Presidential campaign `revs' up

Note to pastors: Pray that no one in your congregation runs for president. Zachary Roth writes in Columbia Journalism Review that while it's good that reporters have scrutinized the controversial statements of Barack Obama's pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, it's too bad they haven't given similar treatment to John McCain's "spiritual Rod Parsleyadvisor." That, according to CJR, is how McCain referred to Rod Parsley, an Ohio mega-church pastor. The two relationships don't quite compare, but Roth writes:"Parsley has his own history of controversial statements. As David Corn reported this week for Mother Jones, Parsley has called for Christians to wage war against the "false religion" of Islam, in order to destroy it. He does not distinguish between Islamic extremists and ordinary Muslims. "What some call extremists are instead mainstream believers who are drawing from the well at the very heart of Islam, he has written."[Photo of Rev. Rod Parsley from]

Paul Moses, a contributing writer at Commonweal, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009) and An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians (NYU Press, 2015). Follow him on Twitter @PaulBMoses. 

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