservative support in the last week–unveiling his plans to expand George W. Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initatiatves and asserting that mental distress should not be legal grounds for […]

ISO Obama’s Abortion Stance

posted by dgilgoff

A short interview Barack Obama gave last week to the evangelical Relevant magazine has been making a lot of headlines, specifically over what he said about supporting abortion restrictions: “I have repeatedly said that I think it’s entirely appropriate for […]

The Pro-Life Anti-Obama Campaign

posted by dgilgoff

The Brody File reports on the Christian Defense Coalition’s new “Abortion President” campaign against Barack Obama. This is not a group with lots of organizational heft–it’s known mostly for hosting press conferences–but if Brody’s right, it’s the first step in […]

‘Social Conservatives Warming to McCain’

posted by dgilgoff

Or so says a headline in yesterday’s Washington Times. The evidence? Last week’s powwow of Christian Right activists in Denver. For a more nuanced–and skeptical–take on that meeting’s benefit to McCain, see God-o-Meter.

Family Research Council’s Got McCain’s Back?

posted by dgilgoff

This morning’s Washington Post front pager on John McCain offers a chorus of conservative voices vowing war over changes they expect the presumptive Republican nominee to attempt to engineer in the GOP platform. The one conservative urging calm? The Family […]

Obama Melds Social Gospel, Personal Salvation Theology

posted by dgilgoff

The rivalry between the Social Gospel–the belief that people should work to perfect society in accordance with certain Biblical ideals, such as equality and justice–and the theology of personal salvation–which posits that people are deeply imperfect and in need of […]

The Denver Conclave: How Much of a Turning Point for McCain?

posted by dgilgoff

Writing on Tuesday’s Denver meeting among Christian Right activists, at which said activists vowed to put aside their differences with John McCain and back him in November, David Brody called it a “key turning point” for the Arizona senator. God-o-Meter, […]

Poll: Catholics Split Between McCain, Obama

posted by dgilgoff

A new TIME poll has Catholics splitting between McCain and Obama, with McCain’s 45-44 edge within the margin of error. Another reminder that, for all Barack Obama’s religious outreach prowess and for all John McCain’s religious stumbles, the traditional God […]

In Denver, Christian Right Activists Coalesce Around McCain

posted by dgilgoff

Following up on a TIME account yesterday, CBN’s David Brody has more deets on Tuesday’s Denver meeting among scores of Christian Right activists and their decision to coalesce behind John McCain despite their considerable doubts about him. Channeling meeting attendee/evangelical […]

Catholic League: ‘Obama’s Faith-Based Gambit a Fraud’

posted by dgilgoff

Echoing Family Research Council Action, the Catholic League For Religious and Civil Rights says Obama’s plan for faith-based initiatives would do more harm than good by prohibiting religious groups from discriminating on the basis of religion and requiring those groups […]

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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