Senator Barack Obama spoke before a Call to Renewal conference today imploring Democrats to reach out to people of faith.  “Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square,” he said.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented as follows:

“There is much in Senator Obama’s address that the Catholic League welcomes.  For too long, many Democrats have viewed religion as a purely personal matter, having no legitimate public role to play.  But like all public officials, Obama must be judged not on what he says but on what he does.  It is on this score that he fails.

“Obama is opposed to school vouchers (though he sent his kids to private schools) and he is opposed to posting the Ten Commandments in government buildings.  And then there are moral issues which, while not religious, per se, are nonetheless of grave interest to people of faith.  On this score, Obama fails as well.

“Obama is a big supporter of abortion-on-demand; he thinks it is okay to intentionally let a child die who survived an abortion (that’s the way he voted when he was a state lawmaker); he is a co-sponsor of legislation that allows for the intentional killing of embryos; he is opposed to a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as the union between a man and a woman; and he is against the Defense of Marriage Act (President Clinton signed it into law—it guarantees states the right to make their own choices regarding marriage).

“Until Senator Obama bridges the gap between his rhetoric and his record, many will remain skeptical of his professed beliefs.  Indeed, he should have taken the opportunity today to remind the Call to Renewal folks that no one will take them seriously if they continue to refer to the budget as a moral document while jettisoning any interest in the moral propriety of abortion.  But given his own record, such comments would have been difficult to make.”

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