‘Relevant’ publisher Cameron Strang spoke with Obama and published the interview.
Before the interview, Strang asked ‘Relevant’ readers to write in with questions they wanted posed to the senator. The questions submitted showed that Obama’s personal faith and stance on abortion weighed heavily on readers’ minds, but they were also concerned with the war, economy, social security, systemic poverty, AIDS and the environment.
In the interview, Obama discussed why he believes Congress will support his plan for the Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships versus President Bush’s current faith-based efforts. Obama also discussed the reasoning behind the restrictions his plan would impose on the hiring practices of churches and their ability to proselytize if the program receives federal funding.
Strang pointedly asked the senator about abortion. Hoping to quell rumors that are circulating regarding his stance on third-trimester and partial-birth abortions, Obama openly discussed his controversial voting record, personal convictions against abortion and how he would seek to reduce the number of abortions during his administration.
“Young evangelical voters are a crucial swing-vote in the upcoming November elections, and Senator Obama is openly discussing the issues important to our audience,” Strang said. “That’s not to say we agree on everything, but at least he’s engaging the conversation. I thought his comments on abortion were especially enlightening, as they directly contradicted many rumors we’ve heard.
“Our goal with ‘Relevant’ is to give a platform to both candidates to discuss the important issues that matter to this important audience. We want to get past rumors, finger-pointing and personality contests, and look honestly and openly at the issues.”