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2008 Elections and religion

June 3, 2007

It comes as no surprise that this article on CNN compliments of the AP has reared its ugly head. According to the article, candidates for the 2008 election are being more open and “honest” about their religious beliefs. Let’s quote Barack Obama, 2006:

Last year, Obama chastised fellow Democrats for failing to “acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people,” and said the party must compete for the support of evangelicals and other churchgoers.

“Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters,” he said.

No one can dispute that faith, and lack thereof, has relevance to a person’s personal life, but does that mean that we have to understand a candidates views in context of their faith? For instance, if a candidate is against the death penalty, does it really matter whether they came to that view because of faith or reason, or is it more important that this candidate will fight for his stance on the issue? What the Democrats are learning is that they have to pander to religious people who are more likely to rubber stamp a candidate because s/he shares the same religion, rather than actually researching their views on any one subject that isn’t covered ad nauseum by the press.

Compare Obama’s plea for openness to Mitt Romney’s quote:

“I don’t think that a person who’s running for a secular position as I am should talk about or engage in discussions of what they in their personal faith or their personal beliefs think is immoral or not immoral”

This comes from the man who tried so mightily to revoke the rights of the GLBT community to marry last year. Were those actions completely irrelevant to his faith? I seriously doubt it. However, the more interesting point is that, while Obama want to display his faith, Romney would like to sweep his under the carpet. Why do you think this is? Is it because “46 percent of those polled by Gallup in March had a negative opinion of the religion”? Yes. Obviously, yes!

No matter how important religion may be to the American people, you folks of faith must realize that the candidates are simply using that to get votes. That’s why Democrats, traditionally more secular in their handling of public affairs, are suddenly publicly embracing their faith. That’s also why Romney is now using the secular word and glossing over his unpopular faith in his public communication.

Faithful America, you are being manipulated. Here’s some advice from your Friendly Neighborhood Humanist: when the candidates discuss policy and issues, listen to what they say and compare it to how you want the country to be run, because in the end, this is what will affect our lives. When the candidates talk about god, turn a deaf ear, because they are using your beliefs to generate votes.

We have all seen how religion can affect an election. Bush’s bullshit “Compassionate Conservatism” won him two. Look at him now: no plan for a war that god told him to make, and an approval rating lower than his IQ (which is 31), and what will be a legacy of incompetence, torture, and death. A candidate who says she is a woman of faith is no more trustworthy than any other candidate, because, and this could come as a shock, they may be lying. Each of these candidates want your vote, and that’s pretty much all they are going for at this point. They want you to rubber stamp them based on “their faith”. They are also human and vulnerable to the same same faults that everyone else is, regardless of what they proclaim about their faith.

Faithful America, I’m begging you. Please ignore the candidates that shout “Jesus!” to the rafters. Please take their claims of faith with a grain of salt. Please research the issues and come to a reasoned decision on an acceptable candidate.

Please don’t let another W  happen.


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