Yesterday, NJDC strongly condemned John McCain for saying that a candidate’s Christian faith is “an important characteristic” for a President, that he would prefer a Christian president and that the "Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation." Additionally, we challenged Republican leaders and fellow Presidential candidates to denounce McCain’s comments.
In our release, we noted that former Maverick McCain has sadly traded in his independent streak in exchange for support from the religious right. “Former maverick John McCain’s statements were repugnant. It’s been sad watching him transform from political maverick to religious right mouthpiece," said NJDC Executive Director Ira Forman.
Today, there may be signs that McCain's pandering to the relgious right may have paid dividends for him in the Republican primary (further evidence of the strong grip that the far right has over the GOP nominating process).
This morning, the Christian Coalition issued a press release entitled "Christian Coalition Blogger Says Senator McCain May Win Presidency With 'America is a Christian Nation' Comments. While the comments were written by one of the organization's "bloggers," the press release is an official release from the organization, with Coalition President Roberta Combs name featured prominately - a tacit endorsement of the blogger's comments.
From the Christian Coalition's press release:
In a Christian Coalition of America blog entry entitled: "McCain's 'America is a Christian Nation' Comments Might Make Him President," Jim Backlin said: "Comments like 'America was founded on Christian principles' by Senator John McCain just might make him president. In an interview last Saturday with a Christian-oriented website called Beliefnet, Senator McCain stated that "I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I would prefer someone who has a grounding in my faith." The fact that the left-wing Muslim groups vociferously reacted against McCain's remarks, just added validity to his comments, and indeed value for his presidential nomination hopes.
... Who knows? The McCain Straight Talk Express just might begin appealing to a divided conservative community with courageous comments such as these."