“Choosing one’s faith is the most personal of choices, a matter of individual conscience. That is why we cherish it as part of our Bill of Rights. That is why Franklin Roosevelt listed as one of his four freedoms the right of everyone to worship God in his own way, everywhere in the world. And that is why people fleeing religious persecution continue to find safety in our country. All people must be free to worship as they please, or not to worship at all. It is a simple truth: There is no freedom without the freedom of religion.”
With a few exceptions, whatever seemed odd or fringe trumped serious discussion about how candidates’ religious beliefs shape their approach to governance.
“Barriers remain to both major parties if they seek to appeal to religious voters on the economy. You’re either for or against gay marriage or abortion rights, but no one supports foreclosures and layoffs. Differences arise over solutions, and analysts say it can make more sense for campaigns to make general pitches on the economy than faith-based appeals.”
According to Stephen Mansfield, the author of this book, Barack is “raising the banner of what he hopes will be the faith-based politics of a new generation . . . and he will carry that banner to whatever heights of power his God and the American people allow.”
Hitchens: “I cannot wait to see Obama and Biden explain how this isn’t the case or how it’s much worse than, and quite different from, Obama’s own raving and ranting pastor in Chicago or Biden’s lifelong allegiance to the most anti-“choice” church on the planet.”
This year, the candidates’ religious leaders and their own beliefs are getting a lot of attention. Here is a round-up of some of the videos that have made news in recent months.
But modern American evangelicals are among the last people who’d judge her harshly. It is the left that is about to go crazy with Puritan judgments; it is the right that is about to show what mellow looks like. Religious conservatives know something’s wrong with us, that man’s a mess. They are not left dazed by the latest applications of this fact. “This just in – there’s a lot of sinning going on out there” is not a headline they’d understand to be news.
A few months ago BeliefNet interviewed John McCain and asked him what religion he thought the President should be. The Republican presidential candidate told Beliefnet he’s uncomfortable with a Muslim president but felt Mitt Romney’s Mormonism is a non-issue. Any religion is okay, according to McCain, so long as this candidate “will carry on the Judeo-Christian tradition that has made this country great.”
With Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty apparently out of the running for McCain’s VP pick, speculation this morning turns to Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska.
Although McCain has won the GOP nomination, some evangelical leaders such as James Dobson have expressed that they will not vote for him because he is too “liberal.” Can Pawlenty, a dedicated evangelical Christian, bridge this gap?