Barack Obama may be talking up his Christian faith like he's doing today in Ohio and trying his best to appeal to Evangelicals with a “new kind of politics,” but he’s got a problem. Many of his positions are the same liberal positions that have turned off Evangelicals for years.
Obama delivered another speech about faith Tuesday. He’s done a few of these concerning his faith and how it shapes his public policy. But Sunday his campaign and the Democratic Party were handing out pro-gay rights flyers at the Pride Festival in St. Louis. How is that going to play in the heartland? The Brody File has four flyers in its possession. You can view them by clicking here and here and here and here. These are larger files, so please give them a moment to download.
Obama has passed the first hurdle by engaging people of faith and being willing to discuss his faith openly. He has passed with flying colors. But now comes the hard part. It’s called scrutiny. His political opponents believe that once Evangelicals really get a handle on what Obama is all about policy wise, then they’ll be turned off and they won’t buy in to the lofty rhetoric.
Handing out pro-gay rights flyers while at the same time talking about your “Christian faith” is a MAJOR disconnect for not only conservative Evangelicals but for some of those Independent voting, moderate leaning working class folks in the rust belt. It doesn’t play well.
Look, I understand that Obama is saying ALL people should be treated with respect. That’s not the issue. Evangelicals also believe ALL people should be treated respectfully. Rather, Obama’s next challenge may be defending his liberal positions as part of his Christian narrative. Let’s face it. Talking about fighting genocide in Darfur, poverty in America, global warming and promoting faith based groups are all well and good but will it be enough to make a dent in the Evangelical vote when his full record is exposed? Evangelicals will need ALL the information out there to make an informed decision.
For example, this past week he sent a letter to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club where he congratulated those in California who recently got married. He also lays out his gay rights agenda. Read the letter below:
Thank you for the opportunity to welcome everyone to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club's Pride Breakfast and to congratulate you on continuing a legacy of success, stretching back thirty-six years. As one of the oldest and most influential LGBT organizations in the country, you have continually rallied to support Democratic candidates and causes, and have fought tirelessly to secure equal rights and opportunities for LGBT Americans in California and throughout the country.
As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination. And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states.
For too long. issues of LGBT rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us. It's time to move beyond polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect. This is no less than a core issue about who we are as Democrats and as Americans.
Finally, I want to congratulate all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks. My thanks again to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club for allowing me to be a part of today's celebration. I look forward to working with you in the coming months and years, and I wish you all continued success.