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Obama Campaign Hits the Church Circuit; Where Are All the Theocracy Alarmists Now?
Double standards on mixing religion and politics.
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Check out the Washington Post’s reporting on Obama’s campaign push at black churches–part of a “three-city gospel concert series over the weekend” throughout South Carolina. You’ll motice how there is none of the anti-religious alarmism that regularly infuses the ominous coverage of Republicans and the “Religious Right.” Whereas religious conservatives are cast as brainwashed sheep (see David Limbaugh’s excellent “Persecution“), Obama’s followers of faith are treated respectfully. They’re hip, earnest, and “innovative:”

Each concert stirs some of the fervor that typified the Obama campaign in its early days. As the gospel acts perform, people rise to their feet, mothers hug daughters, old friends reach out to one another and then embrace strangers. Couples hold each other tight. Some close their eyes and sway in their seats. In Greenwood, most of the room is drawn to the stage, leaping up and down as if it were a mosh pit. The concerts’ playbook was open to innovation. In North Charleston, the sister combo of Mary Mary recalled Beverly Crawford to the stage after her set, asking her to sing a few lines of her song “Praise Jehovah.” The following night, with the show running long, Byron Cage did an impromptu set with a group of young liturgical dancers before he jumped from the stage to jam with the believers who had surrounded the stage.

“We’ve got the faith,” Obama senior adviser Rick Wade tells those assembled on the first evening. “But now it’s time to go to work.”

To the extent there was any controversy at all about the church outreach, it was centered on one gospel singer who has criticized homosexuality as a choice:

At Barack Obama’s gospel concert here last night, more than 2,000 black evangelicals were singing, waving their hands and cramming the aisles — most enthusiastically when Donnie McClurkin, the superstar black gospel singer, decried the criticism he has generated because of his views that homosexuality is a choice.

He said his past statements about homosexuality had been twisted and he had been unfairly maligned. He segued into a hymn about standing up for one’s self and thrust a defiant fist toward the ceiling. This led to a short pitch for Mr. Obama, who, he said, stands for change. “But the greatest change a person can have is not in politics,” he said. “There is only one king.”

Mr. McClurkin is the preacher who had said he was gay but was “cured” through prayer and tonight he was the star act in a parade of star acts, which included the Mighty Clouds.

His inclusion had drawn public criticism from gay activists who wanted Mr. Obama to cancel his appearance. Mr. Obama did not, but issued a statement a few days ago saying he strongly disagrees with Mr. McClurkin’s views and that he has tried to address what he called the homophobia among some black voters.

Other than that, there’s been virtually no outcry on the Left over Obama’s aggressive overtures to church-goers.

Why not?

I’ve said it before: When a Democrat politician stumps at a church, it’s “minority outreach.” When a Republican politician stumps at a church, it’s a theocratic outrage.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Barack Obama