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Participants sing and pray at The Response, a call to prayer for a nation in crisis, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Houston. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is scheduled to attend the daylong prayer rally despite criticism that the event inappropriately mixes religion and politics. (David J. Phillip/AP Photo)


Who Will Jesus endorse in 2012 Presidential Election?

Op-Ed by Bankole Thompson

DETROIT - About 20,000 right wing evangelical Christians including some of whom have questioned President Barack Obama's Christian faith came out today to pray with Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry who is expected to announce his run for president in the coming weeks.

Christians from all across Texas and the country gathered today at the football stadium for a whole day event called "The Response" a prayer vigil for a "nation in crisis."

The event is Perry's biggest show on the national stage so far ahead of announcing a GOP presidential run and it indicates the powerful role that right wing evangelical Christians will play in the 2012 presidential campaign.

As Gov Perry prepares to possibly make his run for president, and put Christian evangelicals at the center of the presidential race, a new book "Obama and Christian Loyalty" set to hit the book shelves in October addresses how right wing evangelicals have kidnapped Jesus in the national discourse leaving the political left leaning Christians trailing behind. The book discusses an ignored question: If President Obama was white will anyone on the evangelical right question his Christian faith?

The book written by award-winning multimedia journalist and Michigan Chronicle editor Bankole Thompson also dissects President Obama across a myriad of issues including job creation, education, small business development, healthcare, civil rights, gay rights, immigration, poverty, disaster relief, family stability against the backdrop of the Christian faith Obama professes.

In the thematic book, Christians from different communities are interviewed in the book about their assessment of the Obama administration against the backdrop of hot button issues facing the nation. The book will be launched Nov. 12 at a national forum at Wayne State University in Detroit.

For example, Hyepin Im, CEO of the Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD), Rogelio Orta of the Latino Christian Business Network, attorney Kathleen Weidner a "recovering Catholic," Christian author TN Williams are among those speaking out in the book.

Global Mark Makers the Iowa-based publishers of the book said it commissioned Thompson, the author of the Obama series "Obama and Black Loyalty Vol. 1," to write the book after a poll last year showed one in five Americans erroneously believe President Obama is a Muslim. Thompson has conducted a series of exclusive interviews with Obama.

"The Bible teaches us that Obama is a Christian if he believed with his heart and confessed with his mouth that Jesus is Lord. So, it’s up to Obama and God to decide on that, not Rev. Franklin Graham, Focus on the Family or Congresswoman Bachman. But whether he has been leading this nation according to Christian values and principles is up to Christians, especially voters, and indeed citizens of the world to judge. That’s what the book is all about,” Global Mark Makers said in a release.

In the book’s foreword, Bishop PA Brooks, First Assistant Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ Inc (COGIC), a man who has prayed for presidents and served as guest chaplain of the 102nd Congress, said he is honored to introduce the work of Thompson who "demonstrates an educated understanding of religion and politics."

“Rather than merely review polemic speech, the book focuses on understanding how President Obama’s responses to the varying social and economic needs fit within the Christian perspective,” Brooks wrote. “The test of true Christian loyalty lies not in whether one attends services, or speaks with all the nuances of the Christian dialect, it is in one’s devotion to God and humanity that ‘Christianess’ is proved. For this reason, I am so thankful for the scope of this book.”

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