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Religion In Politics

Second Annual Washington Prayer Gathering Held At Lincoln Memorial
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Most American’s believe in some form of higher power in varying degrees. Some people are very devout in their beliefs.

Others show up at church only for holidays. Still others might be believers but don’t actually belong to any organized religion.

How important, or unimportant, are religious beliefs held by candidates running for public office?

Religion And Politics

When it comes to religion there are literally thousands of choices. Protestants, Jews and Catholics are just the tip of the iceberg.

I remember when JFK was running for president and everyone thought the Pope would be calling the shots in America because Kennedy happened to be Roman Catholic.

The same was thought of Romney being a Mormon. It probably cost him the election in part.

Bernie Sanders is Jewish. Will Israel be calling the shots if he should somehow reach the oval office?

Hillary Clinton is Methodist would her religious beliefs affect her decisions? Trump is a Presbyterian.

How forthcoming should candidates be about their religious beliefs? Do they believe there’s a plan for everyone? Do they believe that prayer would be required before any major policy decision?

God is on our money, in our state houses, even prominently displayed in the Supreme Court.

Congressional bodies begin each session with a prayer. Are the members silently praying for lower taxes or more gun control or perhaps a vote of confidence from on high for reelection?

Level of Conviction

As voters, it’s difficult for us to evaluate how much importance should be placed on a candidate’s religious beliefs. Could a devout atheist win in a religious Judeo-Christian nation?

To what level does the candidate rely on religion?

People pray for good parking spaces, to let their team win the big game, pray the teacher won’t discover they cheated, or praying that they will exit an Orlando nightclub alive.

Would a president need a short prayer before bombing ISIS?

Some Final Thoughts

Its been said there are two things you don’t want to talk to a stranger about — politics and/or religion. That conversation can’t come to a favorable or friendly end.

Yet the two seem to dominate the scene during election years.

For the most part we look at candidates actions probably more than their religious convictions. We place more value on a track record than church attendance. I guess there is only one thing we can do as we evaluate our future leaders between now and November.

Pray that the right people get in.

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