It was a coup for Democrats: An emerging young evangelical voice, a registered Republican no less, accepted their invitation to deliver a prayer at next week’s Democratic National Convention.
But Cameron Strang, the 32-year-old editor of edgy and hip Relevant Magazine, had second thoughts and pulled out of delivering the benediction on the convention’s first night, Monday. Citing fears that his bridge-building gesture would be wrongly construed as an endorsement, Strang said he instead hopes to take a lower-profile role, participating in a convention caucus meeting on religion later in the week.
How awkward. I wonder if Obama’s abysmal performance at the Saddleback Faith Forum, and his horrendous position on abortion/infaniticide also had a hand in his decision. One can only speculate. But Strang wrote this in his report about the Saddleback Forum on August 18:
When asked by Warren, “At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?” Obama replied, “Whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.” My comment: It’s funny that it’s not above his pay grade to strongly back a woman’s right for an abortion or to support the Freedom of Choice Act, a law which, if passed, would annihilate every state law limiting or regulating abortion, including the federal ban on partial birth abortion.
Obama obviously wants and probably needs evangelical votes in November, so he said at Saddleback that he respects those who believe life begins at conception. At least he isn’t trying to argue he’s right! But from my viewpoint, he probably didn’t win anyone over who didn’t also vote for John Kerry in 2004 or Al Gore in 2000.
Obama was charming, as everyone knows he can be. He was funny, and on some things, such as his own faith, he said the right things about following Jesus. However, at Saddleback he left out a little detail that he mentions in one of his books and that he declared at the meeting where I met him in June in Chicago–that he basically believes all roads lead to heaven. What he described is universalism, which to evangelicals is heresy.
I suspect there were those in the audience who wanted to find a reason to rationalize voting for Obama. But unless they were blind and deaf and their minds were totally made up, they didn’t hear reasons at Saddleback why a Bible-believer can in good conscious vote for Obama.
Ouch. One could also suspect that this Pastor didn’t find a reason to rationalize appearing at Obama’s Convention.
Obama’s presidential campaign is still aggressively courting the young evangelical vote. He has another Republican Evangelical slated for the convention’s closing prayer:
Making a prime-time appearance Thursday night will be Joel C. Hunter, a Florida megachurch pastor, who will deliver the convention’s closing prayer after Obama’s speech accepting the party’s presidential nomination.
Hunter is a registered Republican, opposes abortion and, at one point, had been chosen to lead the Christian Coalition. He has not endorsed Obama and says he agreed to give the benediction because he was asked to do so. For years, he has pushed for evangelicals to not align themselves with a political party and has been a part of new evangelical movement, which is interested in getting away from traditional culture-war flashpoints.
Hmmm…I wonder if Hunter will follow Strang’s lead?
Hat tip: Gateway Pundit
UPDATE (August 24):
Meanwhile via Gateway Pundit, again:
Shocking news, or not?
There is a huge controversy brewing about the DNC inviting Ingrid Mattson, the head of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), who is a keynoter at tomorrow’s DNC “interfaith event”.
Gates of Vienna researched this controversial Islamic figure and uses Dr. Mattson’s own words to reveal exactly who she is.