As a happy consequence of the Okie Gardener's recent post, Obama's Church, I entered into a productive dialogue with a reader/commenter.

Here is a portion of the reader's comment on the post (see the full comment here from "JC") :

"A candidate's church shouldn't be an issue unless it is something truly weird or cultish... something that would indicate that the candidate is not of sound mind or character."

After which, in an offline exchange with JC, I recommended the Gardener's latest post on Rudy's Church (which I feel clarifies what we were aiming for). I also expressed my belief that a candidate's church and his/her relationship with his/her church is a meaningful consideration among many when choosing a president.

JC responded:

Thanks for the note. Actually, I read the post on Rudy's Church, and it didn't address my concerns. It is disturbing to me, that Rudy's estrangement from his church would not be an issue while Obama's Church would become an issue. The Catholic Church has had some huge problems, which I would not consider a problem for Rudy, any more than I would make Obama's black church an issue for him. The only question I might ask, is whether white families would be turned away if they chose to attend.

I in no way meant to suggest that it is inappropriate to consider the church of a presidential candidate, only that we shouldn't hold Obama accountable for the mission statement of his church... especially when, in reality, black Americans face challenges that whites do not. It really bothered me that this reality was ignored (particularly in the comment by Joab), and I actually find it admirable that the church states clearly its "commitment to God", that the church is "unapologetically Christian", and that the church wants to specifically address issues of the black family.

Obama has been impressive in that he does not ask blacks to focus on ways they may have been oppressed in the past... but what they can do now to solve problems in the black community. I don't know enough about him yet... to know for sure whether I think he'd make a good president. I already know that I don't want to vote for Rudy or Hillary, regardless of religious issues, based on what I know of their character traits at this point.

Just to mention something we agree on... I share your admiration for Brian Lamb!

~~Thanks again,

Waco Farmer again: Anybody who admires Brian Lamb is always welcome to this conversation.

Note: As this post concerns race as much as politics, I am classifying it under "Race in America."