The race for Pastor-in-Chief has hit the airwaves (as well as the tubes of the Interwebs).  The Matthew 25 political action committee produced this ad which aired during Saturday’s Saddleback Civil Forum:

Wow.  If you can’t beat the Religious Right, you may as well imitate them.  If you feel a little uncomfortable after watching that piece, you are not alone. BeliefNet’s president and (blogger extraordinaire) Steve Waldman had this reaction: 

I’m most intrigued by this moment: KirbyJon says,”Throughout his entire career he’s stood by families.” And then his wife, pastor Suzette Caldwell says, “Including his own.” Kirbyjon nods and hmphhhs in agreement.

Might this be intended to poke John McCain for committing adultery in his first marriage? Seems that way to me.

Regardless of whether or not the ad casts aspersions towards McCain, it does little to advance a legitimate reason to vote for Barack Obama.  The American people want real solution to real issues in this election.  Pontificating about a candidate’s faith or family life does little to elucidate those solutions.

And guess who agrees with us (at least partially)?  That’s right: Focus on the Family, the Dobson-led group who is usually our political adversary here in Washington.  Said FoF staffer Carrie Gordon Earll

What they describe in the ad could describe millions of American men. Just go to a Promise Keepers event and the stadium’s full of them, but that doesn’t mean all of those men are qualified to be president. The question I would think that religious leaders would be asking is, what is this man’s views on issues? What’s his Christian worldview on issues?

OK, so we don’t believe a candidate needs a Christian worldview in order be an effective president, but we definitely have some common ground here.  Of all the pressing moral issues in this campaign, Matthew 25 has chosen to highlight Obama’s marital life?

We would expect an add like this from the Religious Right.  But a Religious Left can be dangerous to the sanctity of religion and the integrity of democracy like the threat posed by the Religious Right.  Just because a Religious Left supports a progressive policy agenda does not mean the Left should lower itself to the same level as the Right.

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