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Vote For Obama, In Jesus’ Name? Campaign Voting Benediction in Columbus, Ohio

Reverend King and Mayor Coleman outside the Shiloh Baptist Church beginning the Barack Obama Early Voter March on February 29 2008
Caption: the Reverend King and Mayor Coleman outside the Shiloh Baptist Church, heading off the Barack Obama Early Voter March on Saturday, Feb. 29.

The “Early Vote for Change — March to the Polls with Mayor Michael Coleman” on Saturday, February 29 2008 was designated as an official campaign event of the Obama for America presidential campaign organization. Is voting for Barack Obama organized by the Obama campaign supposed to be carried out under the blessing of a Reverend? What does the Barack Obama presidential campaign mean by having the Reverend Joe King cast a Christian benediction at the end of the voter march, on the steps of the Board of Election in Columbus, Ohio, beseeching in the plural to God on behalf of those assembled and calling on those assembled to vote for Obama “in Jesus’ name”?

Listen for yourself to the Reverend King’s remarks after being introduced by Obama representative and event leader Michael Coleman, the Mayor of Columbus. Or read the transcript below:

Audience member: Kingdom movement! Kingdom movement!

Mayor of Columbus Michael Coleman: I have to my right of me the reverend Joe King, the cousin of the Dr. Martin Luther King, and since we’re all here together I thought it might be appropriate to hear from Reverend King to say a little prayer before we go in and vote to change America.

Reverend King: Thank you, Mayor Coleman. Welcome to you all this morning. We’re all so happy to have you out on this grand occasion in the state of Ohio. We’re going to make a change this weekend, starting today. We encourage you to go vote. Vote your conscience. Vote your conscience. Vote for Obama. Vote for a change for America. And now: Father God, we come on this beautiful Sunday morning to say thank you for this opportunity…

Audience members: Saturday, Saturday.

Reverend King: …to come on this day at the hall of the voter registration department to cast our votes to make a change which we all believe in. Bless everyone today and bless everyone who makes the One Million Touch on each door in Ohio. We can and will make a difference in this state and throughout the United States of America. We will be voting for a change that we all believe in. We have asked Thy blessings upon this day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Audience members: Amen.

I do not expect anyone in a competing campaign to take this information and pursue it for its disconnect with the separation of Church and State in constitutional America, since there’s so much to be gained in pandering to the large but shrinking Christian majority of voters.

1 comment to Vote For Obama, In Jesus’ Name? Campaign Voting Benediction in Columbus, Ohio

  • Junga

    You know, I don’t see any signs in that crowd seeking the blessings of God. I see a lot of signs asking people vote for Barack Obama. That sign up top doesn’t say Veterans for Jesus. It says Veterans for Obama.

    Reverend King ought to be ashamed of himself for trying to use a positive political gathering to push his religion on everyone who was there for something more practical, and more practically important.

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