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Like Martin Luther King

“Like [Martin Luther King Jr.], Obama has an expansive and generous view of religion. God really is no respecter of skin color. The great themes of love, justice, and hope apply to all, not to a chosen few. Obama’s message is disarmingly simple and historically vexing: Our God-given unity as a people is greater than the prejudices and fears that divide us.

Richard Lischer, James T. and Alice Mead Cleland professor of preaching, in Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, published on March 19, 2008, in response to Sen. Barack Obama's March 18 speech on race, religion and politics in America

Declining Denominational Identity

“Denominational labels decline daily in importance as they have become increasingly devoid of meaning. A century ago, a Presbyterian was a Protestant Christian who stressed predestination and the absolute sovereignty of God, while a Methodist rejected predestination and opted for the priority of human freedom. Today the situation is far more diverse. A conservative Methodist parish may have far more in common with a conservative Episcopalian parish around the corner than with a liberal Methodist parish downtown.

David Steinmetz, Amos Ragan Kearns professor of the history of Christianity, in an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel, published in the March 9, 2008 issue

America’s Inner Architecture

“Race as a religious matter and race as a political matter are written into America’s inner architecture. But until now it has been written there under the terms of a more or less unstated pact: speak not about race in American politics, and certainly speak not about it explicitly.

J. Kameron Carter, associate professor of theology and black church studies, in an op-ed on the Obama speech published in the March 21, 2008, issue of The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Positive Steps for Baptists

“If this meeting is about shaking a fist at evangelicals and the Southern Baptist Convention, it will have a very short shelf life. Then it becomes about anger and pride. It becomes the negative motivation of trying to say what we are not. What I like about this particular meeting is there are positive steps we as Baptists can take together.

Curtis Freeman, research professor of theology; director, Baptist House of Studies, quoted in the Jan. 28, 2008 issue of The New York Times on the New Baptist Covenant Celebration in Atlanta