Would The Candidates Treat Atheists Differently?

faithwatch
PFW:14

The Bush Administration has proven its disregard for un-religious Americans by blatantly promoting religion with taxpayer money. Stephen Marsh, a somewhat awkward young man from California asked the Candidates on Sunday during the CNN/YouTube Debate if they will treat non-religious Americans any differently.
Marsh:

Am I wrong in fearing a Democratic Administration that may pay lip service to the extremely religious as much as the current one?

John Edwards answered:

As President of the United States, we will embrace and lift up all Americans, whatever their faith beliefs or whether they have no faith belief as Stephen just spoke about. That’s what America is. Now, my faith is enormously important to me personally — it’s gotten me through some hard times, as I’m sure that’s true of a lot of the candidates who are on this stage. But, it is crucial that the American people know that as President, it will not be my job, and I believe it would be wrong, for me to impose my personal faith beliefs on the American people, or to decide any kind of decision — policy decision — that will affect America on the basis of my personal faith beliefs. (applause)

Barack Obama answered:

I am proud of my Christian faith, and it informs what I do, and I don’t think that people of any faith background should be prohibited from debating in the public square. But I am a strong believer in the separation of church and state (applause) and I think that we’ve got to translate — by the way, I support it not just for the state, but also for the church — because that maintains our religious independence and that’s why we have such a thriving religious life, but what I also think is that we are under obligation in public life to translate our moral va- our religious values into moral terms that all people can share including those who are not believers and that is how our democracy’s functioning, will continue to function and that’s what the founding fathers intended.

See the video:

The John Edwards answer is good, but not true. He has made his decision on Gay Marriage based on his personal faith beliefs and will use his beliefs to make other decisions. If you truly lead your life by your faith beliefs as I’m sure all of these candidates will attest, you use those beliefs to make your daily decisions.

I didn’t really like Obama’s answer. Why is there constantly a notion that moral values can not be attained through anything except religion? Surely he understands that religion prescribes certain values that not all people share, especially in relation to some modern social issues. Through his method of using religion to guide morality for the nation, we’ve seen such travesties as the blocking of the HPV vaccine, stem cell research funding, and an extremely heated abortion debate that has raged for decades. I believe Obama is saying that you’ve got to take these religious beliefs and translate them into a greatest common denominator that all of the American people will accept — but if that’s true – why do the moral beliefs have to begin with religion in the first place?

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