On April 30, the New York Times ran a front-page story on Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama and his spiritual journey to Christianity. The Catholic League questioned whether Senator Obama wants the U.S. to become a theocracy:
If the same standard that was applied to President George W. Bush were to be applied to Senator Obama, then Obama must be considered a theocrat who shows no respect for the separation of church and state. What else could one conclude after seeing a color photo of him on the front page of the Times on April 30, preaching from the pulpit of a Christian church? The Times article itself was even more indicting.
Obama’s spiritual mentor is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., a radical minister who blames the United States for the war in Iraq. So controversial is Rev. Wright that Obama shunned him when he announced his bid for the presidency. It makes one wonder how the media will follow up on this: after all, when Mel Gibson was being criticized for making “The Passion of the Christ,” his foes constantly demanded that he denounce his father’s views on the Holocaust.
Surely Rev. Wright—who has played a pivotal role in shaping Obama’s thinking—should be subjected to at least the same scrutiny. And surely Obama should be asked to denounce Wright’s radical views, including his position that white racism can be found in Zionism.
Obama began his presidential campaign by saying, “Giving all praise and honor to God,” and it didn’t raise an eyebrow among the guardians of the separation of church and state. But when Bush said that Jesus was his favorite philosopher, the guardians went ballistic. Indeed, Obama was able to compare himself to Joshua, and no one blinked.
The day before the Times piece ran, Obama blasted the Bush administration’s handling of the war in Iraq while preaching at a Christian church. Now imagine a pro-life Republican candidate speaking at a Catholic church denouncing the Democrats for supporting partial-birth abortions. And imagine the reaction he would receive if there were a color photo of him on the front page of the New York Times speaking at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.
The double standard is nauseous, and it smacks of religious and racial prejudice.