Friday, August 12, 2011

If it was fair to ask about Barack Obama...

...then it is fair to ask about any Republican presidential aspirant, right?

I came across an editorial today that first appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and was then picked up by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that poses a challenge for the media.

It asks if the media intend to scrutinize the religious affiliations of the various men and women who want to be the Republican presidential nominee, noting that the church attendance of Barack Obama was a relevant (at least in the media's eyes) during the 2008 presidential election.

Perhaps the most important section of the piece is this:
I'm wondering if the conservative media and all those who criticized Obama for his choice of church and pastor will treat Republican candidates' clergy and associates with the same scrutiny.
Not that I particularly care what church or religious institutions a candidate belongs to, I think we should insist that the media examine statements and sermons of the preachers these contenders have embraced.
Let's go back 20 years and see what their thoughts are about the 'social gospel," the role of women, ethnic and religious minorities and the U.S. government, just to get started.
I think you and I know the answer -- nope, ain't gonna happen. None of the candidates' religious leaders will be explored in a proactive manner; the only way the media will undertake such a story is if they must react to a YouTube video or other private-citizen driven piece of evidence that suggests a person of the cloth might be of dubious character.

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