1. Most widely-read news of the day
Newspapers across the country are picking up on the AP's coverage of Barack Obama's comments at the Call to Renewal conference, which ends today. Obama said Democrats need to begin courting evangelicals. Some of his quotes include:
- "Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation."
- "It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase 'under God,'"
- "Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith: the politician who shows up at a black church around election time and claps off rhythm to the gospel choir."
- "Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square."
- "I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy."
But the full address is worth reading. It shows that Obama's speech was not just nudging fellow Democrats to be more religion-friendly. Obama discusses his own struggle to integrate faith and politics. It started, he says, when Alan Keyes, his opponent in the 2004 Senate election, said, "Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama. Christ would not vote for Barack Obama because Barack Obama has behaved in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved." Obama says he couldn't dismiss Keyes's accusation because they share the same faith. Obama said Keyes opposed his support for gay and abortion rights. Yet he lacked an adequate response.
What would my supporters have me say? That a literalist reading of the Bible was folly? That ...1
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