Friday, August 15, 2008

Sigh . . . the campaign season begins

I hate politics.

Not because I don't believe in the system, I do, very much so. And not because I don't like politicians - some of my best friends (and family) are politicians. I think they have a generally thankless job that requires them to open their (and their families') lives to public scrutiny and constant fundraising. A necessary but contentious part of the American life.

I hate the bickering and the one-up-manship and the gotcha games and the party hacks (on all sides) that always agree with their party line, illogical or not - if something is proposed by their party, it's the best thing ever and if that same thing is proposed by the other party, it's a complete waste and failure.

So I do not plan to post much at all on politics this fall. This, however, because of the tangential connection with Lambeth 2008 seemed appropriate.

President Bush’s pastor to appear in pro-Obama ad

Christian Leaders Release Pro-Family Obama Ad
By the Matthew 25 Network

To Run During Saddleback Presidential Forum

This Saturday, in their first appearance together, Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain will be attending the Saddleback Civil Forum on National Leadership held at Rick Warren’s megachurch.

The Matthew 25 Network will release our first TV ad entitled “Families” that will air during the Saddleback Forum.

The religious leaders that appear in the ad will be speakers on the press call to talk about the important issues to people of faith when making their choice for president, including the character and faith of each candidate.

We will discuss the contrast in efforts made by Senator Obama’s and Senator McCain’s campaigns to reach out to religious voters in the lead up to Saturday’s Forum on National Leadership.

Join us Friday, August 15th at 10:30am Eastern

Press Conference Call


Mara Vanderslice, Founder and Director, Matthew 25 Network

Brian McLaren, Pastor and Author, Leader in the Emergent Church movement

Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, Senior Pastor, Windsor Village United Methodist Church, Houston, TX
Spoke at President Bush’s Inauguration and officiated Jenna Bush’s wedding

Lisa Cahill, Catholic theologian,Professor of Theology, Theology Department, Boston College

Sounds pretty innocuous (don't forget that separation of church and state thingy that the political left is always going on about) until you find out more about the Matthew 25 Network PAC (yes, that's Political Action Committee):
Called “The Matthew 25 Network,” the new organization, which is still in its earliest stages, is being spearheaded by Mara Vanderslice, who was director of religious outreach for the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004 and did similar work for several statewide Democratic candidates, including Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.

Mr. Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee, is beginning to step up his outreach to the religious community, and met Tuesday in Chicago with a group of about 30 leaders, including the Rev. T. D. Jakes, the black mega-church pastor.

Ms. Vanderslice, who has been active in the budding movement over the last few years to encourage Democrats to be more willing to discuss matters of faith, declined to detail the group’s plans, because she said the organization is planning an official rollout later in the month.

Nevertheless, according to a description of the group that came with the invitation to its fund-raiser tonight in which the suggested contribution is $1,000, the committee is hoping to reach out to “targeted religious communities that are key to electoral success for Senator Obama, including Catholics, moderate evangelicals, Hispanic Catholics and Protestants.”. . .

And, of course, we all remember Brian McLaren from Lambeth. (You know, I thought he was a young guy just because of his association with the emergent church movement, but he's older than I am! It reminds me of the college students of the '60's who thought they were so revolutionary and rebellious, but when you look into it, you realize that they were led by older professors and activists.)

So by appearing in a pro-Obama ad, we can only assume that Brian McLaren is comfortable with Senator Obama's position on abortion, which we have all learned more about this week [boldface mine]:
. . . When [Senator Barack] Obama was in the Illinois Senate, the Born Alive Infants bill came up three successive years.

In 2001, three bills were proposed to help babies who survived induced labor abortions. One, like the federal Born Alive Infants bill, simply said a living "homo sapiens" wholly emerged from his mother should be treated as a "'person,' 'human being,' 'child' and 'individual.'"

On all three bills, Obama voted "present," effectively the same as a "no." Defining "a pre-viable fetus" that survived an abortion as a "person" or "child," he argued, "would essentially bar abortions, because the Equal Protection Clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute."

In 2002, Obama voted "no" on the bill.

When Democrats took control of the Illinois Senate in 2003, Obama became chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee. The Born Alive Infants bill and an amendment to add exactly the language [Senator Barbara] Boxer [of California] said protected Roe in the federal bill (which President Bush had signed into law in 2002) was referred to this committee.

According to the records made by committee Republicans, the amendment to include in the Illinois bill the language Boxer said protected Roe was approved by a 10 to zero vote of the committee. (This vote, Republicans say, was a common procedural courtesy extended to the sponsoring senator.) The bill as amended was then put to a committee vote. It lost four to six, with Obama voting "no.". . .

The heart weeps. And that's all I have to say about that.

H/t to the BibleBeltBlogger.

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