Real religious bigotry emerges among the GOP Presidential candidates

When a modern candidate makes a claim of religious bigotry (think Mitt Romney), it’s usually in regard to some relatively benign slight. But Sam Brownback is right (now there’s a sentence you don’t here very often), his religion was slandered by a supporter of Gov. Mike Huckabee:

According to the Catholic League, a letter “is being circulated among evangelicals in Iowa asking them not to split the Christian vote between former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Kansas Senator Sam Brownback; they are urged to vote for Huckabee, an evangelical, over Brownback, a Roman Catholic.”

The letter was written by Pastor Tim Rude of Walnut Creek Community Church in Windsor Heights, Iowa. A Huckabee volunteer.

He writes that “Huckabee is an evangelical. He has not learned how to speak to evangelicals; i.e. Bush 41 & 43. He is one of us. I know Senator Brownback converted to Roman Catholicism in 2002. Frankly, as a recovering Catholic myself, that is all I need to know about his discernment when compared to the Governor’s. I don’t if this fact is widely known among evangelicals who are supporting Brownback.”

Recovering Catholic? One of us? Apparently, Pastor Rude doesn’t believe in soft bigotry. It’s also clear that Pastor Rude (God loves irony, apparently) doesn’t think much of Catholics, and believes that no evangelical should support a Catholic as long as there is a “real” evangelical in the race.

It will also be interesting to see how this plays out and if it gets any play with the right-wing blogs. They love to attack Democrats for being anti-religion and/or anti-Catholic. Now that it’s clear that at least one person in the evangelical movement is anti-Catholic, I wonder whether the right will come down hard on their own base.

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