Jewish Journal


September 21, 2007

Who cares what kind of Christian John McCain is?


GetReligion has a good round-up of the story of John McCain telling a reporter that he’s not an Episcopalian but a Baptist. I know this sounds like a thrilling topic, but it touches on an important issue: The way we view Christians depends on what kind of Christian we assume they are.

This is why I’ve never liked specifying my beliefs as more denominationally biased than “Christian.” It seems McCain doesn’t either:

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Monday that questions over whether he identifies himself as a Baptist or an Episcopalian are not as important as his overarching faith. “The most important thing is that I am a Christian,” the Arizona senator told reporters following two campaign stops in this early voting state.

But GetReligion notes an interesting story from The Charlotte Observer’s columnist Dannye Romine Powell:

I don’t care whether Republican presidential candidate John McCain is an Episcopalian or a Baptist.

But the implication in Monday’s paper that he’d been caught at something — outed while trying to pass as an Episcopalian — hit a nerve.

Why do we diss Baptists?


Powell’s story is one of church social rankings, avoiding the term “Baptist” and whether one’s church parking lot is filled with “Mercedes and BMWs” or “Fords and Chevys.”

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