Sunday, June 24, 2007

Obama Addresses Church Group-- Says Faith Has Been Hijacked

The New York Times reports that Sen. Barak Obama, a Democratic presidential hopeful, yesterday addressed the United Church of Christ -- the denomination to which he belongs-- at its General Synod on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. Obama said that religion has a role to play in American politics, but that now "faith got hijacked" and is "being used to drive us apart". A video of Obama's full address is available from the UCC's website. [Corrected. Thanks to Donald C. Clark, Jr. for details.]

UPDATE: Former Reagan White House aide Jeffrey Lord, writing in Monday's issue of The American Spectator, takes the UCC to task, claiming that Obama's speech crossed the line of permissible political activity by non-profit groups. His strongly worded critique argues that Obama's long-scheduled appearance should have been cancelled after he became a candidate in the Democratic presidential race.

UPDATE: Rev. Barry Lynn, Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, says that Obama's appearance should not be seen as creating problems under the Tax Code. He says that Obama's reference to his Presidential bid did not turn his appearance into an endorsement from UCC.