Lots of people are asking, 'Why doesn't he condemn the pastor openly and get on with the campaign?' Good question and I agree. Seems to me he's holding on to him to get as much political mileage as he can. Yet, should a Christian pastor and his remarks really damage a presidential candidate if he does not distance himself from such volitile and offensive language?
Take this statement, for example: does it really impact the race for the White House all that much?
"I cannot tell you how important it is that we understand the true nature of Islam, that we see it for what it really is. In fact, I will tell you this: I do not believe our country can truly fulfil its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam. I know that this statement sounds extreme, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed, and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore."
How could this statement by the pastor diminish the character of the presidential candidate? After all, it was the Reverend who said the words, not the candidate.
However, the candidate himself said something similar:
"We face the transcendent challenge of the 21st century. That is the threat of radical Islamic extremism. My friends, I know you know that this is an evil of transcendent and unbelievable magnitude. You can see other times when our nation and our way of life was threatened, but this ranks among the greatest."
Yes, my friends, that was John McCain. Did you think I was talking about some other candidate? Oh, sorry if I misled you.
Sharing a Cincinnati, Ohio, stage with Reverend Parsley, McCain said: "I am very honoured today to have one of the truly great leaders in America, a moral compass, a spiritual guide, Pastor Rod Parsley. Thank you for your leadership and your guidance. I am very grateful you are here."
Odd stuff. Odd people.