Throughout the nomination process I’ve been a reluctant John McCain supporter, and there are still reasons to be concerned about a John McCain presidency simply because he is a moderate, not a conservative. I’ve felt all along that I prefer Sen. McCain over Sen. Obama, but that Obama will likely take this election. However, I think that Sen. John McCain may have earned some credibility among evangelicals after his appearance at Saddleback Church in California.

At Saddleback, Obama showed himself to be precisely what he has said he isn’t. He isn’t that different than the politicians he bellows we need to be rescued from. He has been blaring the trumpet of change for months now, but in the end, when put in a setting where he has consistently shined, he showed himself to merely be a political wolf in sheep’s clothing. In his song “A Savior On Capital Hill”, Derek Webb writes, “You can always trust the devil or a politician to be the devil or a politician…” Obama may not have shown himself to be the devil, but you can’t deny he’s a politician, and it appears, a charlatan.

When asked about the most gut-wrenching decision he’s ever had to make, Obama said it was the decision on whether or not to support the war in Iraq. This would have been a difficult decision had Obama been in the Senate at the time. However, he was only a state Senator at the time. He really didn’t have to make the decision, did he? When McCain was asked the same question he showed vulnerability by talking about the decision to refuse early release from captivity as a POW simply because he was the son of a highly decorated naval officer. He could have taken the easy out, and yet, he stuck to his principles because he abided by a code of conduct that said you only leave by an order of capture. There’s more you can say about McCain and his track record here. He has shown himself time and time again NOT to be a party loyalist. Whether you like McCain or not, and whether you think he is conservative enough, you can’t deny that he is a man who makes decisions that he believes to be in the best interest of the country he serves, not the party he serves.

When asked about his greatest moral failure, Obama said that it was that he drank and experimented with drugs during his adolescence. Really? This is Obama’s greatest moral failure? I highly doubt it. McCain, however, responded that his greatest moral failure was “the failure of his first marriage”. McCain’s marriage apparently ended because of infidelity. Even though it was already public knowledge, McCain takes ownership of his adultery. In light of the Edward’s revelation the past couple of weeks, how will McCain’s admission sit with conservative evangelicals? Will the Democrats try to exploit it? Honestly, I appreciate the fact that McCain is owning up to his sin rather than seeking to justify his behavior.

Finally, Obama showed his true political colors most clearly when he responded to Rick Warren when asked, “In your view, when does a baby get human rights?” I’ll simply quote Bryan York’s article here:

“Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade,” Obama answered. “But let me just speak more generally about the issue of abortion because this is something obviously the country wrestles with. One thing that I’m absolutely convinced of is there is a moral and ethical content to this issue. So I think that anybody who tries to deny the moral difficulties and gravity of the abortion issue, I think, is not paying attention. So that would be point number one.” Obama went on to say that he is pro-choice. Even for people who agreed with him, it wasn’t a terribly impressive answer.

Obama didn’t even attempt to answer the question. He glosses over the issue by trying to sanitize the horrors of abortion through smooth talk and the “moral” high ground of talking about abortion as a moral issue. This response has been Obama’s standard response in multiple articles that I’ve read on this subject of abortion and Barack Obama. Tragically, Obama has already answered this question through his voting record and his refusal to vote in support of a ban on partial-birth abortions. Sen. Obama, I want to see less moral pontifications and more moral action.

In light of McCain’s recent comments that Tom Ridge, a pro-choice Republican, may be a viable Vice-Presidential candidate, McCain’s response on this issue was strong. Human rights begin “at the moment of conception. I have a 25-year pro-life record in the Congress, in the Senate, and as president of the United States, I will be a pro-life president and this presidency will have pro-life policies.”

I was initially silently concerned about McCain and Obama appearing at Saddleback Church, but now I’m very thankful to God that Warren set up this forum. This forum may not win McCain the Presidency, but it has been helpful in exposing the depth of character that each of these men possess. This isn’t to say that Obama isn’t a man of character or principle; that jury is still out. This also isn’t to say that McCain possess the greater character of the two. It was just one conversation and one opportunity for each candidate to frankly begin revealing their true colors. While both men were revealing, I think McCain showed himself to possess the kind of depth, thoughtfulness, life-experience and mature thinking that are needed for any individual to be considered for the Presidency of the United States of America.