The morning’s NYT: Whites Account for Under Half of Births in U.S., and a fascinating color spread of a race-baiting super-PAC attack ad on Obama that links him to black-liberation Wright all over again.

I remember, back when I was working on the diss – early 2008 – I was in the stacks of Harding’s religious library when I ran into an elderly white gentleman having trouble finding a book. People ask me for help in the stacks all the time – I guess I look like I work there. Anyway, I helped him. He was checking out books on black liberation theology, trying to understand this Obama fellow through his minister. We argued amicably for awhile about whether or not the political beliefs of your minister reliably affect one’s political beliefs. He was firmly of the position that you can’t sit in church for twenty years listening to the same minister and not be affected. I realized while talking that we had a very different view of the malleability of opinion, as well as the centrality of religious belief to political belief. As such, that ad, if it runs, may appeal to him but not to me. But I don’t think he voted for Obama in the first place, so this campaign may be a wasted effort, further polarizing the already polarized.

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