These are scary days. A minister says something, some things, that are reprehensible, awful. Because he is the minister to a presidential candidate the things are elevated, scrutinized, analyzed.
Does the candidate share the minister’s views? Is the candidate just like the minister?
No says the candidate several times over. No.
Still not good enough for many who insist that this is a massive problem. To be part of such a church for so long the critics argue is to give implicit endorsement to the pastor’s horrid words.

Let’s say that the critics are right. Let’s grant them the argument. They are right. Obama never should have remained part of this church for 20 years.
So how many then?
How many years would have been acceptable? 18? 12? 5? 2 months and 17 days?
How many?
Should he have remained friends with the pastor? Or is friendship unacceptable?
More importantly, what of every other political candidate in America?
Should we undertake an exhaustive review of the sermons of each and every pastor, priest, rabbi, or imam to make sure that they aren’t offensive?
If not, why not? If Obama can be disqualified because of Jeremiah Wright who knows what kind of dirt can be dug up on other pastors?
Why not send political party representatives into the churches to monitor the activity of elected parishioners? Did they stand at controversial moments? Did they applaud? Did they say Amen? Clearly these things matter now.
To be thorough it would also be very important to find out just how much money elected officials were giving to these churches. That would help determine just how serious they are about their commitment to the church.
Since this is about religion though we shouldn’t stop with houses of worship. It would also be important to monitor their radio, Internet, and television use. Were they illicitly listening to offending clerics out of the public eye? If so why? What do they have to hide? We need to know.
There is actually something that would make this sort of investigation a whole lot easier… a state church. If only there were a single church run by the state answering these questions would be so much easier. The government could monitor all the records and record all the sermons and put them up on a website…
I’m going to go register the domain name right now.
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