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-Is Religion Really an Important Issue for 2012 Presidential Election?

by Dr. D ~ September 13th, 2011

South façade of the White House, the executive...

(Image via Wikipedia)

When it comes to the presidential election of 2012, religion seems to have become a far more important issue than it has ever been in the past.

After all, we have read one article after another (there are literally 1,000’s online) talking about ‘dominion’ theology and how some candidates, like Perry and Bachmann might have some kind of ties to that supposed diabolical movement. Then there’s the continual speculation that voters will never vote for a Mormon like Romney but somehow or another it’s never applied to Huntsman or Senator Reid for that matter.

One magazine article called Bachmann ‘anti-Catholic’ because her former church was Lutheran then later she was challenged in a debate to explain her beliefs about being in submission to her husband. Then there’s Perry’s supposed ‘dominionist’ dominated prayer rally.

I have never seen so many expose’ articles on religion before when it comes to candidates in a presidential election. What has driven religion to the forefront this time around?

Here are some of the factors as I see them:

 

1. The Voters Themselves

A national poll of the voters themselves show that the majority believe that it’s important. According to the Public Religion Research Institute, over 70 percent of Republicans and more than 50% of the Democrats say “it’s somewhat or very important that a presidential candidate have very strong religious beliefs.”

2. A ‘Secular’ Main Stream Media

The issue has been presented in ‘alarmist’ tones by a main stream media which is increasingly liberal and secular. A majority in the media today do not participate in religion all that much or understand it.

Perry and Bachmann are conservative evangelicals so their religious convictions are in play. Not only that, but by association the media deems them as tainted by any radical religionist which happens to support them.

Romney is more conservative than Huntsman so Mormonism is issue for the media when it comes to Mitt. Meanwhile according to the media, Obama shouldn’t be tainted by his former pastor Jeremiah Wright who is radical but a liberal after all. Plus his ‘Christian’ convictions should not be questioned even if there is some confusion about what he really believes.

If you remember, the media despised President George W. Bush and his evangelical religiosity and certainly does not look forward to another conservative Christian serving in the White House for a myriad of reasons. Therefore, all of a sudden we have major liberal media players like NY Times’ editor Bill Keller writing op-ed pieces challenging the religious convictions of GOP presidential candidates and demanding that they should be asked tough questions about their faith. President Obama is never mentioned in this regard so his faith doesn’t seem to matter? At least not to the media.

3. The Rise of Atheists and Agnostics

Atheism is on the rise in America and starting to become a factor. Atheist groups are legally challenging public displays of religion right and left. Atheist groups and websites are churning out one article after another against religious politicians, particularly those running for president.  Some of their anti-religious ‘research’ finds its way into the regular media.

4. Gay rights Activists

A number of activist groups are interested in the ‘religious’ issue. Gay rights activists in particular have a stake in opposing any conservative Christians running for office. The greatest opposition to their agenda comes from conservative Catholics, evangelical Christians, and Mormons.

5.  The Rise of the Internet

As I mentioned before, there are literally 1,000’s of articles on blogs about the religious faith of candidates this time around. Regular folks are interested in religion plus every activist of any kind worth his salt has his or her own website.

6. The Rise of Islam in America

Before 9/11, Islam was generally in the closet. Now it is becoming far more mainstream.  Muslims have a stake in how their religion is perceived by the candidates.

Recently there was an article about the dangers of ‘dominionism’ on the English edition of Al Jazeera. It was alarmist and wrong on many levels but links to it can be found on hundreds of Muslim websites. I even found it referenced on one gay activist blog.

7. President Obama

A major reason why religion might be more important to many this time around might be President Obama himself. He is probably the most secular president that we have ever had.

Though he has somewhat supported the National Day of Prayer, and has testified about his personal faith at a National Prayer breakfast, most of America seems rather confused about where the President really stands when it comes to religion. 20% of Americans believe that he might be a closet Muslim while 40% say that they really don’t know what he is. Meanwhile, the MSM doesn’t seem to want to address this issue in spite of the confusion.

 

These are just a few of the major factors as I see them. Fact is, religion is important to a majority of Americans so is is natural to want to know where the candidates really stand and what to expect from them if they should become President. Many are looking for a President that can inspire the nation in these tough times and seek divine help in the process.              *Top

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1 Response to -Is Religion Really an Important Issue for 2012 Presidential Election?

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