McCain, Obama to attend Rick Warren faith forum

Both Barack Obama and John McCain have confirmed their attendance at a forum on Faith held by Rick Warren. This will not be a debate of sorts, more of a forum where the candidates will each appear separately for an hour.

Story from Yahoo News:

The Rev. Rick Warren is so prominent and respected that just being seen with him is a boon for any presidential candidate.

For Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, their appearances at a forum Saturday night at Warren’s evangelical California megachurch bring risks along with rewards.

The event will play to one of Obama’s strengths, talking about his Christian faith, but it will also underscore the gulf between his views and those of the most conservative Christian voters.

Many of McCain’s positions are more in line with the evangelical worldview, but he is uncomfortable — and some critics say unconvincing — while talking about his personal beliefs.

The candidates will appear separately, spending one hour each with Warren, before coming together on stage for a handshake. The pastor, who does not endorse candidates, will be the only one asking questions.

Warren is an anti-abortion Southern Baptist who is nonetheless part of a shift away from the religious right’s strict focus on abortion and marriage. The environment, poverty and education have also become pressing concerns, especially for younger evangelicals.

Warren is best known for building Saddleback Church into a 23,000-member megachurch in Lake Forest, Calif., and for writing the multimillion-selling book “The Purpose-Driven Life.”

But he and his wife, Kay, are also leading advocates for HIV/AIDS victims worldwide. They have invested enormous resources in their PEACE Plan, now under way in Rwanda, which aims to combat corruption, illiteracy and other social problems through church partnerships with government and business.

A discussion of the forum from MSNBC:

It will be broadcast live this Saturday (8/16) starting at 8pm eastern time on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. I’m betting it will be on C-SPAN and broadcast online in several places as well. I will try to have the full video up if possible.