This incident, and all the hullabaloo about Mr. Obama's church in Chicago have gotten me thinking--to what extent do we want our politicians in this country to be genuinely religious?
Apparently not very much. Part of running for public office in 21st Century America is turning Sunday morning worship into campaign stops. We know this because candidates encourage the media to photograph them sitting in pews, attentively listening to the pastor and enthusiastically singing hymns. These events never fail to offend me, regardless of candidate or party, because they adulterate the purpose of worship.
But I suppose that I am not in the norm in this regard because candidates, backed by marketing studies, continue to make Sunday morning worship campaign appearances. Despite occasional gaffes, professional campaign managers are pretty smart people, so I'm inclined to think that the problem isn't smarmy candidates, but the electorate that is impressed by such smarminess.