Now that you've had a few days to consider, what do you think?
I'm referring to the recent nationally-televised "faith and values" discussion showcasing Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama.
For the casual channel-surfer, it may have looked like an episode of Pat Robertson's "700 Club" religious program.
But it was not the "700 Club," and Pat Robertson was nowhere to be found.
Indeed, it was CNN hosting and televising an event last week, co-sponsored by the liberal “Sojourners” Christian advocacy organization, wherein three presidential candidates talked openly about the significance of religion.
Now, there are at least a few things about this combination -- CNN, political candidates, and talk of religion - - that might make one a bit cynical.
First, while CNN's on-screen graphics read "Presidential Candidate's Forum," the event only included candidates from one party - - the Democratic party - - and even then, only the top three candidates from that one party got to participate.
This might lead one to think that the professional journalists at CNN had lost their objectivity, and were trying to use their platform in such a way as to insure that the next President is a Democrat (surely that couldn’t happen…could it??).
One might also be a bit cynical about the timing of the event. To be sure, the program signaled a shift in how the political left and the left leaning media are now collectively treating this phenomena called “religion in the public square” - - something previously regarded as awkward and to be avoided.
And recent history is replete with plenty of hostile reactions to the “God talk” of political candidates.
For example, when then-Governor George W. Bush claimed in a 2000 Republican candidate’s debate that Jesus Christ was his favorite "philosopher," his remark was regarded as controversial.
At best, Bush was portrayed as a buffoon who was pandering to the “religious right” and who obviously couldn't name a "real" philosopher; at worst, Bush was a zealot who, if elected President, would surely "impose his religion" on the world.
Later in 2000 when Senator Joe Lieberman was selected to be Al Gore’s Vice Presidential running mate, the openly Jewish Lieberman was chastised and accused of being gratuitous for his repeated public offerings of “thanks to Yahweh” for the opportunity to run for national office.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.