Thursday, January 06, 2005

Originally posted on Tuesday, May 06, 2008, at 2:08 a.m.

Dems Using Religion To Shift Focus

Today is the day Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama discover how much their mudslinging and negative ads will help them in the Indiana and North Carolina Democratic primaries.

And Obama supporters, particularly the elected kind, have been trying to help the Illinois senator by battling the Rev. Wright controversy by shifting the focus of Heavenly-prejudiced men of God to Republican (most likely) presidential nominee John McCain and his relationships with bigoted pastors.

There is John Hagee, who said that God brought Hurricane Katrina as a punishment to the residents of New Orleans for homosexual sins. And then there is Rod Parsley, who has called for a war on Islam. And that’s not all of the things these men of God have preached.

The Democrats are saying that McCain got a free pass of media attacks. However, the Arizona senator said that just because Hagee supports his candidacy, it doesn’t mean that he supports or believes in a lot of the things that the pastor says.

As far as Parsley, one of McCain’s campaign aides said that the senator never attended a service by the pastor, unlike Obama, who spent 20 years attending Rev. Wright’s.

As I wrote in my editorial about Obama’s association with Rev. Wright, I’ll say it again in this column: Candidates should not be criticized for their connection with spiritual leaders.

There is no evidence that McCain has ever agreed with the controversial and hateful things that either pastor has said, just like there is no evidence that Obama agreed with the rants of Rev. Wright.

It’s a shame that some religious leaders spew repulsive sermons and pass them along as if they are God’s word. It is even worse that politicians get slammed for their association of these pastors.

Politicians shouldn’t be criticized over who endorses them or the ramblings of pastors that have no direct relationship with them.

Trust me; these 2008 candidates will trip themselves up without the help of anyone else. Their policies and past voting records are fair game for attacks, as well as their relationships with unscrupulous donors and supporters that may have an impact once he or she is in the White House.

But putting them in the crosshairs because of their religious associations? Heaven forgive those for acting petty!