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On election eve, a large and prominent delegation from the National Council of Churches (NCC) visited with President Obama in the White House implicitly offering support. The visitation eerily recalled a similar 1995 NCC visit to President Clinton to “pray” that he be “strong for the task” of resisting the then new Newt Gingrich-led Republican Congress. Only this time, the Religious Left seemingly could not wait until AFTER the election and preemptively wanted to express their solidarity before the impending Republican electoral advance.
Whatever the intent, the NCC White House visitation likely had no influence on how its primarily Mainline Protestant constituency voted. A Pew poll showed white Mainline Protestants favoring Republicans by a 54-36 margin as of late October. CNN’s exit poll showed that Protestants overall favored Republicans 59-38 percent.
According to a NCC account of the latest White House Religious Left summit, the church prelates thanked Obama for Obamacare and lamented that “political campaign rhetoric” had descended into “fear-mongering and divisiveness.” By implication, the NCC concerns were aimed not at the President or his party but rather his critics. “Without regard to the election the following day, our faithful witness is needed now more than ever,” explained NCC chief the Rev. Michael Kinnamon, as though their November 1 White House meeting were unrelated to the November 2 mid-term referendum on the Obama Administration’s policies. “We cannot stand by while people of goodwill are baselessly attacked for their faith, their political beliefs, or their identity,” Kinnamon intoned. “We have no reason to fear or demonize those who are different from ourselves. Today, tomorrow, and into this next Congress, our country needs to come together and reclaim our values of justice and equality.”
The NCC has a long record of injecting itself politically into disputes between Presidents and the Congress. Always, the NCC will side for Big Government against its skeptics, while bemoaning the supposed “fear-mongering” of conservatives. In November 1995, during a budget showdown with the new Republican majority, the NCC helpfully stopped by Bill Clinton’s White House, where they “laid hands” on the man they hailed as “guardian of the nation.” The NCC acclaimed Clinton for ostensibly protecting the “vulnerable, children, families, and the elderly” from Republican budget proposals. Days earlier, the NCC’s board had declared itself “deeply offended” over “appalling” congressional efforts to balance the budget at the expense of “moral vision.”
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