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Pro-Obama Ads on Christian Radio

posted by dgilgoff

A new pro-Obama faith-based group called the Matthew 25 Network, started by John Kerry’s 2004 faith outreach director, has launched a Christian Radio ad on the heels of Obama’s faith-based initiatives speech: The ad is running first in Colorado Springs, […]

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Obama in Touch with Focus on the Family

posted by dgilgoff

With Barack Obama in Colorado Springs, CO for a speech today, God-o-Meter checked in with Focus on the Family, the granddaddy of evangelical megagroups in the Springs, to see if Obama had any plans to stop by while he was […]

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Family Research Council Pooh-Poohs Obama Faith-Based Initiative

posted by dgilgoff

One might have thought that Barack Obama’s plan to expand George W. Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives would be music to the ears of Family Research Council Action, the main inside-the-beltway Christian Right advocacy outfit. Carving out a […]

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Obama in Colorado Springs Today

posted by dgilgoff

A day after announcing his plan to beef up President Bush’s office of faith-based initiatives, Barack Obama pops up today in Colorado Springs, whose reputation as the country’s evangelical capital has earned it the nickname “Vatican West.” The Obama camp […]

Why Obama’s Faith-Based Initiatives Matter

posted by dgilgoff

As Barack Obama has emphasized his life as a “committed Christian” over the past year and a half, skeptics have asked for evidence of how his faith would actually influence his policies as president. Some conservative Christian activists have urged […]

Obama to Unveil Faith-Based Initiatives Plan

posted by dgilgoff

After touring Zanesville, Ohio’s Eastside Community Ministry, which his campaign describes as a “food bank, a clothing closet and a children’s program for low-income” people–Barack Obama will announce plans his plan for a President’s Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, […]

Possible McCain Veep Pawlenty on Faith in Christ

posted by dgilgoff

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, on John McCain’s short list of potential running mates, might have upped his chances of getting the nod by doing what McCain won’t: going on the Christian Broadcasting Network and talking about his faith in Jesus. […]

McCain Camp Denies Rebuffing Billy Graham

posted by dgilgoff

Earlier today, God-o-Meter referenced a pair of posts from blogger George Archibald alleging that this weekend’s meeting between John McCain and Billy and Franklin Graham came after McCain had rebuffed an earlier offer to meet with Billy Graham from an […]

McCain’s Billy Graham Visit: New Chapter or Crisis Management?

posted by dgilgoff

John McCain sojourned to Billy Graham’s mountaintop cabin in North Carolina yesterday for a 45-minute meeting with the Reverend and his son, Rev. Franklin Graham. Although the Grahams declined to issue endorsements for McCain, the New York Times reports that […]

Christian Conservatives Against Dobson

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter is going to have to start keeping a tally of conservative Christians coming to Barack Obama’s defense. The latest is former George W. Bush aide Peter Wehner (pictured), who–despite having problems with Obama’s social liberalism–comes out swinging against James […]

McCain (Finally) Backs California Marriage Amendment

posted by dgilgoff

It’s been a month and a half. The Brody File reports that John McCain has finally responded in a big way to the California Supreme Court’s May 15 decision to legalize gay marriage, sending a statement of solidarity to the […]

Poll: The Changing Religious Landscape

posted by dgilgoff

Calvin College is out with the results of a new public opinion survey titled “The Religious Landscape and Projected Presidential Vote: Spring 2004 and Spring 2008. Check it out here. God-o-Meter hasn’t sifted through the whole report yet, but some […]

Bill Donohue Responds to Obama Camp on God-o-Meter

posted by dgilgoff

Catholic League president Bill Donohue responds to word that Barack Obama’s Catholic Advisory Council hasn’t disbanded in the face of criticism from his group by posting a comment to God-o-Meter: Nice to know they still chat. But if they are […]

Obama’s Catholic Board Alive and Kicking

posted by dgilgoff

Responding to a press release this morning by the conservative Catholic League speculating that the Obama campaign had disbanded its Catholic advisory board, an Obama aide tells God-o-Meter: “The Obama Catholic Advisory Council is thriving, and actively reaching out to […]

Catholic League: Is Obama’s Catholic Board Toast?

posted by dgilgoff

It’s been a while since the Catholic League For Civil and Religious Rights last attacked the Obama campaign, but today it’s claiming victory in a battle that began more than a month ago, when the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue (pictured) […]

Obama’s Prayer Calls

posted by dgilgoff

Newsweek’s got the scoop on the Obama campaign’s many prayer-based conference calls, with separate calls for evangelicals, Roman Catholics, Jews, and African Americans happening each week. The calls have included Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, a spiritual advisor to President George W. […]

Is Jindal McCain’s Most Likely Veep Pick?

posted by dgilgoff

Veepstakes wise, John McCain’s biggest decision may be whether to pick a social moderate who would appeal to swing voters but alienate the Christian Right–a Charlie Crist or Tom Ridge–or someone who would clearly excite the Christian Right, a Mike […]

God Gap: Same As It Ever Was

posted by dgilgoff

Gallup has released an “Early Road Map to the McCain-Obama Matchup” suggesting that, despite John McCain’s anemic religious outreach, and despite Barack Obama’s unprecedented efforts to win over the faithful (at last count, the Obama camp employed three fulltime faith […]

Exclusive: Interview with Mark DeMoss

posted by dgilgoff

With clients like Focus on the Family, Franklin Graham, and Campus Crusade for Christ, Mark DeMoss may be the most prominent public relations executive in the evangelical world. A former chief of staff to Jerry Falwell, DeMoss became then-presidential candidate […]

Who Are McCain’s Foot Soldiers?

posted by dgilgoff

Writing in The Wall Street Journal today, Karl Rove says the 2008 race will likely be won by the candidate who has the superior ground game. Presidential candidates’ national organizations typically grow to comprise tens of thousands of supporters, mostly […]

Obama Gets Testimonial. About Israel.

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama may have gotten a cooler reception yesterday at AIPAC than John McCain did a couple days earlier, but Obama did manage to outdo the Bush administration in seeing things the Israeli way (no small task) in one crucial […]

Obama Detractors Keep Pastor Attacks Alive

posted by dgilgoff

Another day, another conservative attack against Barack Obama over his religious influences, specifically Rev. Michael Pfleger, whose sermon a week and a half ago seemed to catalyze Obama’s resignation from his church. This time it’s The Wall Street Journal. Notice […]

Pfleger Put on Leave, Catholic Church Goes Political

posted by dgilgoff

The Archdiocese of Chicago has put Rev. Michael Pfleger on leave after his sermon about Hillary Clinton’s supposed white entitlement complex at Barack Obama’s old church a week and a half ago. Pfleger’s punishment is the latest in a rash […]

Politicians and Pastors: Different Routes to Splitsville

posted by dgilgoff

When Barack Obama announced he was resigning from Trinity United Church of Christ this weekend, God-o-Meter was surprised to learn that the decision was born as much out of sympathy to the church as out of anger with recent remarks […]

Iran as the New ‘Jewish Issue”

posted by dgilgoff

In its wrap of Senator John McCain’s speech yesterday before AIPAC, The Wall Street Journal makes an obvious but important point: The Republican presidential candidate’s speech Monday before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee drew a standing ovation and illustrates […]

GOPers Won’t Let Wright/Pfleger Go

posted by dgilgoff

Yesterday, God-o-Meter wondered aloud about whether Barack Obama’s weekend resignation from Trinity United Church of Christ put the issue of his relationships with two controversial pastors associated with the church behind him. In a line of argument that GOM suspects […]

What Was Wright’s Role in Clinton’s Resurgence?

posted by dgilgoff

Politico’s Mike Allen reports that the Republican National Committee will release a strategy memo today on “DEMOCRATIC DISUNITY,” arguing that Obama has vulnerabilities in spades: Obama is not wearing well as a candidate and has lost momentum since his high […]

A True Christian for Veep

posted by dgilgoff

A pretty prominent religious conservative has started an online petition for the presidential candidates (read: John McCain) to select “a true Christian VP”–someone who has been “spiritually transformed by Jesus Christ (i.e. regenerated or born again).” The effort is being […]

Are Wright and Pfleger History?

posted by dgilgoff

Now that Barack Obama has publicly parted ways with Trinity United Church of Christ, are all those sermon controversies behind him? Maybe not. Unlike John McCain’s recent split from John Hagee and Rod Parsley, Obama and the two religious figures […]

McCain, Jews, Evangelicals, and AIPAC

posted by dgilgoff

For all John McCain’s bungling of religious outreach, particularly with his own party’s social conservative base, no one can accuse him of taking the Jewish vote for granted. He embraces every opportunity to reiterate his firm support for Israel, his […]

Obama’s Church Resignation: Not a Rebuke

posted by dgilgoff

Coming on the heels of Rev. Michael Pfleger controversial sermon there–in which he bashed Hillary Clinton for expecting to win the Democratic nomination out of a sense of white entitlement–it would be easy to take Barack Obama’s resignation from Trinity […]

Did Obama Have to Leave Trinity UCC?

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama has resigned from Trinity UCC, which played a central role in so many milestone events of Obama’s life: his coming to Christianity, his start as a community organizer–and, by extension, a politician–his ability to finally identify comfortably as […]

Ralph Reed’s Novel-Length Warning to McCain

posted by dgilgoff

The lead from today’s Wall Street Journal story says it all: As the general election approaches, a contentious battle for the Democratic nomination continues right up to the convention between the two remaining candidates. The Republican contender is a military […]

Churches as Political Liabilities

posted by dgilgoff

Like the Chicago Tribune editorial says this morning, After everything that happened with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, how on earth does a priest, or any religious leader, take the pulpit and behave as Michael Pfleger did? If you haven’t yet, watch […]

Gay Marriage Spreads. McCain Still Mum.

posted by dgilgoff

Two weeks after the California Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, The New York Times reports that New York State will begin recognizing gay marriages from California, Massachusetts, and other countries. And because California, unlike Massachusetts, lacks a law preventing gay […]

More Christian Right Fallout for McCain

posted by dgilgoff

When John McCain threw pastors John Hagee and Rod Parsley overboard last week, God-o-Meter was struck that both pastors issued statements absent of any ill will toward the presidential candidate. Pretty gracious, thought GOM–would the broader Christian Right be so […]

Obama’s Catholic Problem Shrinks, Doesn’t Disappear

posted by dgilgoff

Though he lost Catholics overwhelmingly to Hillary Clinton in the Ohio and Pennsylvania primaries, a new AP analysis shows that Barack Obama would more or less split Catholics with John McCain in a general election matchup. Significant blocs of voters […]

McCain’s Trump Card with the Christian Right?

posted by dgilgoff

Yes, he upset the Christian Right by throwing John Hagee and Rod Parsley overboard. And by staying quiet on the California Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. And by entertaining the possibility of Charlie Crist as his running mate. And […]

Could McCain Pick Tom Ridge?

posted by dgilgoff

Marc Ambinder says the Christian Right’s fears about John McCain picking Charlie Crist as a running mate are misplaced. What the movement really ought to worry about, Ambinder says, is McCain picking pro-choice former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge: I don’t […]

Warnings to McCain on VP Pick

posted by dgilgoff

Like God-o-Meter said last week, one of the potential running mates who John McCain invited to his Arizona ranch over the weekend is not like the others. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Mitt Romney both have major support among Christian […]

McCain’s Religious Outreach: Signs of Life

posted by dgilgoff

While God-o-Meter was making the case that McCain’s pastor-dumping last week was the clearest indication yet of his abysmal religious outreach operation, the McCain camp gave David Brody a story about ramping up is faith-based efforts: Two campaign aides for […]

Why McCain Can’t Avoid Cali Gay Marriage Decision

posted by dgilgoff

John McCain hasn’t said much about the California Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage earlier this month. In fact, God-o-Meter’s pretty sure that he personally hasn’t said anything whatsoever about the case, even while campaigning in California. The conventional wisdom […]

In Dumping Pastors, Who Was McCain Responding To?

posted by dgilgoff

Over at Spiritual Politics, Mark Silk notes that there was no great clamoring for McCain to reject John Hagee’s endorsement, especially after Catholic League president Bill Donohue forgave him for his long record of anti-Catholic remarks: One of the odd […]

Christian Right Endorsements: The Reagan Approach

posted by dgilgoff

Like John McCain today, Ronald Reagan had his work cut out in winning over the Christian Right during his 1980 campaign, when a new organization called Moral Majority was mobilizing evangelicals and other conservative Christians in a way not seen […]

McCain’s Latest, Biggest, Religious Stumble: Take 2

posted by dgilgoff

Now John McCain is rejecting Rev. Rod Parsley’s endorsement, too. Like God-o-Meter was just saying just a few hours ago, after McCain finally disowned John Hagee, the Arizona senator is still a novice at religious outreach. So which Christian Right […]

McCain’s Latest, Biggest, Religious Stumble

posted by dgilgoff

John McCain’s rejection of John Hagee’s endorsement today is the starkest example yet of McCain’s ham handed approach to dealing with the Christian Right and with handling religious matters generally. It’s a striking contrast to era of George W. Bush, […]

McCain’s Growing Pastor Problem?

posted by dgilgoff

This story is getting legs. In March, Mother Jones magazine dug up some anti-Muslim rants of Rev. Rod Parsley, an Ohio-based evangelical minister and rising Christian Right star who campaigned with John McCain at a time when Mike Huckabee was […]

Wright Postpones More Public Appearances

posted by dgilgoff

Kinda strange that Wright is self aware enough to be postponing or outright cancelling so many public appearances since the flap over his videotaped sermons broke in March–presumably to keep from doing further harm to Barack Obama’s presidential bid–but that […]

One of These VP Possibilities is Not Like the Other

posted by dgilgoff

John McCain’s meeting with potential vice presidential runnng mates Mitt Romney and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal this weekend at his Arizona ranch suggests McCain is sensitive to the Christian Right’s ongoing misgivings about his presumptive nomination and wants to put […]

UCC Cleared of Supporting Obama

posted by dgilgoff

That was quick. Especially by IRS standards. An Internal Revenue Service inquiry into whether the United Church of Christ violated IRS rules against church politicking by giving denomination member Barack Obama a speaking sport at its annual meeting last year […]

A God Gap, But Not Where You’d Expect

posted by dgilgoff

Hillary Clinton’s campaign emailed word last night that Clinton’s Kentucky blowout was more evidence of her lock on values voters: There continues to be no emerging trend lines other than the one established at the beginning of the Democratic Primary: […]

McCain Rebuffs Dobson

posted by dgilgoff

That’s according to Bob Novak: An invitation for Sen. John McCain to meet with evangelical leader James Dobson at his Focus on the Family headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., so far has been rebuffed by the McCain campaign. God-o-Meter doesn’t […]

Exclusive: Interview with Clinton’s Chief Catholic Organizer

posted by dgilgoff

Hillary Clinton’s victories in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana gave her campaign a second wind, and largely thanks to Catholic voters. In Ohio, where Catholics made up a third of the electorate, Clinton won them 63-percent to 36-percent over Barack Obama. […]

Rod Parsley’s Other Side

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter recently posted video of John McCain backer Rev. Rod Parsley sermonizing against Islam as “an anti-Christ religion that intends, through violence, to conquer the world.” American Prospect reporter/Christian Right foe Sarah Posner says there’s another controversial side to Parsley, […]

Jews Matter in November. Obama’s OK With That.

posted by dgilgoff

For all the news media’s tut-tutting about Barack Obama strained relations with Jewish voters, Salon points out that he’s actually in pretty good shape in that department: …a Gallup poll last month — in the midst of the Wright drama […]

McCain’s Gay Marriage Ban Failed

posted by dgilgoff

As John McCain continues to keep a low profile on the California Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Dick Polman has a helpful reminder about McCain’s personal experience with gay marriage bans. While the bans have passed […]

Reminder to the GOP on Gay Marriage

posted by dgilgoff

While John McCain and the GOP continue to keep quiet about last week’s California Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage, the party’s Religious Right base continues to be just bit more exercised over the decision. Here’s popular radio host Dennis […]

Clinton’s Prayer for Zimbabwe

posted by dgilgoff

Did you catch the New York Times’ harrowing front pager last week on Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s crackdown on Anglican priests and worshippers in advance of an expected runoff election there? Here’s the opening vignette: The parishioners were lined up […]

McCain’s Catholic Organizing. Any News?

posted by dgilgoff

The Wichita Eagle reports today on Sam Brownback’s role as a Catholic organizer for John McCain. Seems like Brownback is still doing the same macro-level Catholic outreach that God-o-Meter reported on months ago. But GOM caught a whiff of a […]

Hagee’s Holocaust Sermon

posted by dgilgoff

Spiritual Politics tipped God-o-Meter off to a Revealer post showcasing a Holocaust-themed sermon from John Hagee, the Texas televangelist and John McCain endorser. Apparently from the 1990s, the sermon has Hagee blaming the Holocaust partly on the Jews and framing […]

Clinton Sits Through Adultery Sermon

posted by dgilgoff

It was just a coincidnece, apparently. Hillary Clinton attended church services in Bowling Green, Kentucky yesterday in advance of the Bluegrass State’s primary this week, and the pastor happened to deliver a lengthy sermon on adultery. CBS News sets the […]

Missed Opportunity for McCain? A Bush Veteran Reflects

posted by dgilgoff

After the California Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in the Golden Gate State last week, God-o-Meter called Gary Marx, a Bush-Cheney ’04 hand who helped lead the campaign’s effort to turn the 2004 legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts to […]

Memo to Obama on Family Values

posted by dgilgoff

There’s an emerging consensus among political types that Barack Obama, in order to solve his white working class problem and to blunt criticism that, despite his national unification rhetoric, is actually a doctrinaire liberal, needs to adopt a traditionally conservative […]

Kmiec Denied Communion for Backing Obama

posted by dgilgoff

Douglas Kmiec, the Catholic legal scholar and former counsel to Republican presidents, reports that he was recently denied communion for publicly supporting pro-choice candidate Barack Obama. It’s getting more common for the Catholic church to instruct pro-choice politicians to refrain […]

GOP Silent on Gay Marriage Decision

posted by dgilgoff

Marc Ambinder noted yesterday that the Republican Party greeted the California Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage with near total silence (except for a statement from second-in-command House Republican Roy Blount that denounced the ruling.) Twenty four hours later, the […]

McCain Quiet on Cali Gay Marriage Ruling

posted by dgilgoff

Yesterday’s California Supreme Court ruling overturning the state’s gay marriage ban gave John McCain a big open to reach out to his party’s conservative Christian base, especially the Christian Right leaders who continue to be openly skeptical of his candidacy […]

Gay Marriage Decision Puts Heat on McCain

posted by dgilgoff

If John McCain wanted an opportunity to make common cause with the Christian Right, he’s just been handed it: the California Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the state’s gay marriage ban. One of the Christian Right’s biggest grievances against McCain […]

In Israel, Bush Suggests Obama’s an Appeaser

posted by dgilgoff

At a time when Barack Obama is working overtime to shore up Jewish support, President Bush takes a shot at him direct from the Isreali Knesset: JERUSALEM (CNN) – In a particularly sharp blast from halfway around the world, President […]

Will Jews (Finally) Go Republican?

posted by dgilgoff

Will this be the year a Republican presidential candidate peels of serious Jewish support from Democrats? The Wall Street Journal makes a convincing case: Many Republicans think so — particularly with Barack Obama likely heading the Democratic ticket. That calculation […]

New Obama Values Ads in Kentucky

posted by dgilgoff

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the Christian literature Barack Obama is distributing in Kentucky is just one part of a wider campaign aimed at marketing Obama as a Christian. A TV ad and two radio ads with that goal are […]

Obama’s Churchy Kentucky Office

posted by dgilgoff

A dispatch on a Barack Obama Kentucky field office, courtesty of a Bluegrass State blogger who filed to the conservative Race 4 2008 blog: I had just finished doing an undisclosed activity at Church and a friend asked me to […]

Obama’s Christian Lit. Where’s the Outrage?

posted by dgilgoff

Hot Air’s Ed Morrisey has posted a copy of Obama campaign literature from Kentucky (pictured below) that shows him in front of a beaming cross (it’s literally covered with glowing bulbs) beneath the words “Faith,” “Hope,” and “Change.” Given the […]

Wright’s Toll in West Virginia

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter wrote earlier today that Democratic congressional candidate Travis Childers’s victory in a ruby red Mississippi district showed that the GOP’s attempts to tie Democrats to the Wright/Obama brouhaha aren’t working. But that’s not to say that Obama himself is […]

Wright Attack Fails in Mississippi

posted by dgilgoff

Mississippi Democratic congressional candidate Travis Childers, whose Republican opponent tried to lash him to Rev. Jeremiah Wright by way of Barack Obama’s endorsement of Childers–a tenuous connection, to be sure–won his special election last night. It’s the third straight special […]

No God Gap in West Virginia?

posted by dgilgoff

Here’s what Hillary Clinton’s faith outreach director just said about Clinton’s victory tonight in Virginia via email: There continues to be no emerging trend lines other than the one established at the beginning of the Democratic Primary: American faith and […]

Bill Donohue’s Take on Hagee’s Apology

posted by dgilgoff

The case is closed on John Hagee, the Texas evangelist whose endorsement of John McCain set off a national controversy because of allegations that Hagee’s books and sermons contain anti-Catholic rhetoric. Or at least it’s closed according to Bill Donohue. […]

Catholic League: Hagee Controversy Officially Over(!)

posted by dgilgoff

That was easy. The conservative Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights has received a letter from televangelist/John McCain supporter John Hagee expressing regret over having offended Catholics (read it here). And, just like that, Catholic League president Bill Donohue […]

Wright vs. Bush: An Unpopularity Contest

posted by dgilgoff

Gallup’s new poll reporting that Americans are more likely to be deterred from supporting John McCain over his association with George W. Bush than to be dissuaded from backing Barack Obama over Jeremiah Wright has been getting lots of attention […]

Obama’s Expanding Campaign for Jews

posted by dgilgoff

How often do presidential candidates write op-eds for Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth? God-o-Meter will look into it. But Barack Obama’s recent appearance in those pages is just another step in a remarkably comprehensive campaign to woo Jews. His weekend interview […]

Why Clinton’s Sticking Around

posted by dgilgoff

Read some choice snippets from this Financial Times dispatch from West Virginia ahead of tomorrow’s primary and then tell God-o-Meter if you can really blame Hillary Clinton for staying in the race a couple weeks longer. Like most people in […]

Barack Obama: What Israel and the Jews Mean to Me

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama certainly has work to do in bringing Jews, a bedrock Democratic constituency, over to his side before November. In Pennsylvania, the last primary state with a good-sized Jewish population–they accounted for one in twelve Democratic voters there–Obama lost […]

McCain’s Evangelical Enthusiasm Problem

posted by dgilgoff

Bob Novak writes today that a well-placed Christian Right source says that Mike Huckabee, who has publicly endorsed and campaigned with John McCain, has floated the idea that an Obama candidacy might be just what the American people need, perhaps […]

Evidence that Evangelicals Aren’t Budging

posted by dgilgoff

What if the Democratic nominee for president waged an historic campaign for evangelical votes, the Republican nominee was surprisingly tone deaf to evangelical political concerns, a pile of polls showed evangelicals were less beholden to Republicans and their issues than […]

The Obama Supporter Who Married Jenna Bush

posted by dgilgoff

The minister who married first daughter Jenna Bush and Henry Hager this weekend, Kirbyjon Caldwell (above), is a Barack Obama supporter who gave God-o-Meter an exclusive interview last week. Caldwell’s role in the wedding is a remarkable testament to his […]

Is Obama’s Values Problem Faith-Based?

posted by dgilgoff

Former Bill Clinton pollster Doug Schoen has Wall Street Journal op-ed about what he sees as Obama’s values problem: Exit polls in Indiana and North Carolina show clearly that fewer than 60% of white voters believe Mr. Obama shares their […]

Meet Rod Parsley

posted by dgilgoff

Mother Jones has assembled some highlights from the anti-Muslim screeds of Rev. Rod Parsley, who’s been tagged as John McCain’s answer to Jeremiah Wright. McCain’s defenders respond that Parsley, who has campaigned with McCain and whom McCain praised as “one […]

Obama Backers Smack Back at Catholic League

posted by dgilgoff

When Catholic League for Civil and Religious Life President Bill Donohue attacked John Kerry’s faith outreach director as insufficiently godly–“her resume is that of a person looking for a job working for Fidel Castro”–the Kerry campaign silenced her, forbidding her […]

Religious Outreach Week at McCain HQ

posted by dgilgoff

Or maybe religious conservative awareness week. On Tuesday, Senator McCain gave a speech promising to appoint conservative jurists to the courts. Some in the Christian Right applauded. On Wednesday, he gave a speech that opened with a celebration of evangelical […]

Kirbyjon Caldwell And Obama’s Faith Outreach

posted by dgilgoff

Beliefnet has posted God-o-Meter’s interview this week with Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, spiritual advisor to George W. Bush–Caldwell delivered the benediction at both his inaugurals and introduced him at the 2000 Republican National Convention–and endorser of Barack Obama. What stood out […]

Does Catholic Outreach Matter?

posted by dgilgoff

Does Catholic outreach matter? Even after Hillary Clinton’s impressive wins among Catholics in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana (though Obama did make modest gains among Catholics in that state and North Carolina yesterday) the conventional wisdom was that economic issues–not religion–were […]

Obama Camp Explains Catholic Gains

posted by dgilgoff

What explains Barack Obama’s gains among Catholics yesterday? The Obama camp just ’round its explanation for progress among religious voters, including Catholics, in memo form: In Indiana and North Carolina the campaign: • Launched a series of inter-faith American Values […]

Wright Looms Large, But Obama Beats Him

posted by dgilgoff

What was more impressive about yesterday’s primary, the fact that Rev. Wright was on so many voters minds or that Obama managed to largely overcome all the negative feelings about his former pastor. In North Carolina and Indiana, almost half […]

Obama Improves Among Catholics

posted by dgilgoff

Obama lost big among Indiana Catholics last night, but not nearly as big as in Pennsylvania and Ohio, where Catholics were probably more responsible than any other voters in giving Hillary Clinton a second wind over the last month. Catholics […]

Catholic League Whacks Obama (Again)

posted by dgilgoff

More evidence that the Christian Right wants to face Hillary Clinton this fall? The Catholic League has just issued another press release slamming Barack Obama for–get this–a Chicago Tribune op-ed written by one of his supporters (no official connection to […]

Family Research Council Likes McCain on Judges

posted by dgilgoff

Family Research Council Action, the most influential conservative evangelical advocacy group, likes what it heard about judges this morning from John McCain. Here’s the statement from FRC Action president Tony Perkins: Senator McCain’s speech will be well- received by millions […]

McCain Rolls out Judicial Advisory Committee

posted by dgilgoff

On the heels of his Wake Forest address on judges this morning, John McCain has rolled out his Justice Advisory Committee. The full list includes plenty of conservative Christian activists and is below. Most noteworthy, however, are the co-chairs. Or, […]

McCain on Judges: Winning Any Converts?

posted by dgilgoff

At Wake Forest University this morning, John McCain delivered his most detailed comments to date on his vision for the federal judiciary, including, most importantly, the Supreme Court. McCain’s support for “strict constitutionalist” judges is supposed to be his big […]

Clinton Trumpets Methodist Roots

posted by dgilgoff

Earlier this year, God-o-Meter reported on the Clinton camp’s unusual campaign to organize United Methodists for its Methodist candidate. Tonight in Indiana, Clinton herself joined the effort, brandishing her Methodist roots during an appearance in Indiana’s most heavily Methodist county. […]

Does the Christian Right Fear Obama?

posted by dgilgoff

According to the Obama campaign, the National Right to Life PAC is placing anti-Obama robocalls in Indiana. Here’s the script, according to the Obama campaign (audio here): “Hello, this is National Right to Life PAC, asking you to vote against […]

First Polls on Obama’s Wright Denouncement

posted by dgilgoff

Talks about conflicting poll numbers on the toll of l’affaire Wright and the effectiveness of Obama’s Wright denouncement last Tuesday. A new New York Times/CBS poll suggests that Obama’s denouncement was a success, with the Illinois senator enjoying a 12-point […]

Obama Becomes Star of GOP Ads

posted by dgilgoff

Mr. post-partisan has become a star of ads by Republicans and their allies nationwide, CNN reports. It’s curious that the two developments that catapulted him into that dubious stardom involved religion: Obama’s remarks about small town Americans clinging to guns […]

Progressive Catholics (and Obama) Strike Back

posted by dgilgoff

Catholics United, a progressive Catholic group, is firing back at conservative Catholic Bill Donohue for characterizing Barack Obama’s Catholic advisory board as “Catholic dissidents.” Here’s the release it put out Friday: Bill Donohue Still Playing on Karl Rove’s Team Attack […]

Is Hagee Mainstream?

posted by dgilgoff

American Prospect Religious Right expert Sarah Posner (who writes the weekly FundamentaList column) contacted God-o-Meter to say that the supposedly controversial video of John Hagee that GOM linked to this morning won’t be much of a liability for Hagee endorsee […]

Obama Camp Responds to Catholic League

posted by dgilgoff

The Obama camp’s National Director of Religious Affairs, Joshua DuBois (pictured), has just contacted God-o-Meter with a response to the Catholic League’s attack on its National Catholic Advisory Committee: Throughout his career, Senator Obama has reached out to people of […]

Catholic League Smacks Obama

posted by dgilgoff

The conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is attacking Barack Obama over his Catholic advisory board because some of its members take views at odds with official church positions on hot button social issues like abortion. Why the […]

Controversial New Hagee Video Surfaces

posted by dgilgoff

The Huffington Post is steering readers to new video of John Hagee (below)–the Texas evangelist whose John McCain endorsement generated controversy because of Hagee’s past anti-Catholic statements–that’s sure to raise some eyebrows. Sure, Hagee’s not McCain’s regular pastor, so he’s […]

Obama: Small Towners as Source of Values

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama’s unscripted comments about small town Americans clinging to God, guns, and anti-immigrant sentiment didn’t do him any favors in Pennsylvania’s primary, so he’s heaping praise on small town values in advance of Indiana’s Tuesday primary. Here’s The Truth […]

Update On Clinton’s Faith Outreach

posted by dgilgoff

Earlier this week, God-o-Meter noted that one of the Democrats’ top faith strategists, Eric Sapp of Common Good strategies, had helped the Clinton campaign arrange a Chelsea Clinton church appearance in North Carolina, prompting GOM to wonder aloud if Common […]

Behind The Christian Right’s Kind Words for McCain

posted by dgilgoff

Last night, God-o-Meter noted that the Family Research Council Action, the powerful DC-based evangelical advocacy group, had some surprisingly kind words for John McCain, given its vocal disappointment about McCain’s flaccid Christian Right outreach. So God-o-Meter checked in today with […]

Clinton, Dobson, and The National Day of Prayer

posted by dgilgoff

When Focus on the Family founder James Dobson came to Capitol Hill last spring for the National Day of Prayer, a prominent Democratic senator made a point of approaching the Republican kingmaker to say hi: Hillary Rodham Clinton. Dobson was […]

Michelle Obama: Barack is the Anti-Wright

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter noted yesterday that the Obama camp had begun subtly using surrogates to turn the bitter Wright controversy into lemonade, arguing that Obama’s Wright denouncement this week made him the opposite of the Angry Black Man: the man uniquely able […]

What Will Wright Do Next?

posted by dgilgoff

After a string of public appearances by Rev. Jeremiah Wright were cancelled following the circulation of his radical sermons via video in March and his church web site was sanitized, God-o-Meter assumed that Wright was cooperating with the Obama campaign […]

The Christian Right’s Kind Words For McCain

posted by dgilgoff

For an organization with an axe to grind with John McCain, Family Research Council Action sure likes his health care plan. This is from an FRC Action email update that just went out: A Man with a Plan Spending isn’t […]

Turning Wright Around

posted by dgilgoff

Former Bill Clinton political advisor Dick Morris says today that the Wright crisis gives Obama a major opportunity to define himself against the archetypal Angry Black Man: But if Wright has come to be the poster child for what America […]

Clinton Touting Mom’s Sunday School Bona Fides

posted by dgilgoff

In Hillary Clinton’s new Indiana ad, she mentions that her “mother taught Sunday school.” Speaking of which, does Obama’s pastor controversy make it much easier for Clinton to showcase her faith from here on out, since Obama threatens to dredge […]

Why Wright’s Black Church is Different

posted by dgilgoff

One of the key arguments Jeremiah Wright has advanced in defending himself against charges of radicalism is that criticisms of him by the news media and by conservatives represent an attack on the entire black church. God-o-Meter, though, has been […]

Clinton’s Questions for God

posted by dgilgoff

The Brody File has tapes from an interview Hillary Clinton did after this month’s Compassion Forum that was broadcast to churches in the week after the event. An excerpt from the transcript: When you stand before God, what might a […]

Does Wright Want to Sink Obama?

posted by dgilgoff

There’s a growing consensus in the commentariat that Jeremiah Wright has sought not just to protect himself, but to damage Obama: Take Roger Simon in The Politico: Wright is also interested in taking Obama down a peg or two. In […]

The Mailbag

posted by dgilgoff

A reader writes: Obama would be better off acting as a politician and allowing Reverend Wright to have his own opinion and ignoring his comments about him entirely. Just because someone says something about you doesn’t mean you have to […]

Video: Obama Breaks With Wright

posted by dgilgoff

“If Reverend Wright thinks that’s political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn’t know me very well. And based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought, either.”

Obama’s Wright Outrage: Is it Enough?

posted by dgilgoff

With the avalanche of criticism descending on Jeremiah Wright after his National Press Club appearance yesterday, even from many Obama supporters, the big question today was whether Obama would do what he said he couldn’t in his big Philadelphia speech […]

A Growing Chorus for Obama to Disown Wright

posted by dgilgoff

It’s no surprise that my conservative Beliefnet colleague Rod Dreher is openly pondering whether Barack Obama is in need of a Sister Soulja moment wherein he disowns Jeremiah Wright. What is more remarkable is how different the reaction is from […]

Why Wright’s Not Beside the Point

posted by dgilgoff

UCC blogger Chuck Currie writes that the Wright controversy is beside the point: This weekend and today The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, a colleague of mine in the United Church of Christ (thought we do not know each other personally), […]

Obama’s Catholic Problem? Catholics’ Black Problem?

posted by dgilgoff

If you haven’t yet, check out the debate happening between Deal Hudson, the RNC’s fomrer Catholic outreach director, Catholic writer David Gibson, and Beliefnet editor-in-chief Steve Waldman about whether Barack Obama has a so-called Catholic problem–or whether Catholics have a […]

Clinton Supporter Organized Wright Appearance

posted by dgilgoff

The Daily News has the story, though it’s unclear whether the supporter organized yesterday’s Wright appearance to hurt Obama: Shortly before he rose to deliver his rambling, angry, sarcastic remarks at the National Press Club Monday, Wright sat next to, […]

Wright Ratchets Up Rhetoric

posted by dgilgoff

Watch Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s raucous National Press Club Q&A with reporters from this morning here:This speech will make more news than Wright’s other public appearances over the last few days. Wright stood by his 9/11 remarks. He stood by Louis […]

A Second Wright Ad

posted by dgilgoff

This one’s for a special congressional election in Mississippi:Politico has the story.

McCain: Wright’s an Issue

posted by dgilgoff

Last week, John McCain was emailing the North Carolina GOP, insisting that it not air a television ad exploiting Barack Obama’s relationship with the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Now McCain says Wright is fair game, The New York Times reports: […]

Why Won’t Wright Quit?

posted by dgilgoff

It’s not what he said, it’s that he said anything at all.There was nothing in Jeremiah Wright’s speech at the Detroit NAACP’s Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner last night that was a tenth as controversial as in the videotaped sermons […]

Big Faith Operative for Clinton?

posted by dgilgoff

The Clinton campaign just sent God-o-Meter this picture of Chelsea Clinton worshipping at the Central United Methodist Church in Ashville, North Carolina. Not news. But the story that the picture’s attached to in the Ashville Citizen-Times might contain some. Check […]

Interview: Why Ray Flynn Backs Clinton

posted by dgilgoff

Raymond Flynn was U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican under President Bill Clinton and, before that, Mayor of Boston. In recent years, the lifelong Democrat has been an advocate for the poor and for social conservative causes, which has sometimes put […]

McCain and the Altar Call

posted by dgilgoff

Bloomberg delivers the latest iteration of the “John McCain keeps his faith to himself” story. Most of it’s rehash, but there’s a new interesting fact up top: John McCain’s pastor ends his sermons with an altar call, beckoning any stirred […]

The Wright Interview: Not Winning Converts

posted by dgilgoff

You can see an advance clip from Jeremiah Wright’s interview tonight with Bill Moyers here:In sharp contrast to the explosive sermon clips that circulated a month and a half ago, Wright appears calm and collected as he gives his take […]

A Sneak Peak at the Wright interview

posted by dgilgoff

Courtesy of The New York Times. Wright discusses what he considers a media/right wing plot against him. God-o-Meter stands by its earlier take on Wright granting the interview. Politically, it can only harm Obama. The interview airs tomorrow on PBS.

Dean Calls McCain Out on Wright Ad

posted by dgilgoff

Lots of folks are noting that John McCain’s calls for the North Carolina’s GOP to pull its Obama/Wright ad allow him to look like he’s taking the high road even as he benefits from the ad, since the North Carolina […]

The Absurdity of ‘Obama as Atheist’

posted by dgilgoff

Andrew Sullivan excerpts this reader comment over at the Daily Dish: I firmly believe that Obama is a typical Ivy League atheist who plays at Christianity in a cynical way to get elected to public office. God-o-Meter is frankly shocked […]

Hagee/McCain: The Gay Angle

posted by dgilgoff

MoveOn.org is organizing a protest of a John McCain town hall in New Orleans this morning on the basis that McCain endorser John Hagee–who received so much attention for his past anti-Catholic statements–has blamed the residents of the Crescent City […]

The Perils of Wright Going Public

posted by dgilgoff

The Chicago Sun Times’ Lynn Sweet predicts that Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s forthcoming flurry of public appearances–he’s a guest on Bill Moyers Journal on PBS tomorrow and is making public speeches in Detroit and Washington, DC in the days following–bodes ill […]

Obama Did Gain (Slightly) Among Catholics

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama got walloped by Pennsylvania Catholics yesterday. Still, shortly after the polls closed, the Obama camp began making the case that his 31-percent support among Catholics–compared to 69-percent for Hillary Clinton–represented a modest improvement from mid-March, when a Quinnipiac […]

NC GOP Defies McCain on Wright Ad

posted by dgilgoff

The North Carolina Republican Party is defying calls from John McCain and other members of the national Republican Party not to air an ad featuring Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s longtime pastor. Here’s the email from McCain to North Carolina GOP […]

The New Wright/Obama Ad

posted by dgilgoff

Watch it Here:According to TIME, the McCain campaign has strongly rejected the ad in a statement: John McCain strongly rejects this ad and the type of politics that degrades our civics. From the beginning of this process McCain has expressed […]

Let the Wright Ads Begin

posted by dgilgoff

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy has blown over, and Obama survived more or less unscathed, right? Not exactly. As God-o-Meter has said, the worst is yet to come for Obama, as Republicans and their allies begin turning video of Wright’s […]

Obama’s Secular Pennsylvania Base

posted by dgilgoff

For all his religious outreach, Barack Obama’s base in today’s Pennsylvania’s primary today was secular. Yes, he won voters who attend church more than weekly–though at 50-percent to 49-percent it wasn’t exactly a clear cut victory–but those voters constituted just […]

Clinton Wins Pennsylvania Jews

posted by dgilgoff

It wasn’t a landslide, but it was decisive. Jews, who comprised 7-percent of today’s Democratic Pennsylvania electorate, broke for Hillary Clinton 55-percent to 45-percent, according to exit polls. Barack Obama and Clinton staged a surprisingly spirited fight for the Jewish […]

Obama Loses Pennsylvania Catholics Big

posted by dgilgoff

The Obama campaign just fired off an email memo whose title begins: “Obama Overperforms Among Catholics…” Technically, that’s right. But Hillary Clinton nonetheless trampled Obama among Catholics today in Pennsylvania, where they accounted for roughly a third of the Democratic […]

Obama and Catholics: Evidence of Inroads?

posted by dgilgoff

Under the headline Obama Catholic Outreach Failing, God-o-Meter asserted yesterday that, for all his impressive efforts, Barack Obama had nothing to show for his Catholic outreach, given that a Sunday poll put Clinton ahead of Obama among Pennsylvania Catholics by […]

Obama’s Quiet Church Visit

posted by dgilgoff

South Carolina pastor Ronald Byrd should check this out: Campaigning in Pennsylvania this weekend, Barack Obama quietly attended service at St. Mark’s United Church of Christ in small town Lebanon, outside Harrisburg. The Lebanon Daily News carried the story: Obama […]

Muslims Ask McCain to Drop ‘Islamic Terrorism’

posted by dgilgoff

From The Washington Times: A coalition of American Muslim groups is demanding that Sen. John McCain stop using the adjective “Islamic” to describe terrorists and extremist enemies of the United States. Muneer Fareed, who heads the Islamic Society of North […]

Rev. Wright Grants a TV Interview

posted by dgilgoff

He’ll be on PBS’s Bill Moyers Journal this Friday, followed by a handful of other public appearances over the following few days, according to the United Church of Christ’s web site: In what will be his first interview since snippets […]

Church Asks ‘Are Obama and Osama Bros?’

posted by dgilgoff

It must be said up top that the South Carolina Democratic primary is long since over and that Barack Obama won it handily, so God-o-Meter won’t extrapolate too much about this story’s implications for Obama’s campaign going forward, including the […]

McCain Regrets Hagee Endorsement, but Embraces It

posted by dgilgoff

Did anyone else rewind TiVo multiple times yesterday when John McCain discussed his endorsement from John Hagee yesterday on ABC’s This Week? McCain said both that he regretted seeking the endorsement from the Texas-based televangelist, who has a history of […]

Obama’s Values Guy in Pennsylvania

posted by dgilgoff

The Politico reports that Bob Casey, Jr. has assumed an unexpectedly central role in Barack Obama’s campaign as his values guy in Pennsylvania, particularly after Obama’s recent remarks about small town Americans: When Sen. Barack Obama’s remarks about “bitter” Pennsylvanians […]

Santorum Flip Flops On McCain

posted by dgilgoff

Though he vigorously opposed John McCain during the primary, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is backing him today in his Philadelphia Inquirer column: I’ve disagreed with him on immigration, global warming and federal protection of marriage. I’ve taken strong exception […]

Obama Catholic Outreach Failing

posted by dgilgoff

Since losing them two-to-one to Hillary Clinton in Ohio last month, Barack Obama has tried his hardest to win over Catholics. To wit: 1. Obama recently became the first presidential candidate to hire a fulltime Catholic outreach director. 2. Ten […]

Conservatives Warming to McCain?

posted by dgilgoff

Has the conservative opposition–particularly social conservative opposition–to John McCain been overstated? The Politico reports that polls have McCain exactly where George W. Bush was among conservatives at this point during his first White House run: Although John McCain’s candidacy is […]

Poll: McCain Winning Catholics

posted by dgilgoff

Despite unprecedented plays for Catholic support by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a Washington Post/ABC poll this week finds that John McCain has an edge among Catholics over both of his Democratic rivals: John McCain holds a slight edge over […]

Passover Wishes From Clinton

posted by dgilgoff

She’s the first candidate to issue a Passover message: Statement By Hillary Clinton On Passover As Jewish families across the world prepare to gather together around the Seder table, I am delighted to offer greetings and good wishes for a […]

Catholics for Obama Organize Around Pope

posted by dgilgoff

Earlier today, God-o-Meter reported on “Days of Service” being organized by Catholic Barack Obama supporters in cities the pope is visiting. It turns out the events are also happening in two important primary states: Pennsylvania and Indiana. Check out this […]

Christian Right’s Veep Wish List

posted by dgilgoff

Isn’t this stuff usually done a little more behind the scenes? In a press release applauding John McCain for remarks he made this week about the GOP’s pro-life platform, Family Research Council Action released a score card of possible GOP […]

McCain Seizes Pope Visit

posted by dgilgoff

Compared to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who each have fulltime Catholic outreach coordinators and who issued lavish statements of praise for the Pope before his U.S. arrival, John McCain’s Catholic outreach has been decidedly less robust. But McCain is […]

Obama Backers Holding ‘Days of Service’ for Pope Visit

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter got word last night from an Obama campaign source that it’s helping organize “days of service” for Obama supporters in Washington and New York to coincide with the pope’s U.S. visit. Spearheaded by Catholic Obama supporters and including projects […]

Obama’s Defense System on Clinging to Faith

posted by dgilgoff

The key one-two punch from Michael Gerson’s Washington Post op-ed today faulting Obama for looking down his nose at small town, churchgoing Americans: [T]he setback is more than political. One of Obama’s genuine contributions had been a renewed, liberal appreciation […]

McCain (Finally) Welcomes the Pope

posted by dgilgoff

McCain’s statement landed in God-o-Meter inbox at 4:03 PM, long after Obama’s and Clinton’s had arrived. Read their statements, then read his. His is more, um, brief: Pope Benedict’s lifelong dedication to virtue and the authenticity of his principles serve […]

The War, Catholics, and McCain

posted by dgilgoff

Most of today’s New York Times story about the fight for Catholic votes among the presidential candidates consists of warmed-over God-o-Meter posts from recent weeks. But the piece does include a warning to John McCain from Deal Hudson, George W. […]

Where’s McCain on the Pope?

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama issued his welcome to the Pope last night. Hillary Clinton released hers just a few minutes ago: “We are blessed to receive a visit from His Holiness, Pope Benedict, to the United States this week. Not only is […]

Obama First to Welcome Pope

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama was the first presidential candidate to issue a statement welcoming Pope Benedict XVI to the United States ahead of his arrival tomorrow: On behalf of our family, Michelle and I want to extend our warmest welcome to His […]

Wright Speaks, Sans Fireworks

posted by dgilgoff

After a string of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s recent speaking engagements were cancelled, God-o-Meter wondered whether Barack Obama’s longtime minister had decided to lay low through November. Or, if he did speak publicly again during this election season, whether he’d say […]

Obama’s Catholic Problem In November

posted by dgilgoff

Newsday rehashes the news about Obama’s stepped-up efforts to win Catholics in light of Hillary Clinton’s advantage among those voters, but adds the important point that this isn’t just a primary season problem for Obama: Catholics are among the most […]

Are ‘Compassion Forums’ Relevant?

posted by dgilgoff

Religion Writer, a blogger and frequent God-o-Meter commenter, thought last night’s Compassion Forum with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was “a little dull”: [A]fter all, how much new ground can be covered after the endless months of campaigning? Jon Meacham, […]

Tonight’s Compassion Forum: Where’s McCain?

posted by dgilgoff

Sure, tonight’s Compassion Forum in at Messiah College featuring Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is being sponsored by a progressive group, Faith in Public Life. But the group says John McCain’s decision not to participate is not for lack […]

Religious Obama Backers Proud of Clinging to Faith

posted by dgilgoff

A group of high-profile religious leaders supportive of Barack Obama has just released a letter to Hillary Clinton and John McCain defending Obama’s controversial remarks about small town Americans clinging to faith as a reaction to job losses. We applaud […]

The Authenticity Threat to Obama

posted by dgilgoff

This weekend’s brouhaha over Barack Obama’s comments on what plagues small town Americans threatens to undo much of the candidate’s groundbreaking work as a Democratic candidate reaching out the religious voters because it raises questions about how he really feels […]

Obama’s Catholic Committee: The Lineup

posted by dgilgoff

After a conference call today announcing the launch of its Catholic National Advisory Council, the Obama camp released the council’s full roster. It’s a long and impressive llist of elected officials, scholars, and activists. The Obama camp is treating Catholics […]

Obama Launches Catholic Council

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter reported last week that the Obama and Clinton campaigns were stepping up their Catholic outreach operations big time in advance of the Pennsylvania primary. GOM just got word that Obama’s team is announcing an official “Catholic Advisory Council” this […]

Cheney Enters Wright Fray

posted by dgilgoff

Interesting to note that the continuing slow drip of Wright criticism from conservatives has created the unusual circumstance of Republicans attacking a religious leader. Public opinions polls show that most Americans share that criticism, so far be it from God-o-Meter […]

Meet Obama’s New Pastor

posted by dgilgoff

The Brody File has posted recent video of Barack Obama’s new pastor, Otis Moss III, who replaced Jeremiah Wright upon his recent retirement. It’s fiery, but not nearly as radioactive as Wright calling America the “U.S. of KKK-A”:If this kind […]

Rev. Wright to Keynote NAACP Event

posted by dgilgoff

So far as God-o-Meter is aware, Jeremiah Wright’s remarks at the 53rd Annual Fight for Freedom Fund dinner of the NAACP’s Detroit branch on April 27 will be his first publicly since the uproar over his sermons began a month […]

Talking LGBT, Talking Church

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama advertises himself as the candidate who can transcend deep-seated divisions in our politics and culture, and his interview in today’s Advocate–the gay national news mag–offers a good example of him engaging in that difficult work. In it, Obama […]

McCain’s Pastor Speaks

posted by dgilgoff

God-o-Meter is surprised this one hasn’t gotten more attention. The Associated Baptist Press has an interview with John McCain’s longtime pastor that provides the fullest account to date of the senator’s long but complex relationship with the North Phoenix Baptist […]

Top Clinton Supporter Slams Obama on Wright

posted by dgilgoff

To call Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy doesn’t really do his role justice. He’s more like an honorary member of Clinton’s campaign. So when he goes for Barack Obama’s […]

McCain’s Secret Christian Right Outreach Plan

posted by dgilgoff

The Brody File reports that John McCain is readying a so-called “Committee of 50″ religious and conservative leaders as a key component of its evangelical outreach strategy. To which God-o-Meter responds: How’s this different than the (lackluster) religious outreach strategy […]

Obama’s New Pro-Family Ad

posted by dgilgoff

The Hotline reports that Obama’s up with a new Spanish-language radio ad in Philadelphia. Read this translation. Notice the emphasis on faith, family values, and personal struggle. Sounds like a Huckabee ad, doesn’t it? SCRIPT: He was only two years […]

Conservative Catholic Group Applauds Clinton

posted by dgilgoff

Who woulda thunk it? The conservative Catholic League, which my bear more responsibility than any other group for tarnishing John Kerry’s reputation among fellow Catholics during the 2004 campaign, has issued this pro-Clinton press release: KUDOS TO HILLARY CLINTON: BUSH […]

How McCain Can Avoid Another Hagee Gaffe

posted by dgilgoff

The New York Times notes today that John McCain’s camp has gone completely silent about its John Hagee endorsement since announcing it in San Antonio in February: The McCain campaign sought Mr. Hagee’s support, Mr. Hagee said in a recent […]

The Elites’ Wright/Obama Doubts

posted by dgilgoff

Weeks have gone by since the Jeremiah Wright brouhaha died down, but Democratic and media elites continue to go public about new Wright-inspired doubts about the Senator. Polls show that this sentiment hasn’t trickled down to ordinary voters, but elites […]

Q&A With Bob Casey, Jr: Obama and Catholics

posted by dgilgoff

Senator Bob Casey, Jr., a Catholic, pro-life Democrat, recently became Barack Obama’s highest-profile backer in the Pennsylvania, which holds its primary later this month. God-o-Meter interviewed Casey on Monday afternoon about Obama’s struggles to win Catholic voters, how to use […]

Super-Delegates Worried Over Wright

posted by dgilgoff

The headline from today’s Wall Street Journal, Obama May Not Have Fully Contained Damage From Ex-Pastor, is mostly undercut by the article that appears beneath it, which cites polls, voters, and super-delegates who say the Jeremiah Wright flap has not […]

Obama Shirks Gay Press

posted by dgilgoff

Philadelphia Gay News is running its interview with Hillary Clinton on the front page of this week’s edition, right next to the half-page worth of white space where it would have run an interview with Barack Obama, if only he’d […]

The Coming Wright Ads

posted by dgilgoff

Think the Jeremiah Wright controversy is behind Barack Obama and that he’s weathered the storm? Don’t be so naive. Bill Kristol lays out the threat of Wright-themed attack ads from McCain and his allies in this morning’s New York Times: […]

A ‘Muslim Speech’ for Obama?

posted by dgilgoff

A handful of political/religious/academic leaders have called on Barack Obama to give a so-called “Muslim speech” to make clear that the Senator has nothing against Muslims, even as he continues to dispel the false rumors that he’s Muslim. A worthy […]

Huck’s Late-Breaking Support

posted by dgilgoff

A World Magazine recap of the Christian Right’s stirringly ineffectual performance during the Republican presidential primaries reports that Paul Weyrich, cofounder of the Moral Majority, has admitted that he regrets backing Mitt Romney over Mike Huckabee. Huckabee could have really […]

Obama’s Church Tightens Rules on Press

posted by dgilgoff

The Chicago Tribune has a rundown of the new rules: At a news conference Thursday, Trinity’s leaders laid down the law for reporters who want to cover the church in the future. Permission must be granted on Thursday for reporters […]

New Polls Give Obama Edge Among Faithful

posted by dgilgoff

Barack Obama’s Faith Outreach Director just sent this email alert about new faith and values polling to Obama’s religious supporters: New polling this week shows that Barack Obama’s character and leadership on American values are having an impact with voters […]

Obama To Join Clinton at Faith Forum

posted by dgilgoff

The Brody File reports that Barack Obama has joined Hillary Clinton in accepting and invitation to the April 13 Compassion Forum in Pennsylvania sponsored by the progressive group Faith in Public Life. McCain was invited, but declined, earning him a […]

Clinton Launches Robust Jewish Outreach

posted by dgilgoff

Good old-fashioned shoe leather reporting by the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) turned up a rare thing for this phase of the presidential race: an entirely new religion and politics story. Hillary Clinton has launched a serious Jewish outreach program in […]

The Anti-Mitt for VP Campaign

posted by dgilgoff

TIME’s Swampland reports on an online petition aimed at dissuading John McCain from picking Mitt Romney as his running mate. The effort is reportedly run by a fringe Christian Right group. But God-o-Meter would guess that McCain would improve his […]

Mark Sanford for VP?

posted by dgilgoff

Human Events suggests that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is open to being John McCain’s running mate, even though he didn’t endorse the Arizona senator in the state’s all-important primary earlier this year. In talking to prominent Christian Right activists […]

UCC Launches Post-Wright Ad Campaign

posted by dgilgoff

In the wake of the Jeremiah Wright flap, the United Church of Christ ran this full-page ad in yesterday’s New York Times. Because it was prompted by Barack Obama’s longtime minister, the ad could affect him as much as it […]

McCain as Mr. Secular

posted by dgilgoff

He wasn’t always like this. Last year, after Mike Huckabee stirred controversy with an ad that characterized him a “Christian leader,” John McCain released his own Christian ad explaining what the cross meant to him as POW in Vietnam. A […]

Bishop Protests Clinton’s Catholic College Appearance

posted by dgilgoff

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Erie’s Roman Catholic bishop protested Hillary Clinton’s Tuesday visit to a nearby Catholic college. Reminds you of the handful of bishops who challenged John Kerry in 2004 and helped him lose the Catholic vote, doesn’t […]

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 robust White House office of faith-based initiatives, pove

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 states: Years before Barack Obama showed that a liberal Demo

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 director of the Christian Coalition. What surprised you i

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 generational shift in their political thinking and reexa

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

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