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McCain & Obama: Together But Apart at OC Church

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Yesterday brought both presumptive Presidential nominees to Orange County to Pastor Rick Warren's Lake Forest mega-church for question-and-answer sessions that overlapped only briefly. It was the first time John McCain and Barack Obama shared the stage for quite some time. Warren posed the same set of questions to each candidate, and both seemed to frequently frame their responses in the context of Christianity in light of their audience, reports The questions covered several of this campaign's primary areas of interest, including abortion, gay marriage, and other topics from a "range of moral, foreign and domestic issues."

The differences in their responses seemed to be expected and occasionally sharp, such as in the case of the issue of abortion; McCain believes that life begins at conception whereas Obama is in favor of legalized abortion. Obama pointed to other areas of improvement at the hands of the government when it came to unwanted pregnancies, although both candidates mentioned the need for the adoption process to be made easier. Though their philosophical and political perspectives are evidently opposite, both stated that the felt an issue such as gay marriage was something that should be decided at the state level.

When it came down to the issue of wealth, McCain's classically Republican mentality was plainly evident when he said, perhaps as a jab at Obama possibly raising taxes: "I don't want to take any money from the rich. I want everybody to get rich." Of course, he also "said the nation's greatest moral shortcoming is its failure to 'devote ourselves to causes greater than our self-interests.'" Hey, it's hard to do what Obama says and take a page from Jesus' playbook and take more time to provide "help to the disadvantaged" when we're busy getting rich.

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Both candidates are preparing for the upcoming Democratic and Republican party conventions.
Photo of John McCain by marcn & of Barack Obama by transplanted mountaineer via Flickr/both from previous and separate appearances