"Sen. Obama, you're no Jesus Christ"


Geraldine Sealey
October 22, 2004 6:26PM (UTC)

Last night's televised debate between Senate candidates Barack Obama and Alan Keyes looks to have provided an entertaining alternative to Illinois residents not interested in baseball. At one point, Keyes charged Obama with being "ignorant" of the Constitution, and Obama promptly reminded him that he teaches constitutional law at the University of Chicago. Obama criticized Keyes for comparing abortion-rights supporters to terrorists, slaveholders and Nazis. And Keyes blasted Obama for "breathtaking naivete" for criticizing the Iraq war. (Earth to Keyes: Obama is not alone on that one.) But the most heated exchange came when Keyes, in classic bizarro fashion, argued that Jesus Christ would oppose Obama because he supports abortion rights.

From the Chicago Tribune: "Christ is over here, Sen. Obama is over there: the two don't look the same," Keyes said, spreading his arms far apart. A clearly perturbed Obama said he didn't appreciate being lectured about Christianity by Keyes. 'That's why I have a pastor,' he said. 'That's why I have a Bible. That's why I have my own prayer. And I don't think any of you are particularly interested in having Mr. Keyes lecture you about your faith. What you're interested in is solving problems like jobs and health care and education. I'm not running to be the minister of Illinois. I'm running to be its United States senator.'"

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Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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