June 25, 2007

Falwell's legacy? Division

Obama doesn't name Falwell, but he could have when he talks about those who
have 'hijacked' faith:
Sen. Barack Obama told a church convention Saturday that some right-wing evangelical leaders have exploited and politicized religious beliefs in an effort to sow division.

"Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and faith started being used to drive us apart," the Democratic presidential candidate said in a 30-minute speech before the national meeting of the United Church of Christ.

"Faith got hijacked, partly because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, all too eager to exploit what divides us," the Illinois senator said.

"At every opportunity, they've told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent design," according to an advance copy of his speech.

"There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its number one legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich," Obama said. "I don't know what Bible they're reading, but it doesn't jibe with my version."


Tony said...

I read his entire speech at Chuck Currie's blog. I liked it and felt it right on. I don't think I can get behind Obama, but the truth is--I really like him.

I did appreciate that he confronted the notion that just because you aren't religious right that you hold no religious conviction at all. He seems very convicted about his faith and references the Bible with a lot more ease than some.

Streak said...


Your comment reminded me of an article in Atlantic (not sure if this one is online) about the growing secularization in America.

This unexpected spike wasn’t the result of growing atheism, Hout and Fischer argued; rather, more Americans were distancing themselves from organized religion as “a symbolic statement” against the religious right. If the association of religiosity with political conservatism continued to gain strength, the sociologists suggested, “then liberals’ alienation from organized religion [might] become, as it has in many other nations, institutionalized.”

Interesting, in that the religious movement of Falwell, Robertson, Parsley, etc. is actually making America a less religious nation rather than the opposite.

You think they care?

One other question for you. Why do you think you can't get behind Obama if you like him so much?

Tony said...

Honest, I don't know. I mean, he is polished, super-intelligent, eloquent, MLK Jr. is one of his heroes, seems to love the Bible and the church; I just started reading his book right now, Audacity of Hope [picked it up at the local library(shameless plug)].

I have blogged some on Obama and the posts have generated no response. I cannot imagine many of my conservative friends joining a discussion about him; the liberal (or democratic?) fear factor. I've done two light posts on him, nothing heavy yet, but I plan on it.

I don't think he will get the DNC nomination, though. POTUS just isn't an entry-level political office, ya know? But I could be wrong there.

steve s said...

I disagree with him on some important issues (to me, at least), but he is certainly charismatic and intelligent.

P M Prescott said...

I have to admire him on saying what many bloggers and moderate religious leaders have been saying for the last thirty years. The fact that it is just now making into print is that the mainstream media has ignored all oposition to the Religious Right for that time period.