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-Christian Leaders: Candidates Should Not Talk Religion

by Dr. D ~ January 17th, 2008

More than 2 dozen Christian leaders have issued a statement to all of the candidates for President (USA) urging them to eliminate divisive religious rhetoric from their campaigns. The document contained 3 principals:

 

"Keeping Faith: Principles to Protect Religion on the Campaign Trail"

1. Avoid using religious or doctrinal differences to marginalize or disparage each other

2. Acknowledge that no single faith has an exclusive claim to moral values

3. Recognize that policy positions should reflect the best interests of all citizens regardless of religious belief

 

Response: Religious rhetoric has become particularly acute this campaign for a number of reasons.

First of all, Democratic candidates have concluded that it is important for them reach out to the Evangelical Christian community. Therefore, there is far more religious references in democratic campaigns than in recent memory.

Secondly, with Mitt Romney, a Mormon, running for the GOP slot along with Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist pastor, religion has naturally become front and center during this campaign.

Most of the time it is not the candidates themselves who have brought up the specter of religion, but news people looking for the proverbial angle and story. Some of the most abusive examples have happened during some of the debates with newscasters asking some of the most inappropriate religious questions that have ever been asked any candidate for President in any election.

Some have been particularly critical of the Huckabee campaign as especially playing to the Evangelical community and exploiting their supposed religious biases. I believe that is an unfair and incorrect view which has been perpetuated largely by the news media.  Also, there has been one article and opinion piece after another in the media about how Evangelical voters will find it difficult to support and vote for a ‘Mormon’ candidate.

It is the media itself that has largely made this an issue while Christian leaders have denied that charge, some actually coming out in support of Romney. Other Evangelical leaders have been careful to point out the 6th article- that there is ‘no religious test’ for President.       *Top

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