Good point: Why Palin but not Burris? 4

David Waters at “On Faith,” a Newsweek/Washington Post joint venture asks a reasonable question. Why did Palin (and Bush) get excoriated for claiming divine mission and assistance but Burris has not? Your thoughts?

Burris, Palin and God’s Politics

Kudos to Don Byrd of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty for noticing the latest attempt by a politician to claim God’s endorsement.

This time it wasn’t George W. Bush or Sarah Palin. It was Democrat Roland Burris who said this at church last Sunday as he prepared to fly to Washington and take his righteous place as the new junior senator from Illinois: “Friends, we’re going to have to have some powerful prayer. . . . They can’t deny what the Lord has ordained.”

He wasn’t referring to the Lord Rod Blagojevich, the indicted Illinois governor who appointed Burris to fill Barack Obama’s Senate seat. He was referring to the God of Abraham, George and Sarah. Bush and Palin caught holy hell when they suggested divine endorsement of their actions and ideas. Not a peep about Burris.

Double standard for Republicans and Democrats?

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4 thoughts on “Good point: Why Palin but not Burris?

  • bonds

    This is not a good point. In fact’s its stunningly simpleminded and displays craven ignorance about politics.

    Burris is not running in a campaign, which generates attention.

    He is not trying to be the vice president. He won’t ever be in a position to have his finger on the nuclear button, and think to himself, “hey, I can give God a hand with that wonderful armageddon business!”

    Furthermore, Palin didn’t receive much flak outside of liberal blogs for her crazy religious talk. The national press pretty much ignored just how crazy it was.

    By and large, liberal bloggers know much nor care about Burris beyond the fact that they would prefer another senator, but whether he is seated will be decided by judges. Nobody’s opinion about Burris means beans. The law says he will be seated and then out of office as soon as an election is held. He is a bit player in a larger story.

  • Chris Brady Post author

    Bonds I will (not surprisingly) have to disagree. It is neither simpleminded nor showing an ignorance, craven or otherwise, about politics. You see, the question isn’t about politics at all, rather it is about the media.

    The differences you point out between Burris and Palin’s political objectives are of course clear and accurate. But your suggestion that Palin’s religious comments did not receive criticism anywhere aside from liberal blogs is simply false. Newsweek, Time, and the Economist all discussed her religious views and comments as did the Washington Post, the New York Times, NPR etc. Of course Pastor Wright’s comments and Obama’s relationship to him also received a lot of coverage.

    Burris’ case is unique and troubled by the governor’s role (and the person of the governor) but the media’s coverage of his case has been oddly circumspect. That Burris is entering into this fracas with the firm conviction that God is on his side should merit attention or at least comment.

  • Looney

    Chris, I think you have understated the problem. A big chunk of America lives in terror of the establishment of a right-wing theocracy and is cynically manipulated by the left – who scour every word of their opponents to find evidence of theocratic tendencies. When the left’s own – whether Carter, Hillary or Burris – make their own religious claims, related to their political actions, it is inevitably played down as if it is nothing. This is far beyond a simple double standard.

    Obama’s choice of Rick Warren, however, doesn’t seem to fit this mold.