Serious words at funny Al Smith dinner

Political insiders know that the Alfred E. Smith Dinner strives to honor decades of civic and religious traditions.In election years, it's a tradition that the presidential candidates appear -- wearing formal, white-tie attire -- and satirize their own public images, while also aiming a few gentle shots at their opponent and the ranks of elite journalists in attendance.Thus, Republican standard-bearer Mitt Romney, with a nod to his Mormon fuddy-duddy reputation, reminded the audience of … [Read more...]

Obama and Allah, past and present

In the spring of 2007, candidate Barack Hussein Obama met with a New York Times columnist and discussed his days as a "little Jakarta street kid" who once got in trouble for making faces during Koran classes.Obama proceeded to recite the opening lines of the Muslim call to prayer in Arabic, with what Nicholas D. Kristof called a "first-rate accent." Obama described this chant as "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset."This text, in one English translation, proclaims: "Allah is … [Read more...]

Obama’s awesome testimony

Play the right guitar chords and worshippers in megachurch America will automatically start singing these words: "Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above. With wisdom power and love, our God is an awesome God."So Barack Obama caused raised eyebrows when he turned to that page in the evangelical songbook during the 2004 Democratic National Convention."We worship an awesome God in the Blue States," he said, in the speech that made him a rising star. "We coach Little League in the … [Read more...]


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