I have jury duty this week, so I don’t know if or when I’ll be able to blog.
We’ll see how it goes.
So, Obama has ended his two-decade membership at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Beside the whole Jeremiah Wright flap, he’s apparently unhappy with a recent appearance by the social activist Catholic priest, the Rev. Michael Pfleger (that’s him), who mimicked Sen. Clinton crying over “a black man stealing my show.”
So many troubling religious connections. I’m surprised Sen. Clinton hasn’t trotted out some mild-mannered Methodist minister to show off as a righteous religious mentor.
The Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, head of the moderate/liberal Interfaith Alliance, send the following note to the 3 candidates:
While I appreciate your decisions to distance yourself from the harmful rhetoric from people like Father Pfleger, Rev. Hagee and Rev. Parsley you share some of the responsibility. You have all gone after endorsements of clergy, and I sense that you are now having some buyerâ€™s remorse. But you canâ€™t have it both ways. You canâ€™t continue to use clergy as political props when they serve your purpose, and then discard them when they no longer fit your image.
The clergy who have endorsed you share some responsibility. They open themselves up to criticism when they make political endorsements. The more the pulpit is treated as a stump for partisan politics the more clergy will be caricatured as cartoon figures. Houses of worship will be considered just like other institutions interested in power regardless of its cost. And politics and faith will be confused to an extent that harms both religion and democracy. When will it end? It must end soon or people will be fed up with politics and religion.
I ask you all to stop seeking clergy endorsements from the pulpit, and stop using religion as a political tool.
In the coming months, I hope you will talk about the role of faith in public life in a way that is constructive. What are the boundaries for you between religion and government? What role will your faith play in creating public policy? How will you balance the principles of your faith and your obligation to defend the Constitution, particularly if the two come into conflict?