The Saddleback Civil Forum has gotten a lot of press lately. It's the event at which evangelist/megapastor Rick Warren interviews both Sens. Obama and McCain - call it the first unofficial debate. I'm about 75% of the way through Obama's responses right now (the whole thing's bouncing around YouTube somewhere) and have yet to start on McCain, and I will admit that it's interesting and informative.
But... something's bugging me about the whole thing. The Post's Kathleen Parker kindasortamaybe puts a finger on it. I'm not sure if I completely agree with Parker - groups of voters, especially groups as significant as evangelicals (some 30% of Americans, at last count), deserve to have candidates address their issues. But I share Parker's worry about a de facto religious test for office. How could a non-Christian candidate possibly come out of that forum looking good? And with the national importance placed on the event, how would such a candidate recover from that appearance?
Is the problem with the media, who ascribe too much importance to a candidate's faith-talk? Is the problem with voters who are suspicious of people with different theological leanings? I don't know. I just know that I'm not sure I like this whole thing. I think.