In her positions as [Howard] Dean’s top aid and the convention’s top official, Daughtry, who is 44 years old, is leading the Democratic Party’s new mission to make religious believers — particularly ardent Christian believers — view the party and its candidates as receptive to, and often impelled by, the dictates of faith. She sparked this crusade, both to transfigure the party’s image as predominantly secular and to take enough votes from the Republicans to win this year’s presidential election, in the aftermath of George W. Bush’s 2004 defeat of John Kerry. And in her vocation as a Pentecostal pastor she stands for faith in an extreme form. There is nothing equivocal about her belief. Hers is a religion not only of divine healing but of talking in tongues.Four things:
Behind her as she preached, a simple wooden cross hung on a brick wall in the vaulted and sizable sanctuary of the church, which is headed by her father, Herbert Daughtry. A prison convert who served time in his early 20s for armed robbery and passing bad checks, Herbert Daughtry — whose father founded the church and whose grandfather and great-grandfather were also ministers — became the church’s pastor 50 years ago, and today Leah was delivering the sermon as part of an anniversary celebration. Below the sanctuary, in the fellowship hall, a banner for slavery reparations proclaimed, “They Owe Us.” Fliers recounted Herbert Daughtry’s arrest, a few weeks earlier, as he led marchers protesting the not-guilty verdict in the police killing of Sean Bell, an unarmed black man. His ministry has always [sic] combined consuming spirituality with black liberation theology — the theology Jeremiah Wright invoked this spring to defend his controversial sermons — and zealous political activism. Leah holds these forces within her.
• Daughtry’s church could not have been a BLT stronghold for 50 years, since BLT’s founder, James Cone, didn’t write the first BLT manual until 1969. The elder Daughtry simply led his flock astray.
• We certainly have religious freedom in this country, but I can’t help but wonder what the response would be if the Republican National Convention hired a pastor from the Christian Identity Movement; that is, another church which uses Christ-coating to (thinly) veil its racial superiority ideology.
• White Liberals must have a Debasement Wish.
• If an apostate church exists, this is it. Everyone seems to be intent on taking Christ’s place on the Cross. What they forget is that he’s not even there anymore.