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Obama Asked to Debate Role of Religion

Contact: Dane Rose, Program Director, Faith and Action, 202-546-8329, 703-447-1072 cell; Reverend Rob Schenck, 703-447-7686 cell

WASHINGTON, June 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Reverend Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK), president of the National Clergy Council and chair of the Committee on Church and Society for the Evangelical Church Alliance, will hand deliver a letter to the U.S. Senate office of Barack Obama on Monday challenging the presidential candidate to a public debate on religion.


Senator Obama this weekend used a national church conference to attack, "the so-called leaders of the Christian Right," who, he said, were "too eager to exploit what divides us at every opportunity. They've told Evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values, dislike their church."


Mr. Schenck said:


"With all due respect, I challenge the Senator to first identify who, exactly, he is talking about. Second, he must explain what he means about what divides us and how it jibes with Jesus' words, 'I did not come to bring peace but a sword.' Finally, I ask Senator Obama to cite specifically who, when, where and how these unnamed leaders have 'told Evangelical Christians Democrats disrespect their values, dislike their church.'"


Mr. Schenck continued, "Contrary to the Senator's attack on religious conservatives, it is Mr. Obama who has utterly and crassly politicized religion in his bid for the presidency."


In his letter, Mr. Schenck will ask Mr. Obama to debate him on the role of Christianity in the political arena.