Are you in favor of reviewing all candidate’s pastor’s sermons?
Obama has given a general view of his beliefs: He is a Christian; he believes that the Sermon on the Mount shows us how we are to live as Christians; he believes we are to being concerned about the least of these.
I don’t believe Obama has ever made statements about Liberation Theology. My take on Obama’s Christianity is that he is a lot like many Christians: He knows he is a Christian, a follower of Jesus, saved by God’s grace, a believer in Jesus’ teachings. He is less clear on systematic theology.
From what I’ve heard him say, he sounds like (just my impression) that he is more knowledgeable about Christianity in general than a Bush or McCain (who apparently don’t attend church much if at all) but he is no theologian – he’s probably not studied Liberation Theology, black or otherwise and is probably not all that familiar with the more complex shades of Christian theology (TULIP, Once Saved Always Saved, Emergent theology, Catholic or Orthodox Theology, etc, etc).
That’s just my hunch. He does not sound to me as if he’s someone that has been exposed to more systematic studies of church doctrine. Maybe I’m wrong – maybe he just prefers not to talk about it.
Anyway, I’m just asking for consistency. Let’s either investigate the sermons of all our candidates’ pastors or let’s let it be unless a question arises based on what the candidate has said. But we ought not have two standards: One for Republicans and one for Democrats.]]>
As to your point about Palin and the Assemblies of God church she left in 2002. I do not know the details why but I suspect she probably was uncomfortable either with their practices or beliefs or both.
As I said before, the only reason Obama’s church has become a legitimate issue is the statements of his pastor. If Palin’s pastor made similar statements, I think it would be fair for further investigation.]]>
Is it your position that political candidates ought to thoroughly outline specifically what their religious beliefs are?
Do we want Palin to answer to how closely she adheres to Assembly of God teachings? Does she believe in speaking in tongues? Healing the sick? Being slain in the Spirit? Handling snakes? (Not all charismatics believe this, but some do).
Does she believe that the earth was created in six literal days? That the earth will burn up here soon and so it doesn’t matter how we treat the earth?
Are Christians going to be “raptured” here soon, leaving behind all non-christians who will be ruled by the anti-Christ?
Do we want Palin to start addressing the specifics of her faith tradition, too?
I’m okay with Obama discussing in detail his thoughts on Lib Theology or Black Lib Theology IF we’re going to expect Palin to go into detail about her belief system. And the same for McCain (whatever his belief system may be) and Biden.
Or, perhaps we should just leave the theological discussions for Sunday School and not grill our politicians on the specifics of their faith? I reckon that would be my vote. BUT, if we’re going to do it for one, we ought to do it for all.
I suspect that Palin would come out further from the mainstream than Obama would, on that front.]]>
And, as I said about your original comment; that is NOT a biblical idea, contrary to the main gist and the title of your commentary]]>
We can disagree over how much the media has investigated Obama’s church and how much Obama gained from his 20 years there. One big unanswered question is how much Obama agrees with the Black Liberation Theology that is espoused there. His response when challenged about the sermons was that he wasn’t there. What about when he was there? What did he hear? And, more importantly, how did it shape his beliefs? Given all the misinformation that has been circulated about his religion (the slurs that he was in fact a Muslim and not a Christian) I would think he want to set the record straight.
Regarding your final point, if Palin’s pastor was making the same kind of hate-filled statements that Reverend Wright made from the pulpit I would expect it to be all over the news. I have no doubt that there are reporters listening to every sermon they can find (they are on the church’s website looking for something to use against Governor Palin.
Finally, you remarked earlier that the use of the word fundamentalist was an appropriate description of Focus on the Family. I would argue it was meant to be pejorative instead of descriptive. Then again, that’s exactly what I would expect of the liberal media.]]>
All of this over maybe .001% of the content of a pastor’s sermons (which had been DILIGENTLY pored over by someone). A man who is not running for office. How do you think that it did not receive due coverage? How much coverage (and of what sort) do you think it merits?
If treating liberals and conservatives equally is your concern, then I’m guessing you’ll want the same amount and type of coverage on Palin’s pastor’s sermons?]]>
Wow. Yes. We disagree.
Googling “obama jeremiah wright” results in 1.25 million hits. Many of which are news reports. I did not try to wade through that 1 million + hits to find out how many were media reports. Feel free to do so.
Clearly, this story had ENDLESS media exposure and has been addressed and most people have moved on because there’s no story there.
For example, have you seen any mention of Black Liberation Theology being taught by the church in the mainstream press?
Again, googling “black liberation jeremiah wright” results in hundreds of thousands of results.
PBS covered it. Fox News covered it. ABC News covered it. CNN covered it.
Again, I do not plan on digging through these thousands of results to find out how MUCH they covered it, but clearly it has been covered.
That google is an amazing thing for uncovering stuff, ain’t it?]]>
The reality is that groups like this would LIKE to try to “help” those who are gay become straight (with “god’s” help). Do you disagree? If so, how do you see what they’re trying to do?]]>
Like the AP, you’re not checking the facts. From the conference’s questions page which I cited in the post above:
But your goal is still to make gays straight, right?
That is a gross and narrow oversimplification. We aren’t here to “make” anybody do or become anything; we are here to offer a scientific and experiential perspective on the issue of homosexuality that is, sadly, underreported in the mainstream media. Our goals include aiding parents who want to learn how to better love their sons or daughters without compromising their faith; helping people who want to better understand the many factors that can lead to someone adopting a homosexual identity; and assisting those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions and want to discover how they might also start upon the path ? a difficult path, as noted above ? to overcoming those desires.
The fact is that you cannot make someone who is gay straight. No one apart from Jesus can do that.
As for Obama’s church, I disagree that his church has received the same level of scrutiny. Apart from a few You Tube clips of Reverend Wright’s sermons, there has been no investigation into what was actually taught at the church during those 20 years Senator Obama attended. For example, have you seen any mention of Black Liberation Theology being taught by the church in the mainstream press? No, because it is bloggers who have dealt with that issue.
Like you, I’m not really keen on the idea of the media investigating the candidates’ churches, either, unless their teaching something really odd. The fact is that the media does not treat liberals and conservatives by the same standards especially when it comes to their churches.]]>
For another, the AP seems shocked, shocked that Governor Palin’s church would actually be teaching what the Bible says.
No where does the Bible teach that we need to “make” homosexuals into heterosexuals. That would be a vast distortion of biblical teaching – that simply never appears in the Bible. Period.
And calling FOTF a “fundamentalist” organization sounds accurate to me. They advocate returning to the “fundamentals” of the faith, as they understand it.
It’s a story because most psychiatrists agree that “gay conversion therapy” is a sham and harmful to people and that the idea of “converting” people from gay to straight or the other way around is appalling to many, many Americans.
Would you find it noteworthy to report on a story if Obama’s church was involved in a “therapy” to make straight folk gay? I would.
If candidates’ churches are now fair game to media scrutiny then why not subject each candidate’s church to the same level of scrutiny?
You MUST be kidding me! Tom, did you miss the two month circus of investigating 20 years worth of Obama’s pastor’s sermons?
Myself, I tend to agree that I’m not so interested in what a candidate’s church teaches (although if Palin or Obama were going around espousing some of the controversial teachings like “God Damn America” or “gay conversion,” I’d want to investigate that).
BUT, IF we are going to vet 20 years’ worth of sermons for Obama, fair play and decency would suggest that it’s reasonable to expect the same for Palin’s church. I’m willing to bet there’s some pretty odd stuff in that book of sermons.]]>