Sunday, June 24, 2007
Some quotes from Barack Obama's keynote speech before the United Church of Christ's synod:
Doing the Lord's work is a thread that's run through our politics since the very beginning. And it puts the lie to the notion that the separation of church and state in America -- a principle we all must uphold and that I have embraced as a constitutional lawyer and most importantly as a Christian -- means faith should have no role in public life.Reportedly:
Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and faith started being used to drive us apart.
Faith got hijacked, partly because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, all too eager to exploit what divides us.
At every opportunity, they've told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent design.
I have made a solemn pledge that I will sign a universal health-care bill into law by the end of my first term as president of the United States.
Obama offered a list of alternative "matters of conscience," including raising the minimum wage, adopting universal health care, stopping genocide in Darfur, Sudan, ending the Iraq war and embracing immigration reform.This is shaping up to be something of a stump speech aimed at the faithful and not everyone at the synod was pleased by Obama's presence:
Steven Small, a UCC member from West Boylston, Mass., said the meeting was nothing but a "Democratic pep rally."As I've said before, those who value secular government had better listen carefully to the candidates. We're not going to get a president who will leave God outside the Oval Office, so we need to pay heed to just which God these people will bring to the presidency with them and what they think that God is telling them.
"I don't think it's an appropriate role for such an inclusive church to showcase a candidate for the Left," said Small, a registered Republican. "What does that say to the rest of us who happen to be part of this church?"
One prophet, one crusader, a century is enough.