Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell: What kind of Christian man are you?

Here we go again.  Another day, another liberal Christian trying to pick and choose just which Christian values are the ones evangelicals should consider before entering the voting booth this November.

In case you’re wondering, Rev. Caldwell is supposedly a ‘close personal friend’ of President Bush, and is the Texas pastor who officiated the wedding ceremony of Jenna Bush and Henry Hager at the President’s Crawford, TX ranch in May.  Some prominent lefties have described him as a “homophobic” conservative pastor for believing that homosexuality is a sin, and one that can be overcome.  However, Caldwell  declared in January that he was throwing his full support behind Barack Obama, so that should dispel anyone of the notion that this pastor is a “conservative” Christian.   Just because a pastor preaches against homosexuality doesn’t automatically make him “conservative,” as I’ll soon explain.

Rev. Caldwell is making headlines for remarks he made today on a conference call with a pro-Obama liberal Christian PAC called “Matthew 25.”  Here’s what Caldwell had to say:

The pastor who officiated Jenna Bush’s wedding ripped into Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Friday for jokingly volunteering his wife last week for a beauty pageant that often features contestants topless.

“Well, I don’t know a lot about John McCain’s family history, I do know, however, that as recently as last week I think it was, the Senator made a comment in South Dakota regarding his wife entering some Buffalo Chips contest which is this topless deal and if she were to enter she would probably win it and my personal opinion and based on my understanding of the Christian faith, that’s not not, N-O-T, not the type of expression that a presidential candidate, or anyone for that matter who is a follower of the Christian faith, ought to make,” said the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell. “I don’t know if that is a perfect case in point, but it surely does help to juxtapose the DNA of Senator Obama, if you would, versus the DNA of Senator McCain.”

Caldwell, a close personal friend of President Bush who supports Obama for president, is the senior pastor at Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas. Caldwell made his comments on a conference call with reporters sponsored by the Matthew 25 Network, a liberal Christian Group. Matthew 25 is planning to air a pro-Obama ad on Saturday during the Rick Warren forum with Obama and McCain. The ad will air on CNN and possibly MSNBC, according to the group’s spokesperson.

Caldwell said that McCain’s Buffalo Chips comment stood in stark contrast with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., whom Caldwell sees as a good family man supporting pro-family policies.

Does he mean “pro-family policies” like infanticide, by chance?

More from the article:

“His marital history has been duly recorded,” said Caldwell, referring to McCain, “and as recently as yesterday I think it is, our pastor from Saddleback, Rick Warren indicated that he would not feel comfortable voting for an adulterer and I don’t know exactly to whom he was referring but I think the data speaks for itself, and again, at the end of the day, and I really appreciate you raising this because, at the end of the day again I think the American public deserves full revelation of the candidate’s character and competency. Character and competency. So, whatever questions that should be asked that would give the voting public an indication as to who they are and what they’ve done should be fair game.”


Where do I start here?  First, I do agree with  him that character matters, and it should indeed fair game.  But the “character” he’s talking about is in regards to something McCain did 30  years ago, and something that he acknowledged in his 2002 book Worth Fighting For was entirely his fault, and was done out of “selfishness and immaturity.”  For all we know, McCain, who is a Christian, has asked God for forgiveness for committing the sin of adultery.   Surely Rev. Caldwell has familiarized himself with the concept of sin and forgiveness, I hope?  I’m sure we if we really wanted to we could dig up a sin or two from the days before Caldwell became an ordained minister but it would serve no purpose, because knowing he’s a Christian one would assume he’s prayed to God frequently to forgive him for his past sins, as well as the present-day sins  he – like other Christians – surely commits without thinking (like, perhaps, gluttony).

Also, you don’t ever see McCain promoting the sin of adultery, do you?  Of course not.  Is McCain currently engaged in adultery? As much as the NYT would like you to believe he did as recently as a few years ago, the answer – as far as we know – is no.  There is no flaunting of extra-curricular activity, no knowing smile a la Bill Clinton.  McCain clearly seems to adore his wife Cindy.

On the other hand, why would a Christian pastor who acts as though he’s the voice of wisdom when it comes to following and promoting the word of God fervently support a man who believes a woman should have the right to give a doctor the authority to kill her unborn child in the latest stages of a pregnancy as it is coming out of its mother’s womb?  Abortion at any stage is a sin.  Why would this same Christian pastor support a man who believes gay rights are the same thing as “civil rights,” a man who has also used the Sermon on the Mount in an attempt to justify civil unions,  even though homosexuality is clearly condemned in several places throughout the Bible?  Keep in mind, I say these comments not as a Biblical justification against abortion, gay marriage, civil unions, gay adoption, or any other gay “right” – I’m just going by Rev. Caldwell’s emphasis on the measure of a man’s Christianity as a part of his overall character to point out the fallacy of Caldwell’s arguments.   He can condemn McCain and therefore not support him for a sin he committed 30 years ago – something he’s clearly not proud of and something he took full responsibility for, yet will support a man who proudly proclaims his support for abortion even for a baby that is at the full stage of development? He can without a doubt support a man who believes there is no difference between a man and woman raising a child as husband and wife, verus a man and a man raising a child as partner and partner?

Regarding the character issue, if Caldwell wants to go there, let’s do it.  Let’s talk about the character of a man who for years closely associated with a bigoted, anti-white pastor – one who once upon a time was referred to as his “spiritual mentor.”  And let’s not forget his close ties to convicted domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.  Yes, let’s talk about the character of the man who didn’t let his supposed ‘reservations’ about Chicago scuzzball Tony Rezko keep him from making a questionable real estate deal with him, in addition to having him raise a nice sized chunk of change for Obama as he rose in Chicago political circles.   The relationship between Rezko and Obama is much deeper than the O-man wants anyone to know about.

I could go on and on.

So yeah, if Rev. Caldwell wants to make as the focus of this campaign the characters of both Obama and McCain, I say bring it on.  By the time it’s all said and done, the only DNA Caldwell will be able to credibly claim Obama has that McCain doesn’t is the DNA that stands for Do Not Ask.

MORE: Here’s the “Matthew 25” liberal Christian group ad in question.  Disgraceful.

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