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Obama Emphasizes Faith in Kentucky

By Shailagh Murray
Sen. Barack Obama has recycled his startling "Cross" flier to appeal to Kentucky voters.

The pamphlet has circulated in other primary states, and it always raises eyebrows for its overt appeal on religion. The words across the top read, "Faith. Hope. Change." Obama is pictured at a church pulpit, with a large illuminated cross in the background. A quote at the bottom reads, "My faith teaches me that I can sit in church and pray all I want, but I won't be fulfilling God's will unless I go out and do the Lord's work."

On the flip side is a photo of Obama in front of a stained glass window. A few paragraphs describe his work as a community organizer in Chicago, and tell of how some folks he met encouraged him to attend church one Sunday. "That day Obama felt a beckoning of the spirit and accepted Jesus Christ into his life." The words along the side read, "Committed Christian."

One aim of the flier is to clear up the persistent and false belief held by some voters that Obama is a Muslim. And circulating it in Kentucky suggests that while the Obama campaign expects to lose the Bluegrass State, it would like to avoid another wipeout, a la West Virginia.

But it also signals Obama's determination to compete for evangelical voters, who may not be enthralled with Sen. John McCain, as they have been with Republican presidential candidates in the past.

"Remember Mike Huckabee's supposed subliminal cross in his Christmas campaign ad? Well, the Obama campaign ditches the subliminal and goes for the in-your-face cross," wrote David Brody, the Christian Broadcasting Network correspondent, on his blog The Brody File. "I know the conservative policy purists will say that Obama is liberal and therefore Evangelicals won't buy his "Evangelical speak". Not so fast."

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 14, 2008; 7:34 PM ET
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