The stereotypes seem etched in stone, as definitive as the Decalogue: Democratic politicians are hostile to faith; they believe that church and state should remain forever separate; they’re uncomfortable in front of evangelicals.
The Obama phenomenon is hurtling past the best analogies that we have for it. Three years ago Barack Obama shot onto the national political scene with a sensational speech at the Democratic National Convention. Two years ago he joined the U.S. Senate as its only African-American member.
One of the bright points in Barack Obama’s rising political star is his ability to talk about Jesus without faking it. But his enemies, including right-wing bloggers and TV pundits, are complaining that Obama’s church—Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago—embraces an Africentrism that is separatist or even racist. Just what is this Africentrism?
White mainline Protestants who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning voters favored Senator Barack Obama (D., Ill.) slightly over Senator Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.), 27 percent to 24 percent, as the party’s nominee for president in a late March national survey.
A host of religious leaders have condemned “the bitter, destructive politics” that they say produced a political smear campaign against Senator Barack Obama (D., Ill.), who is preparing a run for the presidency.
Billy Graham has been named in the Gallup Poll’s top 10 “most admired men” list for a record 50th time. In a poll taken in mid-December, the 88-year-old evangelist came in fifth. Ranked before him, in order, were President George W. Bush, former president Bill Clinton, former president Jimmy Carter and Senator BarackObama (D., Ill.).
The choice between preventing AIDS by teaching abstinence or by distributing condoms is a false choice, Democratic senator Barack Obama of Illinois said to a mostly evangelical conference held at the southern California megachurch founded by pastor-author Rick Warren.
In Control Room, a film on the Arab language television satellite network al-Jazeera, interviewer Abdullah Schleifer presses U.S. Marine Lieutenant Josh Rushing to look at the Middle East as it is seen by the people who live there. Sitting in his headquarters in Doha, Qatar, at the start of the Iraq war, Rushing is trying to be helpful.