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Term 'Punjab' in Senator Obama's Campaign Literature Condemned by Christian Groups

Christian Defense Coalition and the National Clergy Council call the use of the word racially insensitive, bigoted and offensive to the Indian-American community.

Contact: Christian Defense Coalition, 202-547-1735, 540-538-4741 cell

WASHINGTON, June 19 /Standard Newswire/ -- Organizations say the response of Senator Obama to the controversy is completely inadequate and shows a lack of compassion, understanding and sensitivity on his part.

Senator Obama should have condemned the use of the word "Punjab," openly apologized to the Indian American community and fired those responsible for the literature.

Leaders of the ministries also point to a "double-standard" in how the national press has responded to this situation compared to their response with comments made by Senator George Allen and Don Imus.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, responds, "Racially insensitive and bigoted speech has no place in the public square.  This is especially true concerning a political campaign for the office of President of the United States.  In response to this controversy, Senator Obama has described the use of the word Punjab by his campaign as a 'dumb mistake' and 'unnecessarily caustic.'  This is a completely inadequate response to such an offensive term and shows that Senator Obama just 'doesn't get it.'

"Senator Obama should first condemn the use of 'Punjab' in his campaign literature.  He should then issue a complete apology to the Indian-American community and fire the person or persons behind the offensive material.  By responding in such a weak fashion to this controversy, Senator Obama raises serious questions about his ability to be President for all Americans."

Rev. Rob Schenck, President of the National Clergy Council, states, "Republican Senator George Allen made the same gaffe that Senator Obama has now made. Why is the same standard not being applied to the Democrat by the national press?  It is the height of hypocrisy to give Senator Obama a free pass on what is obvious bigotry.  Senator Obama needs to take responsibility and spend significant time making amends with Americans of Indian descent."

For more information or interviews call:

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney at 202.547.1735    Cell:   540.538.4741