There are mixed messages in this WaPo piece on seeking the support of Christians who are left of…right.

With the Democratic presidential nomination in his
grasp, Sen. Barack Obama is making a full-throttle push for centrist
evangelicals and Catholics.

It’s a move that’s caught some conservative evangelicals off guard.
They say they are surprised and dismayed to see a liberal-minded
politician attempting to conscript their troops. At the same time, they
say that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has done little to court their

They’re going to be seeing a lot more of Obama coming after the Christian flocks.

Obama’s campaign is also launching a grass-roots effort,
tentatively called Joshua Generation, with plans to hold concerts and
house meetings targeted at young evangelicals and Catholics.

A political action committee set to launch this month, the Matthew
25 Network, plans to direct radio advertising and mailers to Christian
communities while talking up Obama in the media. The group is not
officially tied to the Obama campaign.

Obama’s emphasis on faith outreach plays to his strengths, campaign
observers say. The senator is at ease speaking about religion and
preaches a message of forging common ground with disparate communities.

But he’s not yet had to answer the tough questions about life issues
at the core of the Christian beliefs about human rights. The message he
preaches on the Gospel is only coherent if it’s grounded in that.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....