Five Things Obama Needs to Say Tonight

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Even though Shane Claiborne has me convinced that Christianity’s preoccupation with politics is misguided, if not idolatrous, I can’t bring myself to quit cold turkey…so I’m taping tonight’s big religious forum, hosted by evangelical pastor Rick Warren.

Still an Obama supporter, (albeit a bit less enthusiastically), I’d like to see him make a good case for why evangelicals can vote for a democrat. This is mainly because I’m getting really tired of my evangelical friends asking incredulously, “How can you call yourself a Christian and vote for a democrat?”

I encourage you guys to watch tonight, and let me know how you think it went. Did the forum address issues that are important to you? How do you think the candidates did? Who won the night? Has your attitude toward politics changed since reading/discussing “Jesus for President” by Claiborne and Chris Haw? Was the forum too slanted toward traditional evangelical issues (like abortion and gay rights), rather than issues that are important to those of us who fall more into the mainline Protestant/Emerging/or whatever way of thinking?

Feel free to comment on whatever struck you as interesting.

Here are five things I think Obama must communicate to make the forum worthwhile for him:

1. “I’m a Christian.” (Some people still don’t know.)
2. “I do not support gay marriage; I support civil unions.”
3. “Republicans have had the chance to overturn Roe. v. Wade and have not. Most experts agree that this law is not going to go away. A better strategy for combating the number of abortions that happen in America is to address the root causes of abortion—like poverty and lack of health care—which I will more effectively address as president than John McCain.”
4. “Religion should not be used as a wedge.” (I guarantee you he will say this at some point!)
5. “Followers of Jesus Christ cannot claim to vote their values unless they factor into their voting decision care for the poor, the sick, the hungry, the displaced, and the war-torn both here and abroad.” (I doubt he will actually say this, but he should!)

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