Yesterday, Barack Obama met with church leaders – in the Chicago highrise office building where my husband works, incidentally – to perhaps discuss the wonderment that lightning doesn’t strike whenever he invokes the name of Christ in the same breath he condones abortion.
Ok, I doubt that but do admire his chutzpah for continually taking the risk. According to the Associated Press:

As one clergyman put it, when Barack Obama met with Christian leaders in Chicago today, the discussion “went absolutely everywhere.”
The presumed Democratic presidential nominee met privately with the group [of ~30], which included conservatives, and discussed Darfur, the Iraq war, gay rights and abortion.

t. d. jakes.jpg

Bishop T.D. Jakes, who heads a Dallas megachurch, tells the AP that Obama discussed his “personal journey of faith.” And he says some of the participants clearly have political differences with Obama. Jakes, who does not endorse candidates, says he would also like to meet with John McCain.
Obama’s campaign says the event included “prominent evangelicals and other faith leaders” and there will be more such meetings in the months to come….

The senator’s support for abortion rights and gay rights, among other issues, draws opposition from religious conservatives.

Ah, Jakes. I parted company with this man I now know is a “health and wealth” preacher in 2000 when he handed pro-abort presidential contender Al Gore his pulpit to pander to 30,000 congregants.
Jakes had an odd way of not endorsing Obama, writing in a CNN op ed of getting “goose bumps” watching Obama as a fellow black (in reality half-white) accept the nomination, and:

I congratulate Sen. Obama on this historic accomplishment. I thank him for accepting the torch that was lit by our forefathers and proudly carrying it through the darkness of our struggles, trials and tribulations, bringing light and hope to a new generation, and for facing all those who said “No” and “You can’t win,” or “It will never happen,” and firmly, proudly, defiantly saying, “Yes I can!”…
[T]his is not just a victory for African Americans, it is a victory for democracy….

obama black baby.jpgI don’t know what victory there is in supporting a candidate who supports an abortion industry that purposefully targets minority neighborhoods, that aborts 1,500 black babies a day, that is the single greatest cause of African-American deaths, and that has brought blacks from #1 minority status to #2 behind Hispanics.
But there you go.
Newsweek reported June 9 up to 100 pastors call in for a weekly prayer for Obama. In addition, “there are separate weekly prayer-and-strategy calls for the campaign’s Roman Catholic, Jewish, evangelical and African-American faith-group leaders,” reported Newsweek.
Lest Bible believing Christians despair at the apparent collective loss of pastoral moral compass, GetReligion.org showcased the Newsweek journalist as 1 of those “in the bag” for Obama.
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[Lisa] Miller leaves out a key element of the story: None of the pastors mentioned are Catholic priests or white evangelical pastors…. [T]hey were either black Protestants… or white mainline [liberal] Protestants…. This is an oversight. Were Catholic clerics or white evangelical pastors not invited? Did they decline the campaign’s offer to pray for the candidate?…
Newsweek should have mentioned that most were United Methodists, from the United Church of Christ, or black Protestants. By reporting that pastors are praying for Obama, is it not relevant which denominations they represent?

The Obama campaign definitely wants us to think pastors everywhere are jumping on his bandwagon. From another AP article on yesterday’s pastors’ meeting:

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the gathering included evangelicals, Protestants and Catholics from across the country.

But as GetReligion.org noted, the only names released who attended yesterday’s Obama pastor event were either black or mainline:

  • Rich Cizik, renegade spokesman for the National Association of Evangelicals, whose ouster James Dobson attempted last year
  • Bishop Phillip Robert Cousin Sr., of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, former NAACP board member
  • T. D. Jakes
  • Rev. T. Dewitt Smith, black pastor, president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention
  • Rev. Stephen Thurston, black Chicago pastor, head of the African-American National Baptist Convention of America
    [Photo of T. D. Jakes courtesy of BagOfNothing.com; photo of Obama and baby courtesy of CBS News]