An article in the Washington Post On Faith section in response to their question: Advise John McCain and Barack Obama on the role religion should play in their presidential campaigns.
This will be a short response: I’d advise both candidates the same way. Don’t mention religion a single time in the upcoming campaign. Various reverends and pastors have already embarrassed both McCain and Obama, proving that the clergy is even more fickle than the general public. (The fact that these reverends and pastors throw in their private brand of anti-Semitism, reverse racism, social paranoia, apocalyptic fantasies, and other flavors of kookism is even more embarrassing and offensive.) Courting the Christian right worked for the Republican party because the Democrats largely left the field open. Their distaste for wooing fundamentalists was well-founded and remains well-founded.
Religion is a divisive subject, and the founding fathers were wise to dampen its effect on government. Obama had every right to expect a smooth endorsement from his pastor, whom he regarded as a mentor and a friend, but the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was so dazzled by the limelight — and the scent of political influence — that he grossly overstepped the bounds of the pulpit. On the right, preachers overstep that boundary and regularly get away with it. They shouldn’t. God does not send a signal through any messenger that one candidate is more worthy than another, and anyone who claims to be such a messenger is a fraud. As for Jesus, the Lamb of God is silent on political matters. Take your cue from him, if you need one.
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