Saturday, August 16, 2008

A clarion call to Christians, Barrack must not become President

Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Barack Obama and John McCain, in back-to-back appearances before one of the nation's biggest evangelical churches, disagreed over abortion and Supreme Court justices while supporting letting the states decide gay marriage.

`I am pro-choice,'' Obama said tonight in response to questions from Rick Warren, author of ``The Purpose Driven Life,'' pastor of the 20,000-member Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. ``I don't think women make these decisions casually.''
McCain, appearing later, said life begins ``at the moment of conception,'' and said he has opposed abortion rights for 25 years. ``I will be a pro-life president,'' he said.
Democrat Obama and Republican presidential rival McCain, an Arizona senator, are courting evangelicals, who make up more than one-quarter of the U.S. population. They are more numerous than Catholics or mainline Protestants, according to the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
The two candidates embraced briefly at the end of Obama's hour-long interview and at the start of McCain's on the nationally televised forum. The meeting came after weeks of skirmishing over the two candidates' energy and tax plans.
Both candidates spoke of their Christian faith, with Obama saying he believes ``that Jesus Christ died for my sins,'' and McCain, who has been reluctant to discuss his religious beliefs, talked about his personal experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
Both Obama, an Illinois senator, and McCain said marriage is between a man and a woman, while supporting gay unions and leaving it up to the states to decide gay marriage.
Supreme Court
On the question of Supreme Court justices, Obama said he wouldn't have picked Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia or John Roberts. McCain, asked the same question, said he wouldn't have picked Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter or John Paul Stevens.
McCain said he would only pick justices with a ``proven record of strictly adhering to the Constitution.'' Obama expressed concern about ``the encroachment of the executive branch on the power of the other branches.''
McCain soft pedaled his support for embryonic stem-cell research, which many evangelicals oppose, saying the issue has been a ``terrible dilemma'' that he's had a ``great struggle'' to solve.
Obama said stem-cell research on embryos that are ``about to be discarded'' is a ``legitimate moral approach to take.''
Evangelicals have backed Republicans for decades, with almost four out of five backing President George W. Bush in the 2004 election. McCain leads Obama among such voters 68 percent to 24 percent, according to a Pew poll released earlier this week

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