by Tom Van Dyke
Rick Warren is the multimillion-selling author of "The Purpose Driven Life" and pastor of the supersized, non-denominational/unaffiliated Saddleback Church of Lake Forest CA. He hosted the presidential candidates today for an informal chat in front of a few thousand [a few million, counting TV] people.
You don't dis Rev. Rick. He invites, you come.
One of his first questions to the candidates was along the lines of, What does your Christian Faith mean to you?
With 80% of Americans telling pollsters they consider themselves "Christians," it's fair to say that an unsatisfactory answer at Rev. Warren's dog-and-pony show might lose enough votes to lose the presidency.
And although the constitution explicitly forbids "religious tests" for federal office, I have no problem with candidates revealing their beliefs in trolling for votes: on the whole, I'm not going for the Satanist.
Anywayz, Barack Obama's answer was that his Christian belief meant Jesus died for his sins, John McCain's that he was forgiven and saved. Very nice.
But as Thomas Jefferson noted in his diary, never once did George Washington utter or write such a bold profession of orthodox Christian faith, even when the clergy tried to pin him down:
"[T]he old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly, except that, which he passed over without notice."
Well, in 2008, the cable news pundits certainly would have noticed his unsatisfactory evasiveness, and pounced on it. If he'd been on Rev. Warren's stage tonight, a decisive sliver of voters might've adjudged George Washington as unfit to be President of the United States. Even a Christian Nationist should be able to appreciate that irony.