Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When will Democratic activists freak out that Obama is a Christian?

Obama met with about 30 religious leaders today in Chicago. The purpose was simple - "Reaching out to the faith community is a priority for Barack Obama and will be a priority under an Obama Administration," according to campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Obama has never shied away from his Christian beliefs, even after the Reverand Wright controversy. His faith seems genuine and appears to be an important part of his life. He hasn't been so brazen about saying the Jesus will set his foreign or domestic policy like Bush did, but Obama certainly isn't afraid to invoke scripture references in his speeches or talk about God with folks.

So that begs the question...when will my party freak out? Obviously, no one is going to say anything from now until November. Obama could grow a 3rd arm and the Party would rally behind him just to keep the Republicans from totally ruining this country. But at some point between January 2009 and January 2013, some folks within the Democratic Party will raise Obama's faith as an issue. Maybe it will be when Obama comes out in favor of abstinence-only education, or expresses concern with geneticists playing with our DNA. I don't know when, but MoveOn or People for the American Way or some other liberal/secular part of the Democratic coalition will raise an objection to Obama's faith.

Obama could change a lot of things. Americans' perceptions about black men, the world's perception about America, business as usual in DC, and maybe, just maybe, he could change my party's perception of faith, Christianity and its role in politics. But I'm not holding my breath.