Michael Gerson has a problem with Barack Obama:
Sen. Barack Obama’s speech on religion and politics this month lacked this kind of sparkling clarity, but it had virtues of its own. He spoke frankly of his faith: “I learned that my sins could be redeemed. I learned that those things I was too weak to accomplish myself, He would accomplish with me if I placed my trust in Him.” Obama recognized the central role of religion in the history of American social reform, from women’s rights to the abolition of slavery to the civil rights movement. And he made a sophisticated distinction between the religious right and American evangelicalism, rather than lumping them together as a monolithic menace.
For Democrats, the speech was a class in remedial religion. But Obama still missed an opportunity. By speaking at a gathering of the United Church of Christ — among the most excruciatingly progressive of Protestant denominations — he was preaching to the liberal choir. And he did not effectively reach out to an evangelical movement in transition.
So this is what it’s come to: one can publish an op-ed in the Washington Post bashing a presidential candidate for speaking to a church of the denomination to which he belongs. It’s as if someone were to attack Rudy Giuliani for giving a speech in a Catholic church.