After Sen. Barack Obama's pastor made some controversial comments in church, critics flooded the Web with videos and demands for answers.
Now, YouTube viewers are getting a look at two pastors close to McCain who have their own extreme viewpoints. McCain hasn't received a fraction of the criticism for the pastors' views, and some people say that's a double standard.
Critics have posted videos on YouTube showing the Rev. Rod Parsley, pastor of the 12,000-member World Harvest Church of Columbus, calling Islam a “false religion” that America was founded, in part, to destroy.
Parsley also says, “Mohammed received revelations from demon spirits, not from the living God."
Texas televangelist John Hagee has suggested that anti-Semitism within the Roman Catholic Church shaped Adolf Hitler's view of Jews and said Hurricane Katrina was God's answer to the sinful culture of New Orleans. Hagee was criticized for his comments and has since apologized to Catholics. Still, critics say there hasn't been nearly as much focus on McCain's supporters as the comments of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
McCain’s supporters say it’s not a fair comparison, because Wright was Obama’s longtime pastor and Hagee and Parsley are simply endorsing McCain, like lots of other people.
David Corn, Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones magazine and Web site, started writing stories online about McCain and Parsley soon after reading the pastor's book Silent No More.
He produced a YouTube video splicing Parsley's words with McCain's praise of him at a Cincinnati rally in February. The video has racked up more than 296,000 hits.
“Imagine if Barack Obama had campaigned with an imam from a mosque who had called for eradicating Christianity,” Corn said. “It would be on the front page of every paper.”
“John McCain has done exactly the same thing, except he campaigned with a fundamentalist preacher who calls for eradicating Islam,” he said. . .
Asma Mobin-Uddin, president of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said she's all too aware that Americans have different levels of tolerance depending on which faith is maligned.
McCain needs to distance himself from all people “whose words are hurtful and designed to marginalize,” she said.