New Christian group airs ads – for Obama
The group counters attacks on the Democrat while broadening issues important to Evangelicals and others.
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"People like myself get a lot of attention when we talk about issues like abortion and family life, but not when we talk about helping low-income people," says Sharon Daly, former vice president of Catholic Charities. "Matthew 25 gives us the opportunity to try to get candidates to focus on these concerns."Skip to next paragraph
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While the network is only endorsing Obama this year, it aims to become a permanent group that eventually supports candidates at various levels of government.
"The issues people pray about before they go to bed at night aren't those divisive issues Republicans have raised," Ms. Vanderslice says. "They pray about their son or daughter being overseas, or how they'll take care of their mother-in-law's nursing bills, or whether their son can go to college."
Yet the PAC, which includes people who are both against abortion and for abortion rights, won't shy away from the issue. "Everyone in the network is focused on reducing the number of abortions - and that's where Senator Obama's focus is, along with emphasizing personal responsibility, fatherhood, and having the courage to raise a child," she says.
A section of the website called "Put Away Falsehood" (Eph. 4:25) addresses specific claims made about the Illinois senator, from his being a Muslim to supporting infanticide. The group also has called on Sen. John McCain's campaign to remove an ad titled "The One," in which Obama is mocked as a Messiah figure. It's stirred considerable controversy for what some see as an attempt to portray him as the Antichrist through use of evangelical symbolism connected to the bestselling "Left Behind" series of novels.
The Network ad running on Christian radio, in which Obama talks about his faith, has brought strong reaction from the religious right. James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, warns his listeners against the "highly seductive" Matthew 25 ads.
Some future Network ads will target Catholics directly. Obama says he found his Christian faith while working as a community organizer among low-income people in a Catholic-sponsored program, Ms. Daly emphasizes.
She believes that as "Catholics reflect on this and get to know more about him," their support will grow.