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September 19, 2008

Obama campaign pitches faith tour to journalists

Barack Obama's campaign is reaching out to religious voters, and they want religion journalists to know it.

Obama's faith outreach coordinator Joshua DuBois and evangelical outreach coordinator Shaun Casey pitched the "Faith, Family, and Values Tour" to reporters at the Religion Newswriters Association today, which CT reported last night.

DuBois used an August Barna poll as support for why he believes more evangelicals are supporting Obama. Trinity College professor Mark Silk questioned this poll earlier. The press conference was held shortly after John Green presented on his research, which found that Obama was not making inroads among evangelicals. Casey says he sees more support for Obama among young evangelicals, but he says he will wait for the experts to quantify it after the election.

Former Orlando Sentinel religion reporter Mark Pinsky questioned Barna data’s reliability and said he saw no evidence among young evangelicals in central Florida supporting Obama.

Debra Mason, executive director of RNA, asked why religion journalists have a hard time get a call back from the Obama campaign and the crowd of journalists seemed to murmur an amen. DuBois said he is not on the communications team and wants to continue dialoging.

DuBois declined to say what the campaign’s budget is for faith outreach. Casey said they don’t do direct mail through church directories, something that President Bush’s campaign did in 2004.

Once again, it seems that John McCain's religious outreach takes a much quieter approach, as Mason emphasized that she reached out to his campaign as well.

Comments

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I found this page by following articles on the Obama waffles. Then I looked at the most recent entry under CTelection 2008. The worst financial crisis is befalling this nation in recent history and the evangelical voice has nothing to say about it? Clearly these events will impact the election. Yet Christians have nothing to contribute but an article about praying??? Do we Christians bury our heads in the sand? The issue of mamon and how money has been a major issue in the Bible and how materialism has corrupted our souls. We have sacrificed our allegiance to Christ in exchange for the almighty dollar. Yet we keep silent. We are then complicit in the erosion of true spirituality. This would have been a perfect time to reasses our own values in light of these developments. This would have been a perfect platform to talk about issues and where we stand about traditional concepts of "conservative values = less government and regulation". I guess I shouldn't be surprised: it has been a pattern I have seen. We hi-jack Christs name about all so-called moral issues, yet turn a blind eye on honesty and justice and yet again do the same when it comes to our own greed and materialism. Didn't Christ speak so vehemently against materialism at the temple - making it a den of thieves. Maybe we Christians have strayed away so much from Jesus own words - at least lets be honest and begin to talk about it. I really don't care about Obamas tours - but I don't know where else to write this. I apologize if I should have seen a better forum.

The thing that I find really scary about Palin and evangelicals like her is this:
Remember when we had a Reagan administration Secretary of the Interior who didn't think it would be bad at all if we just cut down all the trees because "Jesus is coming soon" to make everything ok and so it wouldn't matter?
That's the thing that is so dangerous about Palin and everyone who thinks that the world will end in THEIR lifetime. They think war in the Middle East would be just peachy, for it would mean Jesus would return, forcibly convert all those Jews who are destined for salvation, and give all of Palestine (and more) to the Chosen People.
The scriptures they base this expectation on were written by early Christians who believed Jesus would return in THEIR lifetime, not in OURS (1 Thessalonians chapter 4, 1 Corinthians chapter 7 especially verses 29-31; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; Romans chapters 9-11, . etc. etc.) but that fact is either lost on evangelical True Believers or denied by them.
I prefer to believe that justice is meant for everyone, and if that means some sort of necessary compromises in the Middle East, so be it. I am not ready to put my country's foreign policy in the hands of fanatical adherents of what they think is an unassailable, inerrant, and absolutist interpretation of scripture that is not only erroneous but makes war seem desirable.
Now THAT'S dangerous.


OBAMA = BETRAYAL
Obama supporters are foolish to think that he will never betray them.
Obama was a close friend of Pastor Wright for TWENTY YEARS.
Obama threw Wright under the bus for personal ambition.
McCain would not betray his country even after 5 years of torture.
You can put lipstick on a traitor, but he's still a traitor.

All these vitriolic posts over recent weeks only serve to underscore exactly why we should NOT mix up our faith with our politics. Whatever else Obama is, he is by his own confession a Christian brother. Who are CT readers to question his faith or his motives? What makese a Republican a better Christian than a Democrat? Do you think you know? We jugdemental and self-important Christians are the reason so many reject our professed faith.

Is CT in the tank for Obama like the mainstream media? Perhaps I should say CT is one of the mainstream left leaning media. Seems to me you are writing articles about Obama most of the time.

Have you looked at his own description of his faith? As I recall, he says there are many paths to God. The Bible says there is only one way to God and that is through his son, Jesus. Is it possible one of Obama's paths are through Mohamad?

I know what "conservative" use to mean when it came to government fiscal policy, I'm pushing into my late Fifties after all, but ever since the Reagan era, "conservative" apparently means "borrow and squander and chrony corruption."

As far as Pastor Wright goes...when it comes to evangelicals, Obama can't win. If he hadn't distanced himself, Obama would be demonized for being a radical, racist "white" hater like Wright (which doesn't describe Wright's theology, but...evanglicals don't understand context.

As Obama did distance himself from Wright, more because the good Rev. suffered from a lack of verbal impulse control, Obama is demonized for "throwing Rev. Wright" under a bus for personal ambition. The Rev. just had to talk like he talked to Bill Moyers, but no...he has to attempt humor...not good.

And,someone who needs to distance herself from real bigoted pastors is Gov. Palin, but apparently, being a disgusting bigot towards Gay people is perfectly respectable in so called "conservative" circles.

Taking away Gay people's first ammendment rights to petition their govermnments for redress of grievances (as both McCain and Palin have approved)...less they be heard by some dreadful "activist judges," well, equality, reason, good will and due process has no place in Amercia, I guess So we should all pass state constitutional amendments, much like those that were overthrown in Loving v Virginia, and stop that radical "love your neighbor" nonsense in the bud.

Not to mention the barely tacitly racist GOP party platform...have you read that morally and intellectually bankrupt thing? It's close to being the Southern Manifesto of my youth, only not as succinct and well written...State's Rights, activist judges, strict constructionists, school vouchers...

They were always segregationist, racist ephamisms in the past, and they're quite likely white/male/class/Protestant privilege ephamisisms now. Even if you don't think black and white...think, as Kenneth Copeland urged one day on TV..."Supernatural, born-again race," of all things lightness, which means, of course, a supernatural, not born-again race of all things darkness that needs to be kept in its place.

I wonder why a large and very diverse communinity like the Black community votes overwhelmingly for Democrats...the party that started purging state's rightists during the Truman administration? Where did they go?

Let's see, what was the nakedly white supremacist third party founded by Stom Thurmand called again...oh yes...The States' Rights Party. And which major party did he leave, and which major party did he join?

I don't understand how educated individuals could say that Obama is a Muslim. Do you know that a Muslim who denounces his faith is worthy of death according the Quran? Having an absentee Muslim father does not make one a Muslim, that sentiment is so offensive to the millions of people across the world who have embraced the gospel in Muslim or Hindu cultures. Like was said before, who are we to judge a person's confession of faith?

There are many evangelicals who sit under hateful pastors, but I guess as long as those bigoted pastors aren't black it can be forgiven.

Some interesting comments here. One wants CT to address the housing crisis instead of Obama's Tour. Another wants to discuss Obama's guilt by association with Jeremiah Wright. Someone else thinks CT is in the tank for Obama, while yet another thinks CT's readers who comment are in the tank for McCain. One decries the bigoted and judgmental comments about Obama's faith, while another thinks we should say nothing about anyone's claims to following Christ at all.

HOUSING CRISIS?
The housing issue is not as hard as folks want to make it. Greedy people scammed the marginally qualified with loans for homes they could not afford, often by bundling credit debt into adjustable rate and interest-only mortgages as an added 'benefit.' Now those 'benefits' are causing some of these home buyers to not be able to pay their monthly payment after the ARM adjusts and adjusts again and after the principal (a balloon payment) comes due. The result is too many loans where the amount owed is more than the security offered (the property) is worth. The government did little or nothing in most cases to address this issue as it mushroomed to a $700 billion bubble. John McCain's 2005 bill to address this before it became a crisis is practically ignored. Obama's reaction to the crisis is to form a private committee to look into it. Does either one provide the light to see through the dark days ahead?

Bail out the companies that now own the bad debts? Why? In most cases the people who are struggling to pay their mortgage payments would be relieved enough to make them if we just mandated lower, fixed-interest-rates for all homebuyers and also fixed fees for late payments, instead of the percentage points now charged. The folks who own the loan would still get paid the principal amount they contracted to get paid, but with less interest added than they hoped to get. (Why reward their greed on the backs of the working poor and lower middle classes?) For a price tag of just $7 billion the government could even pay a one-time 1% adjustment payment to those who currently own the loans and freeze the foreclosures on every property currently being paid at least 75% of the original monthly payment amounts these home buyers contracted to pay. Freeze the interest ceilings at the fed rate + 4.5% for the most distressed loans that are still being kept paid at least 75% of the payment due each month.

The sharks who handed out these loans or bought them up at a discount would still get paid, but they would be on a reduced interest diet. Home buyers would benefit without being released from their obligations, the industry would survive trimmed down and leaner, but healthy, and the American people would not be stuck with a year of trillion-dollar bailouts for the fat cats who abused the system's loopholes to make a quick buck. Does anyone think the companies who bought those loans didn't think they were getting a sweet deal, regardless of the plight of those whose mortgage rates were adjusted mercilessly every few months?

Now was that so hard?

GUILT BY ASSOCIATION
CT readers should love this one. Remember the Nike slogan? (Just do it.) Remember the anti-drugs slogan? (Just say no.) Here we could use one more...Just stop it. Stop harassing Obama (and McCain) about who their pastor was and what their pastor said. Actions speak louder than words, so judge them by their fruits - the record of what they have done. Leave their pastor out of it. Those servants (the pastors) have more than enough on their plates as it is. Do what the media hasn't done for you: RESEARCH THE RECORDS. Find out for yourself what Obama did while in Africa with his family before all the violence broke out. Find out for yourself how John McCain came to own those houses. RESEARCH.

After all, Jesus was and is guilty by association both while walking the earth and now for associating with you and me. CT readers should go back to the accusations against Jesus by the self-righteous folks of the first century establishment. Chill out, brethren!

Where is our faith? Where is the peace that passes all understanding? Who will stand in the gap?

Get a grip, people. And, by the way, has anyone seen where Jesus went while we were wasting time on these temporary worries?

Hi all,

I have read the above comments. The issue on the table is religion. No matter what the religion, I believe that they all teach some of the same basic principles. The strange thing is that other affairs seem to take the focus away from being a person of good faith.

It is a fact that believers in God do not agree on some subjects; however, we all seem to suggest that our work is more about who we are, not what we are. These limitations and differences continue to keep us, the religious community, limited and divided.

This particular time in America is critical to our country's history and future. I maintain that a political election should be a time for religious reflection. As we call for a leader in this country, I hope that we as believers be that undivided light that continues to warm dark heart lost in gloomy places. If we are doing anything else, shame on us.

If anyone would like, you can post more comments here:

http://christiancitizens.squarespace.com/

More Christians would trust Obama if he was more open and honest about who he really is. We don't know him because he is unproven under pressure. You can pretend to be anything in a campaign, but what you are when you suffer for it is what you really are. That is what we still can't figure out about Obama. It is like paying big bucks for an unopened mystery box. The Germans were fooled by Hitler. What can we really know for sure about Obama? He won't even produce his birth certificate. When he slipped and said "my Muslim faith" to George Stephonopolis, George corrected him and said "you mean your Christian faith" and Obama said "yes, I mean my Christian faith". Was that a Freudian slip? What are we supposed to believe? We know Obama is ambitious and we know he thinks he deserves to be president even without experience or having to be tested and proved. Why won't he vote? Who is he afraid of offending, or does he just not want to have his true opinions recorded into history? How does anyone from Chicago get elected to anything without the backing of some very unsavory characters or machines? Is that why he doesn't vote? Why doesn't the media ask him the hard questions like they do the Republicans? I personally like Obama, but I don't know him and neither does most the rest of the people who plan to vote for him. He is an unknown and plans to stay that way until he gets elected. Only celebrity worshipping, out of touch with reality, gamblers vote on an unknown. The black brothers and sisters who vote just because he is black should think twice. How embarrassing will it be to know that the first black president turned our country into a third world country complete with corruption and anarchy, mobs in the streets and bloodshed against the opposition. Why not get behind someone like Alan Keyes who shares our Christian faith and values and doesn't mind letting you know who he is and what he stands for? He would be someone in history we could all be proud of as the first black president. He would have the stature of a George Washington Carver or a Martin Luther King, both of whom were open and honest about who they were.

I as an individual believe that it's always good to tell people who exactly you are and not to compromise in what you believe-God,by so doing people'll take for
who you are and GOD will favour you.tkank you. Delekuju, ola sunny from Nigeria. Mobile-08
035186551.

i am really struggling with this presidential contest especially with the question of loyalty and sacrifice. McCain is taunted as being loyal and sacrificial for what happened in a POW camp. What he dis was commendable but not extraordinary. He did what was required of him as a soldier in the United States military. Carrying out your duty under the harsgest of situations do not automatically qualify you for the office of president of the United States. I am befinning to see the same behavior from my southern baptist allies that is seen among most radical gay and lesbian supporters in that they will not dialogue if you disagree, in fact they may become offensive and combative. To disagree with someone on a social or religious issue and then determine that everything about that person is undeserving to be president is unthinkable and no different than the gay and lesbian combative stance.Evangelicals and conservatives are getting very closr to playing the "race card" in this election. I have argued for years against party line voting as well as voting simply for race. If the devil ran for office all he would have to do is voice a pro-life stance and carry a bible. Openness is the american value ystem that should be esteemed always, especially in this monumental election that we face. Non of us really knows amything about the candidates other than waht they say and the images projected in the media. None of knows what a man will do when handed the position of being the most powerful human on this planet. we al should know that presidents do not carry out their agendas without the majority backing of congress. Pray and seek discernment is the true message that should be given to every born again believer and taken into the voting booth. Pray that God's will be done.