Staff Editorial: Presidential hopefuls must denounce hate messages of religious leaders

Most people have a few skeletons in their closets they would like to forget about. In the case of presidential candidates it’s difficult for them to keep their demons quiet, especially if those demons have publicly endorsed their campaigns.

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has faced a lot of heat these last couple weeks because of incendiary remarks made by Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the leader of the Illinois church Obama attends.

Many television stations seemed to have gathered clips of Wright and hit the replay button.

The bashing continued even after Obama gave an eloquent speech asking for different races to come together.

What many people fail to realize is an Evangelical minister and good friend of John McCain Rod Parsley has made remarks similar to, if not worse than, those of Wright.

In his book Silent No More, Parsley writes, "I cannot tell you how important it is that we understand the true nature of Islam, that we see it for what it really is. In fact, I will tell you this: I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam…. The facts are clear, then. We are heading toward an historic conflict."

Parsley has made even worse remarks virtually calling for the obliteration of Islam and all Muslims.

The words of Wright and Parsley may not mirror the opinions of Obama and McCain, but we have to ask ourselves why they haven’t specifically condemned their religious figures’ messages of hatred.

More importantly, it is difficult to believe either one could then handle the leadership position of such a diverse nation.

We should certainly hope Parsley’s message resembling that of Nazi Germany wouldn’t be carried out if McCain won the election.

This is by no means an endorsement for Hillary Clinton, but an analytical look at the lives of two men who put everything in the open the minute they announced their campaigns.

Religious leaders and presidential hopefuls alike should aim to unite, not divide a country whether their constituents are Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Hindu. The U.S. is already at war abroad; its leaders should not be consumed with starting war at home.

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