We are in new territory this year when politicians renounce men of God for their wildly divisive rhetoric, as Barack Obama did yesterday in resigning from Trinity United Church of Christ after the bombast of Rev. Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the bad taste of Michael Pfleger, a visiting Catholic priest.
Earlier in the month, John McCain cut loose his dynamic duo of Pastor John Hagee and the Reverend Rod Parsley for their hate-mongering.
In earlier times, it was the clergy who denounced such behavior by candidates for public office, but in the era of televangelism and mega-churches, the competition for worshippers has become as intense as the scramble for votes.
The YouTubing that has punished candidates for breaching political correctness (pace George Allen of Macaca fame) is just now catching up with preachers, many of whom have been uninhibited in their expression by the certainty that they are doing God's work.
But that's all changing. Even the sainted Billy Graham, adviser to Presidents since Eisenhower, was embarrassed by the recent release of audiotapes of his agreeing with Nixon about the "stranglehold" of Jews on American media and encouraging him by saying, "If you get elected a second time, then we might be able to do something."
In politics as well as religion, God works in mysterious ways. You never know who's listening.