Jesus Isn’t Enough?
Earlier this week, Dan highlighted President Obama’s discussion of religion at a “backyard conversation” in New Mexico. His heartfelt confession of a deeply personal faith in Jesus Christ was the kind of testimony one would expect to connect with evangelical Christians–and put to rest questions about his faith.
As Kyle at Right Wing Watch notes, this hasn’t stopped Christian right leaders who are doing their best to justify continued attacks on the President’s faith. Tony Perkins, fresh off claiming Obama is “advancing the idea of the Islamic religion,” reacts by explaining that though he “may be a Christian,” it doesn’t really count:
He told the crowd in New Mexico that his “public service” is an “effort to express his Christian faith.” If so, then he has a vastly different understanding of biblical truth than I do.
For Perkins, who has a lengthy record of marrying Christianity to political conservatism, political and religious disagreements are inextricable. There’s no room for Christians across the political spectrum to disagree on the practical application of their faith because there’s only one Christian answer (Hint: It’s Perkins’s).
This logic gives Perkins a double-edged sword. When he wants to discredit his opponents’ faith, he does so under the guise of basic policy disagreements, and when he wants to attack their policies he speaks with the moral authority of a pastor. Conveniently, when others criticize his political positions, he cries foul and alleges religious discrimination.
It’s obviously too much to expect Perkins to cut it out, but it’d be nice if national news networks started treating him as a partisan operative instead of a religious leader.