Robert Knight

What if a presidential candidate claimed that his view on an issue drew its power from the Sermon on the Mount, which was delivered by no less an authority than Jesus Christ?

What if that view contradicted 2,000 years of church moral teaching?

Wouldn’t this be a major news story?

It would if it involved a Republican. Or even another Democrat. But when it comes to Barack Obama, the media continue to ignore newsworthy topics and refuse to give the public substantive details about the senator’s views on many key issues.

On Sunday, at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, Sen. Obama promoted homosexual legal civil unions in answer to a question posed by a pastor, and then threw out this challenge: “If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans.”

Not one major network covered this, nor did the wire services, nor did the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times or other major newspapers. The Post and Los Angeles Times had brief references on their blogs., by contrast, carried a comprehensive story, which was picked up by World Magazine and the Baptist Press. A couple of papers had a brief mention of Obama proclaiming that he is a Christian, not a Muslim, but that was it.

As far as the senator’s unspecified interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount and his equally shocking dismissal of a key passage in the first chapter of the Book of Romans, talk about the politics of audacity.

The senator was right about Jesus reminding us of the inherent dignity of all human beings. We are supposed to love without measure. But this should include discouraging people from engaging in behaviors with known moral, social and health risks, not using government power to tempt them into error.

Can you imagine what the media reaction would be if, say, John McCain stated that he thought adultery ought to get special legal protection and that if anyone found it controversial, he or she should look up the Sermon on the Mount?

By the way, as of this writing, Sen. McCain has said no such thing. But I haven’t yet checked tomorrow’s New York Times, which might be running a front page story to this effect next to the article about the wisdom of wearing tinfoil hats when sunspots are active. The Times, if you recall, did find space on the front page recently for unsourced allegations about Sen. McCain and a lobbyist.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.