Americans have never expected our public servants to be perfect. In fact on many levels it can sometimes be comforting to know they are not. Foibles, mistakes, faux pas all remind us that while they are called upon to lead us through times of tremendous challenge, that at the end of the day they are one of us. They are not from some line of tyrannical despot royalty allowed absolute power.
Realizing this however also causes us to understand that while they may make mistakes certain qualities are particularly more helpful, attractive, and necessary when vetting the nation's leadership. Honesty, ethical integrity, and transparent commitment to the ideals of our nation are the non-negotiables that we seek, need, and demand. Barack Obama fails the test on all three levels. Saturday night he demonstrated none of the above - and in the presence of the most recognizable mega-pastor in America.
As an aside - my own past issues with Rick Warren being what they are - it was my opinion that Warren hosted perhaps the most helpful presidential forum to date in the 2008 White House race. This shocked me - but to my pleasant surprise - was greatly beneficial for the nation to see. For while Warren and Obama may have been tied at the hip for a few years now, even in the friendly confines of Saddleback Church, Obama was unable to speak truth, and now the world saw it exposed.
His most outright lie was his claim that abortion rates had gone up over the last eight years. Within minutes bloggers at TownHall.com, pro-life groups like Americans United for Life, and even the analyst panel on Fox News Channel had the stats in front of the American public. Abortion rates have actually decreased over the last eight years, and have done so in significant fashion. In fact in January of 2008 it was reported by the Guttmacher Institute and repeated in U.S. News and World Reports that abortions had reached a three decade low.