Wednesday, December 06, 2006

E.J. Dionne: Obama Wows the Religious Right

I linked to this in the speedlinks this morning, but I wanted to give it some extra attention because I like Obama and want to promote his candidacy for 2008.

The other reason I wanted to post this is because the article is as much about Rick Warren and a new interest in separating religion from politics as it is about Obama.

This is from E.J. Dionne's column on Truthdig:

When it came his turn to speak, Obama took on the moral message of evangelical AIDS activists—and then challenged them.

“Let me say this and let me say this loud and clear: I don’t think that we can deny that there is a moral and spiritual component to prevention,’’ he declared. “In too many places ... the relationship between men and women, between sexuality and spirituality, has broken down and needs to be repaired.”

Then Obama got to what “may be the difficult part for some,’’ as he put it, that “abstinence and fidelity, although the ideal, may not always be the reality.’’

“We’re dealing with flesh-and-blood men and women, and not abstractions,” Obama said, “and that if condoms and potentially things like microbicides can prevent millions of deaths, then they should be made more widely available. ... I don’t accept the notion that those who make mistakes in their lives should be given an effective death sentence.”

That Obama received a standing ovation suggests that Warren is right to sense that growing numbers of Christians are tired of narrowly partisan politics and share his interest in “the whole bird.’’ In their different spheres, Warren and Obama are both in the business of retailing hope.

One more thing: If you read Obama’s speech, you’ll realize he demonstrates a much truer Christian spirit than the GOP masterminds who have recently tried to push people away from Obama by pointing out that his middle name is Hussein.

Read the whole post to get the scoop on Rick Warren and his mission to fight AIDS.

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