Catholic League president Bill Donohue questioned today whether Senator Barack 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 Barack Obama, then Obama must be considered a theocrat who shows no respect for separation of church and state. What else is one to conclude after seeing a color photo of him today on the front page of the New York Times preaching from the pulpit of a Christian church? The article itself is even more indicting.

“Obama’s spiritual mentor is a radical minister who blames the U.S. for the war in Iraq. So controversial is Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. 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 his radical views, including Wright’s position that white racism can be found in Zionism.

“Obama can begin his presidential campaign with ‘Giving all praise and honor to God,’ and it doesn’t raise an eyebrow among the guardians of church and state. But when Bush said that Jesus was his favorite philosopher, the guardians went ballistic. Indeed, Obama can compare himself to Joshua, and no one blinks.

“Yesterday, Obama blasted the Bush administration’s handling on 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 St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The double standard is nauseous, and it smacks of religious and racial prejudice.”

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