A reporter for the Raleigh N.C. News and Observer has drawn some attention for his comment about the prominent placement of a Bible in a Republican state candidate's new campaign spot.
John Frank wrote a brief blog post Tuesday about Dan Forest's new 30-second ad in his bid for lieutenant governor. In the spot, Forest is seated on a couch with his family in front of a bookshelf. But when the camera cuts to a close-up of Forest, the books appear to have shifted -- with a copy of the Bible suddenly placed over the candidate's shoulder:
"Forest's folks moved the books from the family shot for the close up shot to place the Bible next to his head," Frank wrote. He followed it up with a tweet and a link to the story on his Twitter account: "Play 'where's the Bible?' in Dan Forest's new campaign ad for lieutenant governor."
Frank's post garnered some angry reactions, including one that said instead of lions, Christians are being "thrown to the liberal press." In a post Wednesday on his campaign website, Forest himself said the newspaper "ridiculed my recent television commercial because I had a Bible on the shelf behind me in the camera shot."
"I am not ashamed of my faith, nor should I be," he wrote. "I did have a Bible in clear view of the camera in my television ad, and in the ad I openly profess my belief in Judeo-Christian values. I stand by that decision because that is who I am."
Forest went on to say Frank's treatment of his faith is the same as what Sen. Rick Santorum, Gov. Mike Huckabee and football player Tim Tebow have faced for being open about their beliefs.
But in an email to The Blaze, as well as in a follow-up tweet, Frank said he was not criticizing Forest for having a Bible -- merely for using one for "political purposes."
"The blog post was not an attempt to ridicule his faith -- and my faith -- nor the Bible itself," Frank wrote. "It simply pointed out that the original shot (of his family) didn't have the Bible on the bookshelf but it appeared later in the ad during the close up."