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A wedge into the soul of the nation

McCain and Obama will make their first joint general election campaign appearance on August 16 at a forum at the Saddleback Church in Orange County, CA, where they will be participating in a discussion of “compassion and leadership”.

Why is this ironic?

Because top right-wing evangelical leaders (including Mike Huckabee) are so pissed off about this that they are holding a series of protest events in Washington DC. They don’t like the fact that the presidential candidates will focus on (in their own words) “what the church is for rather than what it is against.”

Heaven forbid that the church be a positive force for freedom or mercy. Instead, they are calling on McCain and Obama to “spend more time talking about issues that matter to evangelical voters”. You know:

  • Abortion – they are against it. One of the leaders claims that their goal is to “drive the issue of abortion like a wedge into the soul of the nation”.
  • Gays – they are against them. They want a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage.
  • Stem-cell research – yup, they are against that too. They want to ban all federal funding for stem-cell research.

Again, in their own words “This is a different kind of Christianity. … We know that Obama will appoint judges that will throw the doors open to the kind of freedom that is not founded in the scriptures.” And to show that they are non-partisan, the same leader declared “I don’t trust John McCain.”