New Democrat Advisor on Religion Likened to Gay Basher Advising on Homosexuals

NEW YORK, August 4, 2004 ( - Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson, an ordained minister of the Church of Christ, is the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) newly appointed Senior Advisor for Religious Outreach. An odd choice, since Rev. Peterson appears to be no friend of religions. Commenting on her nomination, Catholic League president William Donohue said “Are they out of their minds? Would they hire a gay basher to reach out to homosexuals?” Presumably not. But leaders and faithful of all religions are wondering why the Kerry campaign’s liaison with religious groups is herself an anti-religion campaigner.  Rev. Peterson was one of thirty-two clergy members to file an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Michael Newdow’s attempt to excise the words ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Last November, a small group of Left-leaning clergy members started a group called the Clergy Leadership Network (CLN) to counter the efforts of the so-called Religious Right. Its first executive director was Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson. She explained that “Our sole mission is to get a national leadership change.”

Rev. Peterson is uncomfortable on the topic of religion. For example, when was asked whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God, she answered, “I would rather you not quote my theology.” She is similarly uneasy talking about abortion.  She said her clergy group takes no position on abortion, saying only that it would interfere with the CLN’s ‘reason for existence.’  The Democrats first appointed Mara Vanderslice as the director of Religious Outreach, whom Catholic League helped to expose as anti-Catholic and a radical. Instead of learning from their mistake, they have done it again by selecting Rev. Peterson, says the League.  jmo

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