- The Washington Times - Monday, June 25, 2007

Ahead in Nevada

Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who is expected to enter the presidential race soon, leads all Republican hopefuls in Nevada, according to a survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.

Mr. Thompson garnered 25 percent in the poll. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was second with 20 percent, followed by ex-New York MayorRudolph W. Giuliani at 17 percent and Arizona Sen. John McCain at 8 percent.

On the Democratic side,New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton led Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, 39 percent to 17 percent, followed by former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards at 12 percent andNew Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson at 7 percent.

The survey was conducted Wednesday through Friday among 400 likely Republican caucus-goers and 400 likely Democratic caucus-goers. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Obama’s sermon

Sen. Barack Obama told a church convention Saturday that some conservative evangelical leaders have exploited and politicized religious beliefs in an effort to sow division.

“Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in remarks prepared for delivery in Hartford, Conn., before the national meeting of the United Church of Christ.

“Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us,” the Illinois senator said.

“At every opportunity, they’ve told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent design,” according to an advance copy of his speech.

“There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its No. 1 legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich,” Mr. Obama said. “I don’t know what Bible they’re reading, but it doesn’t jibe with my version.”

Mr. Obama is a member of the United Church of Christ, a church of about 1.2 million members that is considered one the most liberal of the mainline Protestant groups.

In 1972, the church was the first to ordain an openly homosexual man, the Associated Press reports. Two years ago, the church endorsed same-sex “marriage” and was the largest Christian denomination to do so. Mr. Obama believes that states should decide whether to allow homosexual “marriage,” and he opposes a constitutional amendment against it.

Likability problem

Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to prove she’s a man. She has to prove she’s a woman,” Peggy Noonan writes at www. OpinionJournal.com.

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