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Barack Obama Archives

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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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

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 […]

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:

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Obama Winning Financially Struggling (and Religious) Workers

posted by Gustav Niebuhr

Remember all the talk during the Democratic primary campaign about how Senator Barack Obama could never match Senator Hillary Clinton’s appeal among blue-collar and lower-wage workers? Well, with the primary season past, times appear to have changed. Today’s unusual poll in […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

New Website Defends Obama Speech Against Dobson

posted by Gustav Niebuhr

Well that was fast! Within hours of broadcaster James Dobson’s attack on Senator Obama, one of the most prominent ministers in Texas (along with others) has lept to Obama’s defense, establishing a website bluntly titled, “James Dobson Doesn’t Speak for […]

Obama, Pushing Religious Outreach, Comes under Dobson’s Fire

posted by Gustav Niebuhr

The very month that he held an unusual meeting with prominent black and white Christians–the Rev. Franklin Graham and the Rev. T.D. Jakes, among them–Senator Obama has come under resounding verbal attack from Dr. James Dobson, head of the highly […]

For Obama: A New Muslim Issue, With Its Own Challenges

posted by Gustav Niebuhr

Almost since it began, Barack Obama’s campaign has had to fight a hostile rumor that the candidate is actually a Muslim–with the inference being that he might somehow be sympathetic to anti-American militants in the Middle East and South Asia. E-mails […]

For Obama: A Book on His Religion and a Boost from Bloomberg

posted by Gustav Niebuhr

Beyond the back-and-forth in recent days between Barack Obama and John McCain on their differing approaches to energy policy, the Illinois senator got a couple of pluses on the faith-front. Politico.com revealed that Stephen Mansfield, a conservative Republican and evangelical […]

Catholic Professor, Rebuked by Priest, Hangs In With Obama

posted by Gustav Niebuhr

The latest poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute has Barack Obama leading by 12 points in Pennsylvania, the state where his one-time rival, Hillary Clinton, pretty much handed him his hat in the Democratic primary two months ago. Of […]

A Catholic Theologian Says Catholics Can Vote for Obama

posted by Gustav Niebuhr

A great, quadrennial subject that political reporters like to chew over is the question, does a distinctly “Catholic vote” still exist in the United States? That’s to say, given that Catholics represent the single-largest religious group in the nation–about 24 percent […]

Obama: Speaking in Church and Taking Fire in Print

posted by Gustav Niebuhr

You needn’t have strayed from traditional news sources in the past 24 hours to get the basics of Senator Obama’s Father’s Day speech. In brief, he talked about the responsibility of fatherhood itself and made pointed reference to the absence of fathers […]

Obama Campaign Combatting Religious “Smears”

posted by Gustav Niebuhr

Today’s news includes widespread mention that the Obama campaign has put up a website to fight viral internet rumors that the campaign perceives as dangerous to its candidate. The site, at its debut, lists five it works assiduously to debunk–and […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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