Tonight’s faith Q&A with Rev. Rick Warren, McCain and Obama

Posted by: ST on August 16, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Are any of ya’ll going to watch the  “Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency,” conducted by the popular Rev. Rick Warren, author of the mega-selling Christian book Purpose-Driven Life?  It’ll be two hours of faith-related questions directed to both McCain and Obama, who will get an hour each with Rev. Warren: 

On CNN’s “The Situation Room” earlier this week, Warren said he won’t play the role of a political pundit or ask “gotcha” questions, but rather tackle four areas of interest: the role of the presidency in government, leadership, the candidates’ worldviews and America’s role internationally.

The Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency will be carried on CNN TV and It will be the last time the two candidates share the same stage before their parties’ conventions. Three debates between the two are scheduled after the conventions.

Warren said he’s focused on asking both presumptive nominees questions that “don’t have a lot wiggle room.”

“But I do want to know how they handle a crisis, because a lot of the things in the presidency often deal with things you don’t know are going to happen, that we don’t know will happen in the next four years. … There are a lot of different things you can deal with in the life of a leader that will tell us more about the candidate than some of the typical questions,” he said.

I probably skip out, and instead read some liveblogs of the program later.  It doesn’t sound like the questions Warren will ask will be particularly meaningful, like whether or not Obama thinks its ok as a Christian to falsely accuse your opponent of racism. Or if approves of the types of attacks the pro-Obama liberal Christian PAC Matthew 25 is making against McCain, and whether or not he really believes that the Sermon on the Mount justifies civil unions.  Nor do I suspect we’ll hear any questions about his 20 year mentorship with Rev. Wright.

I think I hear the full laundry basket calling my name.

(Via Memeorandum)

Update 1 – 8:45 PM: Ann Althouse is liveblogging the Q&A.  I’m watching it on and off as I do things around the house.

Update 2 – 9:15 PM: I’m watching some of McCain’s answers to Warren’s questions.  He’s doing well, and looks more human and real than at any other time since the start of his campaign.  Obama seemed very uncomfortable with how to answer some of the questions.  McCain looks like he’s right at home – and Warren is asking him the same questions he did Obama.

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  • 18 Responses to “Tonight’s faith Q&A with Rev. Rick Warren, McCain and Obama”


    1. matt says:

      What a jip. They aren’t appearing together. I thought that was the whole point to have them both there at the same time. And I hate soft ball questions that anyone could lie about. One more thing what is up with the ‘extreme’ close ups.

    2. Leslie (#2) says:

      I think the comment by the blonde lady “expert” that Obama didn’t speak to the people and instead talked to Rick Warren was incorrect. Rick Warren was the question asker and should be the one addressed. McCain came off to me as making a bunch of speaches rather than directly responding to the questions Mr. Warren asked. He seemed more like he was saying what he thought people wanted to hear rather than what he believed from his heart.

    3. orangejulius says:

      Did anyone notice that CNN gave Obama almost a full minute at the end with the audience applause, focusing on people in the audience clapping, and gave John McCain about 5 seconds at the end?? That is so biased, and so CNN!!!

    4. The Obama campaign’s in a world of hurt. McCain hammered the issues, with moral clarity and resolve.

    5. Mwalimu Daudi says:

      Without His teleprompter and fawning MSM groupies, the Messiah looks … mortal.

    6. Neo says:

      Obama on abortion …

      “answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade.”

      Well he got that right. Harry “the buck stops here” Truman he ain’t.

      This was equivalent to Obama voting “present” .. yet again.

    7. Severian says:

      Above his pay grade? He’s campaigning for the highest elected office in the country, leader of the most powerful nation in the world, i.e. the leader of the free world! No pay grades above that, other than maybe Pope, who is “God’s representative on earth.”

      Above his ability though, definitely.

    8. Argus says:

      Though it would have been more enlightening, perhaps, to have seen Sens. Obama and McCain together on tonight’s coverage of the senators and their views, how much more disappointing it was that none of CNN’s analysists pointed out that the US Constitution prohibits any religious test for candidates for federal office, following up with their observations of why this provision of our constitution is blatently ignored.

      I cannot be the only one who deeply regrets that the religious beliefs of any candidate are an element in discussions whose purposes are to reveal facets of the candidates’ views and character that might be useful in our deciding who is the more fit to hold the office of president.

      We talk a lot about the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. I regrettably missed Sen. Obama’s answer to the question about his religious beliefs, but hope to witness his response when the program is re-broadcast.

      McCain answered the question briefly and then alluded to others in the world enjoying our freedoms, including freedom of religion, but as a savvy politician — or perhaps he doesn’t care — he answered the question about his own beliefs as if he were obligated to do so.

      How sad and troubling that those sworn to uphold our Constitution are willing to ignore or misunderstand one its fundamental provisions. If we pay attention to the interviewer’s questions, how many other Constitutional provisions will we find that the candidates are ignorant of and unwittingly compromise or knowingly ignore for political expediency.

      Shouldn’t we expect and demand more of the candidates AND those interviewing them, especially if the interviewers are religious leaders like Mr. Warren? Believers are told to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God, the things that are God’s.” Perhaps I misinterpret scripture, but it seems to me that “Caesar-rendering” includes knowledge of Caesar’s rules, regulations, and laws, and their observance, provided that they do not contradict Jesus’ “Caesar-rendering” statement and his summary of a believer’s obligations: (1) Thou shalt the Lord thy God with all thy heart … and (2) thy neighbor as thyself. In quoting from the Authorized, or King James’, Version I intend no affront to those who read and study other translations of scripture. My intention is to encourage readers of these comments to THINK.

    9. diana s says:

      Clearly John Mc Cain had a better night than Obama. Would be interesting to see how many time Obama stammered, himmed and hawed before giving an answer Obama did not clearly and decisively answer questions to my satisfaction, especially on abortion nor did Warren ask enough details from both candidates on their history of voting about abortion (although Mc Cain offered and made his point). Warren should have delved into asking candidates to explain because Obama has a clear record on voting for abortion in all case in many controversial ways. I do not believe that the forum would persuade any Believer to decide on Obama as President, to the contrary, Obama made clear his position on key points to faith believers that he is not in sync with the majority of believers. On the flip flop question, Mc Cain had an acceptable response, Obama on the other hand again failed to recognize the success in Iraq which was disappointing and showed his lack of putting the country ahead of his political agenda. Obama had no articulate answer for what being a Christian means to him, in fact, he was redundant and a t one point said he was redeemed and forgiven of his sins and then ended by sating, he sins every day and “hopefully” he will be forgiven. Obama’s answer showed he was not sure of his forgiveness and coming from such a brilliant and educated man, his answer was thoughtless, especially considering he should have been more prepared knowing this was in a faith based forum where one could assume the question would be asked. Warren tried hard to avoid controversial issues in a meaningful way, and made the statement that candidates should not try to be negative but if his opinion was taken, we would never have legitimate discussions on the candidates differences that is an absurd and offensive statement, I want to know the facts not sugar coated talking points, I want to know the details on each candidates political record and even their personal life details to a point. More forums should take place in this fashion where candidates do not face each other or get into a debate but are asked the same question and given enough time to fully answer with follow up questions.

    10. Buckeye says:

      Orangejulius: I did notice the cut off of applause by CNN for John MCCain.
      BHO seemed ill at ease and indecisive. I have never bought into his supposed exceptional intelligence either. He comes across as slick, smooth and insincere. And, where does he feel he has the authority or experience to evaluate Clarence Thomas? He’s not presidential material just a puppet of G Soros. We know practically nothing of his background or allegiance to this country.

    11. Howard says:

      I wish we could see more debates between Obama and McCain. This was a great opportunity to actually compare the two candidates on several levels. Although I think they both did good jobs in presenting their points of view, John McCain came across as the more seasoned, experienced, and decisive of the two candidates. When it comes to leadership and solving the numerous problems facing this country, John McCain stood head and shoulders above Obama.

    12. Steve Skubinna says:

      Howard, don’t hold your breath waiting for many head to head debates. There will be as few as the Obama camp can manage, none if at all possible. They all know Obama’s weakness is unscripted speaking, and how poorly he will come off against McCain. Heck, remember how astonished people were when Dubya did so well debating Professor Science, AKA Al Gore? That opened the eyes of all but the most dedicated partisans that Bush was not stupid, and that Gore was anything but intellectually nimble. The more Obama puts himself up against McCain on the same stage, the more the reverse is going to apply to him.

      Aside from that, Obama, for all his vaunted intelligence, has an extraordinarily shallow grasp of the world. His knowledge is maybe an inch deep in most important matters, and that’s going to show up in a debate. And who knows, he’s likely to bring up the race card – again – if he senses he’s floundering. The more he does that, the more petulant he looks.

    13. Lorica says:

      I cannot be the only one who deeply regrets that the religious beliefs of any candidate are an element in discussions whose purposes are to reveal facets of the candidates’ views and character that might be useful in our deciding who is the more fit to hold the office of president.

      Personally I think relgious beliefs are the most important indicator of an individuals views and character. So many try to use religion to further themselves with other people. This was most revealing with BO regarding his choice in spiritual leadership, if you can call Rev. Wright spiritual, or a leader. Seems to me he was just a man filled with hatred and pandered to the same in the congregation.

      Nextly, Jesus’ comments about “rendering unto Ceasar” were in regards to Ceasar’s image on a coin. Jesus was reminding people that God’s image is on man, “render unto God was is God’s”.

      (1) Thou shalt the Lord thy God with all thy heart … and (2) thy neighbor as thyself.

      When quoting you should always get it right. I find it rather revealing that you forgot the word Love in both of the above quotes. Love the Lord thy God… and Love thy Neighbor…. These are the reasons I won’t vote for BO, I don’t see love in him. All I see when I look at BO is a calculating mind, and that scares me. – Lorica

    14. Severian says:

      Right on Lorica. A person’s truly held religious beliefs speak volumes as to the person’s character, information important to determining who they really are and if that character is suited to political office. Take Obama’s long association with Wright, it means either that he truly believes the racist ramblings of Wright, or he just stuck around because he needed that kind of black church experience to sell himself to further his political career. Neither is a sign of good character.

    15. Lorica says:

      Amen Sev!!! BO is nothing more than a political opportunist, and not a very bright one as we have all noticed when he is off prompter. – Lorica