Patterico's Pontifications


Obama Reaches Out to Evangelicals

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Taking a page from Mike Huckabee’s appeal to the cross, David Brody article at CBN News reports that Barack Obama is reaching out to evangelicals:

“I have been telling Brody File readers for months that if Barack Obama becomes the Democratic nominee he will make a pitch to win over independent/moderate Evangelicals. Well, we now have evidence.

In Kentucky, he is making a direct appeal to Evangelicals with flyers that mention his conversion experience and they highlight a big old cross. Remember Mike Huckabee’s supposed subliminal cross in his Christmas campaign ad? Well, the Obama campaign ditches the subliminal and goes for the in your face cross. Look at the flyer here.”

I’ve always thought evangelicals have more in common with liberals than with conservatives. Abortion kept evangelicals in the conservative camp but I’m sure Obama thinks he can play them on the abortion issue. Maybe he can.


30 Responses to “Obama Reaches Out to Evangelicals”

  1. I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

    Jamie Holts (322264)

  2. Evangelicals having more in common with liberals? As one of them thar Evangelicals, maybe I need some skoolin’ to become the liberal I’m supposed to be.

    Seriously, I guess this comment surprises me. I am racking my brain, trying to get a grasp on the idea. Maybe you can help me to understand the equation Evangelical = Liberal. Everything about myself as an Evangelical, on every issue I can think of where politics and religion cross (all of life, actually), leads me to the exact opposite.

    Colonel Steve (be341f)

  3. The evangelicals I know seem satisfied with the Savior they have, it would surprise me if they started looking for another one.

    Person of Choler (7730b8)

  4. DRJ – It is alright for Baracky to talk about his religion. It is racist for you to do so. If a Republican talks about their religion, it is a sign of their desire to implement a theocracy.

    JD (5f0e11)

  5. “I’ve always thought evangelicals have more in common with liberals than with conservatives.”

    DRJ, how do you figure that?

    Dana (b4a26c)

  6. “DRJ – It is alright for Baracky to talk about his religion. It is racist for you to do so.”

    We can all agree that trick ponies aren’t racist. Thats all they know.

    stef (8a38ef)

  7. Evangelicals are often labeled as “conservative” for that stance on morals issues, but as a group ( and a group that has a different definition for every different commenter ), they don’t trend that conservative in terms of other ideological areas – certainly not that conservative economically.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  8. Here’s another evangelical who is conservative, as are the others I hang with. But conservative does not equal Republican, and the Stupid Party needs to watch out. Liberal? No way.

    As a values voter, I’m so far not encouraged to participate for McCain in November. More important that my my conscience be clear. I’ll let my Lord sort things out.

    ManlyDad (22e85d)

  9. What is the relationship between conservatism or evangelicalism and gun rights. Should a christian cling to God and guns at the same time? Anyone?

    love2008 (d2a57f)

  10. love

    it’s a matter of choice.

    Both are rights under the Constitution and everything else is none of my business.

    Presumably if the choice was God or guns it’d be God that gets the nod, but since it rarely is an “either or” choice I’d opt for butting out of the conversation. How unprogressive of me….

    SteveG (71dc6f)

  11. Per “Obama’s Constitutional Crisis” by Jill Stanek (, Barack Obama orchestrated the defeat of Illinois’ Induced Infant Liability Act. This legislation would have banned hospitals from tossing fetuses that survived abortion aside to die without food, water, or medical attention. Note that this in no way impacts a woman’s right to control her body, because it addresses what happens after her unwanted pregnancy has been terminated.

    Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), one of the most liberal members of Congress, had this to say about the corresponding Federal Born Alive Infants Protection Act: “There is no such thing as a right to a live-birth abortion. A baby born alive is a baby, a human being under the terms of the law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.” It may also be noted that NARAL Pro-Choice America did not lobby against this piece of legislation.

    WingedHussar1683 (49cf93)

  12. Do you think Obama is sending out these flyers in Oregon?

    SAM (c36902)

  13. Pretty silly comments above.

    Politics and religion should be antagonists not bedfellows. But, to me it is quite clear that evangicals have their wedge issues and are completely devoid of WWJD. They’re all excited about being played by the either party.

    The real problem is christians themselves. Too bad they don’t look in the mirror to see what hypocrites they are. Anti abortion, but all for the republicans who cut social services. All for abortion but do little to support all kinds of birth control which would cut back of out of wedlock births.

    Christianity as a serious religion needs to have serious answers to real life problems. So far they have Dobson, Kennedy, Buchanan Falwell etc as their mouthpieces. Enough said.

    willard (91b017)

  14. Liberals can be pretty quick with telling people what jesus would do if he were them….

    I like the bumpersticker that says
    Who would Jesus bomb?
    What a crock

    The answer is obviously whomever he decides to bomb, whether I like it or not.

    SteveG (71dc6f)

  15. #12, religion should inform one’s politics. That neither makes it antagonistic nor bedfellows.

    Its unlikely that smart Christians who think would want to reduce their faith and its workings to an acronymically cliched bracelet tag like WWJD but I can see politicans glomming onto it, if it works on the masses. Christians I know take the issues more seriously.

    “The real problem is christians themselves. Too bad they don’t look in the mirror to see what hypocrites they are. “

    I don’t disagree that the hypocrisy in the church, and in myself are undeniable – hence the need for a savior. Your evidence, however, of said hypocrisy is wobbly.

    “Anti abortion, but all for the republicans who cut social services.”

    The problem is that you are assuming the only way one can address the problem is through the federal government via social programs. Many Christians see the federal government as part of the problem and most definitely not part of the solution. Government programs are giant bandaids at best that deal with symptoms, not the core of the problem.

    About the serious answers to real life problems, Dobson, Kenndy, Buchanan and Falwell are just imperfect men, they’re not the answer, at least not this Christian’s – after all, if they were the answer, whats the point of having a savior?

    ..and don’t even get me started on Christians=Repulicans and Republicans=Christians.

    Dana (98843c)

  16. Jesus was a liberal. John the baptist was a liberal. the pharesees, corrupt temples and governments of that day were the conservatives. I always considered myself more libratarian, but IMO Christianity wants the government to protect the least among us, help the poor, reward hard workers and not prefer big business over the middle class. If that is liberal then yes Christians have a lot in common with liberals. The ONLY major block is abortion, but Christians don’t even agree when life starts.

    Just today our “conservative” government was caught injecting drugs into immigrants, against their will! This isn’t Nazi Germany, and isn’t something a Christian would support. And you wonder why we are so unpopular in the world and seen as hypocrits. We use torture and we abuse immigrants, which our “conservative” government allows to come here to provide cheap labor to big business. We have lost our moral authority as a nation. No this brand of “conservatism” isn’t Christian at all.

    John (18d7ba)

  17. I’ll take McCain’s Navy Cross over Barack You’ll-Be-Wrapped-Around-My-Finger Obama’s prop cross any time.

    nk (572685)

  18. John #15 has a lot of good points. I’d boil it down to “in America, religion and government are not miscible”.

    nk (572685)

  19. Oh yeah John McCain’s cross, the one that told him to cheat on his handicapped wife with a woman over 20 years younger? Or the one that had him involved with the Keating 5? Or the one that intervened so Cindy wouldn’t have to go to jail for stealing narcotics because she is a drug addict? Or the one that causes John to spew racial slurs? or the one that causes him to have anger issues, where he will fire anyone or attack anyone for little reason? Or the John McCain who slept with other men’s wives while in the srevice, men who were under his command and didn’t have a 4 star admiral daddy to protect them so they had no recourse? John McCain’s version of Christianity is odd, or maybe he claims it when it suits him politically, you ain’t heard nothing yet about the real John McCain, wait until the press starts reporting things when the general election starts.

    Mike (18d7ba)

  20. Christian evangelicals usually reference Jesus Christ (or Jesus or Christ) not God. Is his God a Christian God?

    JES (7db320)

  21. My mistake, Distinguished Flying Cross. Mike #18, do try to keep up.

    nk (572685)

  22. Or the John McCain who slept with other men’s wives while in the srevice, men who were under his command and didn’t have a 4 star admiral daddy to protect them so they had no recourse?

    Would this be the same 4-star that upon his promotion to Fleet COmmand, McCain was offered his release from the Hanoi Hilton, which he refused because it wasn’t it’s turn?

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  23. The evangelicals I know seem satisfied with the Savior they have, it would surprise me if they started looking for another one.

    Smooth. And so perfect.

    Vermont Neighbor (ef4b44)

  24. Number 18:
    It is interesting how this blog has gone from discussing the issue of Obama marketing himself to Evangelicals (i.e. will it be effective or seen as merely pandering) to attacking John McCann’s wife in what is an incredible statement: “… Or the one that intervened so Cindy wouldn’t have to go to jail for stealing narcotics because she is a drug addict?…”. Wow! you really have put politics before Christ. Christians (those who believe that they have been shown immeasurable mercy and grace through no merit of their own) should never engage in that kind of gossip or slander. To be sure both candidates (and their spouses) have their worts. McCann’s are well chronicled and Obama’s are being revealed now. To no ones surprise (no serious person’s surprise), Obama’s shortcomings are real and significant just like McCann’s. Neither is a savior (not even in the small “s” sense). Let’s also acknowledge that both men also have have great strenths and admirable character traits.

    More to the point, neither is solidily in the Evangelical camp. McCann has been a strong Pro live person for a long time, but speaks less about social justice than Obama and his persoanl life is not remotely ideal from an evangelical perspective. Likewise Obama is a mixed bag. While he gives greater attention to the poor (very very dear to Jesus), Obama has supported some really aggresivily pro death policies (you cannot call the information on number 10 “pro choice”). In addition, he has been publically decitful numerous times in the current primary contests. That last point is heavily documented, and is meant not so much to put him in a bad light as it is to say that in this regard he is no different that any standard candidate, past or present. Obama has embraced the idea that to get elected today a politican must mislead, slander, and otherwise sell their soul. We have no less an authority than Jerimiah Wright to confirm that .. ‘Obama says what he has to say as a politican, I say what I have to say as a preacher’).

    To address the original question about is Obama sincere and will his out reach to Evangelicals be effective. Obama is 1 part sincere (I truely take him at his word regarding his faith), and 2 parts pandering. If he took Evangelicals or his own faith more seriously he would not be so aggressively pro death. You can argue about when life begins, but Evangelicals overwelming and passionately believe that if you err as to the timing of “humanness”, err on the side of the one who cannot defend themselves and who has the most to lose – the child. That aside, all but the most partisan people, know and freely admit that a child born alive (even if during an abortive procedure) is a without question a human and entitled to the full and aggressive protection of government. Will the pandering be effective? To a degree because he talks a great talk and McCann’s messy personal life contrasts poorly to Obama’s from a Christian perspective.

    I believe Evangelicals hope for a truely Evangelical candidate to nominated by one of the parties someday, but are realists about the prospect of it happening. The parties have built coaliticians which prevent it. A prolife candiate is a non-starter for Dems – the party pretends prolife democrats don’t or ought not exist. And Repubs take evangelicals for granted and are very neverous discussing a whole host of justice issues important to Evangelicals. We have landed in Repub camps more frequently due to the greater clarity (more yes/no) of ceratin key moral issues (e.g. abortion) as opposed the less easily defined justice issues (e.g. immegration, addressing poverty). Finally, older evangelicals remember the incredible abuse of power, the hubris, and the absolute distain that the Democratic Pary of the sixties and seventies had for us. I suspect that young evangelicals see the current Repub Party as power hungry, abusive, self centered, and heartless. Let’s be real, all politics, regardless of the Party, is about Power and using it to gain benefits for your group at the expense of other groups. Subsidies for agriculture are as concentrated in “big” business as subsidies for domestic oil production. Helping “big” labor is very similar to bending over for “big business. Both take from the many -taxpayers and consumers and concentrate the benefits in a relativily smaller number of people – shareholders and union employees. (Please don’t kid yourselves that only the rich will be taxed more)

    Finally, the main thing to Evangelicals is Christ and His Kingdom. We are never completely comfortable with any polical party – our allegence is Elsewhere. Christ is neither conservative nor liberal. He is Preeminent. God said “I am that which I am”. He is defined only by Himself. The rightness or wrongness of conservatism or liberalism is determined by the degree they conform to Christ. We must engage in the political process to bring the biblical prespective into the light, but beware not to trust in the parties’ standard barriers for much. As soon as the election is over, we are on the shelf for the next four years.

    rh (a63cae)

  25. Jesus obviously cared more about helping the poor than, say, a conservative government would.

    Liberals don’t always care about human equality as much as they theoretically should, but Jesus did care about helping the lesser man.

    Personally, I think Jesus is more impressed by personal acts of helping the unfortunate, not the taxation and distribution model which is devoid of free will, but the case can certainly be made that Jesus would favor things like progressive taxation.

    Jem (4cdfb7)

  26. W!T!F!

    Let’s see, are liberals and Christians (evangelical) compatible?

    1. Liberals want to have homosexual alternatives to everything. Christians? Not so much.

    2. Liberals want to outlaw guns and every other kind of weapon. Jesus says, “Be Prepared! He who does not have a sword had better go get one now”.

    3. Liberals believe Big Government is the answer to everything. Jesus says He’s the answer to everything.

    4. Liberals want world peace. Christians say “there was a war in heaven” and further “for our fight is not against mere flesh and blood but againt powers and principalities” and even further “I come not to bring peace but a sword. Brother shall fight against brother, father against son, mother against daughter”

    5. Liberals believe mankind decides when the end of the world is (and apparently, it’s been nigh for a long time now). Christians believe God the Father decides the end of the world, and “no one knows the time nor the date”

    6. Liberals think ‘equal outcome’. Conservatives think ‘equal opportunity’. Christians say ‘for many are called, but not all are chosen.’ – as far from equal outcome as possible.

    7. Liberals HATE Israel and most Jews. Christians see them as the natural olive branches.

    8. Liberals preach victimhood and ‘The Man’ being the one who keeps you ‘down’. Christians say “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” and teach personal responsibility.

    Do I really need to go on? Please. DRJ, I would suggest you try again.

    Gregory (f7735e)

  27. PIMF: No 7. Maybe not all liberals hate Jews and Israel, but by Heaven, it certainly sounds like it.

    Gregory (f7735e)

  28. Well, BO, the democratic machine, and the mass media have managed to convince 50% of the people that he’s their guy. Maybe Kentucky won’t call his bluff. People are deeply stupid.

    Debbie (796b1a)

  29. Already the news media has started to suggest – under the assertion and claim of objective reporting – that Conservatives are not Christians.

    Thank you for your time.

    The Outlander (18f9fc)

  30. Obama played a central role in orchestrating the defeat of Illinois’ Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which would have required care and medical attention for third-trimester fetuses that survived an abortion procedure. The central issue here is that what happens to the fetus after the abortion is totally irrelevent to the woman’s right to control her body. She has already exercised her choice and control, and she is free of the unwanted pregnancy. Obama and his supporters therefore cannot call upon the defense of “a woman’s right to control her body,” and they must instead defend a totally indefensible position: the deliberate killing by neglect of what are effectively premature babies , a practice that under ordinary circumstances would be considered felony child abuse or worse. We don’t know any pro-choice people or entities who are willing, figuratively speaking, to die on that hill, which means the phony smile on the empty suit will find himself pretty much alone when the issue comes up.

    WingedHussar1683 (49cf93)

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