Sen. Barack Obama is unequivocal in his faith, stating “I have a deep faith. So I draw from the Christian faith.” But, the Religious Right is hammering him for not being Christian enough and questioning Obama’s commitment to being a Christian — even to the point of asking followers to pray that God make it rain on his outdoors acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in September.
The Minnesota Family Council chimed in on Obama’s faith Tuesday, “The problem with his view of sin is it’s a decidedly non-Christian view of sin. Sin is a transgression of God’s laws not an individual’s values,” wrote Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council. “[H]e is confused about what Christianity believes, which isn’t unique, because many people who identify themselves as Christian are equally confused, but second, his lack of a moral compass.”
Former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania called Obama’s faith “phoney.” Further, he says Obama’s talk of faith is “absolutely disingenuous. I think he’s a complete phoney,” said Santorum at an Oxford Center for Religion and Public Life forum with journalists late last week. Santorum was famous for mixing his politics with religion at senator, so much so that activists created a disgustingly funny webpage in his honor.
A representatives from James Dobson’s Focus on the Family ratcheted up the rhetoric on Obama’s faith this week by asking supporters to pray for rain during Obama’s acceptance speech at Mile High Stadium during the Democratic National Convention. Focus on the Family’s Stuart Shepard said, “I’m praying for unexpected, unanticipated, unforcasted rain that starts two minutes before the speech is set to begin. Would it be wrong to pray for rain?”
He called on others to pray as well.
Focus on the Family has been hammering on Obama’s faith for several weeks now. Focus on the Family vice president Tom Minnery put together a three part series attacking Obama’s faith and calling his views on the bible “sacrilege” and earlier this week brought in a pastor who said if Christians don’t do the right thing there will be a “march of darkness.” The “right thing” would be voting against Obama.
But the Religious Right’s attempts to question Obama’s faith may not have the impact they are looking for. Stephen Mansfield, conservative author of the best-selling book “The Faith of George Bush,” just released his newest work, “The Faith of Barack Obama.” He thinks Obama will appeal to a number of evangelicals that voted for Bush. Perhaps that’s why the Religious Right is attacking Obama’s faith?
Mansfield told Newsweek:
First of all, the religious right has lost almost all of its national leadership. Second of all, polls are showing a pretty decided shift among some evangelicals to Democratic candidates and more left-leaning views. So you’ll have a certain percent of evangelical voters who voted for Bush once or twice but will now be voting for Obama. Finally, you have these new young voters who are deeply religious in nontraditional ways and left-leaning in their politics. In[to] the middle of all of this steps Barack Obama, who is young, articulate, who’s focused on social justice and who is also deeply Christian but of a nontraditional type.