At first, I chuckled at the idea of tracking all of the 2008 Presidential hopefuls’ stances on their faith as their campaigns played out. It’s a laughable idea. But unfortunately, faith is very important to American voters. I plan on making the “PFW” a regular recurring column at The Great Realization. I’ll try to update it whenever a candidate’s faith enters the news in a major way. I know I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, so I’ll start by running through a few of the 2008 hopefuls and how they stand on religion.
Joe Biden – A Roman Catholic, Biden is considered one of the more experienced U.S. Senators on the topic if civil liberties. Once said “The next Republican that tells me I’m not religious, I’m going to shove my rosary beads down their throat.”
Hillary Clinton – A Methodist, Clinton has not been afraid to speak openly about her faith. “I was fortunate that at an early age, through my church, I was given the opportunity to expand my horizons,” she told attendees of a Sojourners “Covenant for a New America” conference. Conservative have attacked Clinton, claiming her outspoken manner about her religion is new and tied to her Presidential aspirations. Others claim she is a closet atheist.
John Edwards – Like George Bush and Dick Cheney, John Edwards is a United Methodist. Edwards had a falling out with religion during college and law school, but losing his son Wade in a car accident in 1996 brought him closer to faith. Edwards recently came under fire for hiring bloggers that made atheistic (deemed anti-christian) comments.
Dennis Kucinich – Dennis Kucinich is of the Roman Catholic faith and has often professed the importance of faith in his life in his campaign speeches. Meanwhile, Kucinich has spoken out against the display of religious symbols in public places.
Barack Obama – Obama, a Christian, has come under fire due to his spending his childhood years in a country where Muslim was the dominant culture/religion. He has a “Muslim name” and because of that, has made God-fearers extra skeptical of him, especially in a time where people in America are so afraid of Islam. There was even a story in the news made up about his involvement attending a Madrassa as a child.More extreme opponents claim Obama is secretly Muslim.
Bill Richardson – Bill Richardson is a Roman Catholic. Extensively knowlegable in foreign affairs, Richardson has said of Islamic Jihadism, “Richardson also said to win the war against Jihadism, the United States must first live up to its own ideals.” He has not put a lot of public emphasis on his own religion.
Sam Brownback – A Protestant-turned Roman Catholic, Brownback is extremely religious. His religious views determine his decision making on most key issues, even foreign policy (see previous linked article). Rolling Stone Magazine referred to him as God’s Senator. He’s been called a Christian Fascist by some. The thought of such an extreme candidate is clearly threatening to those who are not religious.
Rudy Giuliani – Rudy is a Roman Catholic who opposes much of the religious right’s social agenda. He is pro-gun-control, pro-gay rights and pro-choice. Giuliani, as can be expected, has been very vocal about radical islam.
John McCain – John McCain has an ever changing public relationship with religion. He has praised James Dobson, even though Dobson does not support McCain. Other evangelists such as Falwell and Robertson don’t support McCain either. McCain is currently being criticized for a planned speech to be given at a luncheon co-hosted by The Discovery Institute. To learn what they believe, click here. Defcon Blog is running a campaign against this speech here.
Mitt Romney – Romney, the only Mormon Presidential hopeful, has recently made headlines when a heckler questioned his faith. Romney’s statements about his faith have been no secret and he’s more than willing to discuss them. Romney has stated publicly that America is not ready for an atheist President.