Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Candidate's Faith

If you're paying any attention to the horserace between the Democratic candidates, then you know about Senator Obama's now infamous comment regarding Pennsylvania voters:
It's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
This was said at a fund-raiser, I believe in San Francisco.

There's been enough said by well-paid pundits and clever bloggers about the political implications of this talk. What I find most fascinating are the religious implications.

Obama has been a member of a church for a number of decades whose head pastor was, to put it politely, preoccupied by issues beside the gospel. A lot of people, myself included, wondered what this spoke to of the Senator's faith itself. If the church is just a backdrop for a radical social "theology," then what does it say about the Senator's beliefs?

This latest glimpse into the mind of Barack Obama seems to clarify the picture more, but I don't think it does him any favors. Dr. Mohler describes it as a "functional" view of religion, and I don't disagree.

This isn't to say that he's entirely incorrect. I've certainly met plenty of people who didn't find God until they hit a few roadblocks in life. However, the Senator's comments seem to preclude the idea of people believing in a conservative faith for any reason besides financial stress, and his follow-ups on the issue have not dispelled that impression.

Of course, it would be a legitimate question to ask why he clings to his faith (put that in quotation marks, if you prefer). I'm curious what the answer might be.

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