On May 7, Rev. Al Sharpton debated author Christopher Hitchens at the New York Public Library on the question of God’s existence. In the course of the debate, Hitchens made a snide reference to a Mormon candidate for the Republican nomination (Governor Mitt Romney). When Sharpton had an opportunity to respond, he said, “As for the Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways, so don’t worry about that; that’s a temporary situation.”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue spoke to this issue today:

“Rev. Al Sharpton says he has been preaching for 48 of his 52 years and that he was ordained a minister at the ripe old age of nine. Therefore, he should know better than to insult people of faith, independent of religious affiliation. What he said about Gov. Romney is reprehensible.

“Applying the same standard of justice Sharpton invoked against Imus for his racist quip, this should finish Sharpton’s career. But will it? It is up to Senators Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards to denounce Sharpton. After all, they all condemned Imus and all of them recently spoke at Sharpton’s National Action Network convention in New York City.

“Sharpton is more than a man of the cloth. He is a former presidential contender who is integrally tied to the Democratic party. Therefore, it is incumbent that he be held accountable for his bigoted outburst.”

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