Presidential Faith Watch

faithwatch

McCain on Religion

PFW:29:March 5, 2008

faithwatch

Christian Poster Child Tom Coburn Endorses John McCain

PFW:28:January 18, 2008

Beliefnet.com reports that Tom Coburn has endorsed Senator John McCain for President. Let’s talk about this endorsement for a second.

coburn

Tom Coburn is a U.S. Senator for Oklahoma with some extremely hypocritical views that are closely linked to his never-faltering Christian beliefs. From calling his fellow Oklahoma citizens “crapheads” to radical pro-life views, he’s a few cards short of a deck. For example, Coburn is ‘pro-life’ and goes with the “sanctity of life” right-wing buzzphrase that “all life is sacred” as if liberals hate life. Meanwhile, Coburn advocates the death penalty for abortionists. Pretty funny for a guy who has admitted to have performed abortions. The list goes on.

So congratulations, John McCain, on picking up thie stellar endorsement from a hypocrite. I’m sure it will ring loud and clear with psycho-conservative Christian people everywhere.

faithwatch

Huckabee Wants to Change Constitution to Include “A Living God”

PFW:27:January 15, 2008

Mike Huckabee, according to the Drudge Report, recently said that The Constitution must change:

“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’shuckabee wants to change constitution what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”

This couldn’t be further from what the founding fathers of this nation intended. Please help put a stop to this man’s political endeavors by letting people know what the founding fathers intended when they purposely did not include a mention of “God” in our Constitution.

faithwatch

American Atheists on Faith and Politics

PFW:26:January 14, 2008

American Atheists President Ellen Johnson has posted a fantastic monologue about Faith in Politics and John F. Kennedy. I’ve transcribed the speech below. I feel that it would be important to spread the transcript and/or video as much as possible, especially in the coming year. She poses the question “Would JFK be electable today with his stance in the issue of the separation of church and state?”

Here is the full transcript:

Welcome, and thanks for visting the American Atheists Web site. I’m Ellen Johnson, President of American Atheists. By the time you see this video, the Iowa caucuses will be history. We still have 11 months to go until the 2008 Presidential Election, and odds are, that even right after the New Hampshire and Michigan primaries, we still won’t have a clear fix on who will be the nominees for Republican and Democratic Parties. One thing is for sure, however; religion and religious faith are playing a disproportionately large element in the race for the White House. And nearly all of the candidates feel the pressure to declare religious belief as a credential for public office.

Surveys indicate that the overwhelming majority of voters are mostly concerned about issues like: the budget deficit, war in Iraq and healthcare. A small but well organized coterie of evangelicals though, exercise a disproportionate amount of influence — especially inside the Republican Party. They vote, and they vote as a block. They’re well organized and when they vote, it’s not the Constitution or secular policies that guide their decisions. They’re convinced that America was, or is, or should be, a so-called “Christian nation” where the Bible is a template for how government and society should operate. We can all learn a lesson from their organizational skills and commitment to their cause.

Could John F. Kennedy be elected President of the United States today? It’s doubtful, given the current theo-political climate. Back in 1960, when JFK won the Democratic nomination for President, religion was a major campaign issue. Kennedy was a Roman Catholic and no Catholic up to that point had been elected to the White House. And in 1960, people were wondering if Kennedy’s Roman Catholicism somehow compromised his ability to serve the United States over the Vatican.

John F. Kennedy was one of the few Presidential Candidates who openly and proudly enunciated his support for the separation of church and state. Today that is almost a taboo phrase, “separation of church and state.” Mitt Romney uses it occasionally — so does Reverend Mike Huckabee. Ron Paul doesn’t even think that it should exist! He says, “The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of the founding fathers.”

Most candidates today repeat the myth that the separation of church and state is not in our Constitution or that its a legal fiction or that it simply means that the government cannot tamper in the affairs of religion. But all of those claims are simply wrong. It’s true that the words “separation of church and state” are not found in the Constitution, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not part of our legal code. The words are an interpretation of what the Establishment Clause means. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, which is the free exercise clause. And it guarantees our freedom from imposed or government compelled religion. That’s the Establishment Clause. Our courts have been consistent over the past 50 to 60 years that the First Amendment was intended to erect a wall of separation between state and church.

Unlike Huckabee and Romney and other candidates who want to showcase their religious beliefs as a credential for public office, John F. Kennedy embraced both elements of the First Amendment. He supported the right of people to believe in and practice their faith, so in long as those beliefs were not forced on other people. He also enunciated the principle that the state should not serve the church — any church — including his own. He opposed the official diplomatic recognition of the Vatican, complete with ambassadorial exchanges, fearing that it was unconstitutional and gave his own church too much power. Kennedy declared that if elected to the Presidency, he would put the Constitution first — not private religious beliefs. He also sent a clear message to the Catholic hierarchy that they should not interfere in the political affairs of the United States. Wherever Kennedy went, he was hounded by ads, picket signs and charges that he was a stalking horse for Roman Catholicism. Most of these accusations came from Protestant groups. So Kennedy, true to his style and principles, confronted his accusers during an historic appearance before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association at the Rice Hotel in Houston, TX on September the 12th, 1960. Let me read you some of the quotes from his speech and then ask yourself if any candidate today would have the guts to stand up for these principles.

He began his talk to over 600 Protestant ministers by say that there were “far more critical issues than religion.” He said, “The hungry children I saw in West Virginia; the old people who cannot pay their doctor bills; the families forced to give up their farms; and America with too many slums, too few schools and too late to the moon and outer space.” And he said, “They are the real issues which should decide this campaign and they are not religious issues for war and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barriers.”

Kennedy blamed religious sectarianism, especially the obsessive focus on his private Catholicism, as being responsible for obscuring what he called “the real issues” of his campaign. And just minutes into his talk, he put it all on the line. He said, “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute — where no Catholic prelate would tell the President, should he be a Catholic, how to act; and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.”

Kennedy’s enlightened vision of a secular America — a polity free from religious dogma — is like night and day compared to our current political climate. I particularly like these following quotes from JFK.

“Whatever issue may come before me as President on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject, I will make my decision in accordance with these views — In accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power, nor threat of punishment, could cause me to decide otherwise. But if the time should ever come — and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible — when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office.”

We’ve come a long way since the 1960 campaign and yes, there has been progress in defending separation of church and state thanks to groups like American Atheists. But we need to work very hard to make the politicians aware that a quarter of the United States population are not religious. We are a huge voting block. If we non-religious Americans make our issues our primary concern on election day, then we can make our voting power work for us.

Vote your atheism first, and together we can enlighten the vote. Thank you for visiting our Web site, I’m Ellen Johnson.

faithwatch

Update on Presidential Candidates

PFW:25:January 11, 2008

Well it’s 2008 and we’re seeing Presidential candidates dropping like flies. We’re through the first couple primaries and by now we’ve said goodbye to:

Sam Brownback – an extremely religious candidate this blog is sad to see go, simply because he gave us such fun stuff to talk about.

Chris Dodd – Dodd, a Roman Catholic, didn’t have enough support to really be in this race to begin with.

Joe Biden – Biden once said, “The next Republican that tells me I’m not religious, I’m going to shove my rosary beads down their throat.”

Tom Tancredo – Tancredo, along with Brownback and Huckabee, denied a belief in evolution.

Bill Richardson – Bill Richardson is the latest candidate to go. It’s now becoming a time when actual qualified candidates are dropping out of the race. Richardson said to win the war against Jihadism, “the United States must first live up to its own ideals.”

My prediction for the next Candidate to go: Ron Paul. I think true or not, this story is going to bury him!

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Barack Obama Talks About Religion

PFW:24:January 1, 2008

I believe Barack Obama gets it right in this speech.

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Huckabee’s Religious Christmas Ad

PFW:23:December 19, 2007

A little bit of fuss has been made about a new Ad from Republican Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee:

A lot of the hub-bub was about the fact that the bookshelves in the background make a cross. Am I way out of line by saying “who gives a shit?”

I mean, cmon. It’s an ad about Christmas – with a Christmas tree and a Christian message. What difference does it make that there’s a cross or not a cross? I don’t get it.

Even Ron Paul got on the bandwagon:

It reminds me of what Sinclair Lewis once said. He says, ‘when fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross.’ Now I don’t know whether that’s a fair assessment or not, but you wonder about using a cross, like he is the only Christian or implying that subtly. So, I don’t think I would ever use anything like that.

Funny coming from a guy who believes that this country was founded as a Christian nation and that there’s a war against Christmas.

And Huckabee, why is it necessary to be a Christian to be nice to people? Can non-Christians hypothetically run a campaign without attack ads? You’re implying that attack ads aren’t Christian-like, but is using your religion to gain political power Christ-like?

faithwatch

Romney to Discuss Religion

PFW:22:December 3, 2007

Republican Presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, plans to talk about his religion in a speech entitled “Faith in America” on Thursday, CNN reports.

Romney campaign spokesman Kevin Madden, in a statement, says, “This speech is an opportunity for Governor Romney to share his views on religious liberty, the grand tradition religious tolerance has played in the progress of our nation and how the governor’s own faith would inform his presidency if he were elected. Governor Romney understands that faith is an important issue to many Americans, and he personally feels this moment is the right moment for him to share his views with the nation.”

I believe this will be a hit with middle-of-the road moderate voters and perhaps could leave far-right Christian voters cold as it further exposes his Mormonism, something they’ve been uneasy with from the start.

I’ve expressed in the past that I’ve like some of the things that Romney has said about religion – mainly that he doesn’t think it should be a factor in his run for Presidency. But with the same token, he has also stated that America should have someone of faith leading the country – obviously a statement that I disagree with.

Romney’s website links to a CBS story about the planned speech.

faithwatch

Romney Wouldn’t Include Muslim as Cabinet Member

PFW:22:November 27, 2007

In Boston.com’s Political Intelligence column, Foon Rhee reports that Republican hopeful, Mitt Romney would not invite a Muslim to be a part of his presidential cabinet.

Mansoor Ijaz, who describes himself as an American-born Muslim whose family came from Pakistan, writes in an opinion piece in today’s Christian Science Monitor that he attended a private fund-raiser this month for Romney in Las Vegas. Ijaz says he asked Romney whether he would consider a Muslim for a national security post in his Cabinet, since he says radical jihad is the biggest threat facing America.

According to Ijaz, Romney said that based on the proportion of Muslims in the US population, a Cabinet post would not be “justified,” though he could “imagine” Muslims serving in lower-level jobs in his administration.

Of course its a ridiculous idea that a presidential candidate would ever consider having equal amounts of all religions represented in his cabinet. And Romney states something to that effect:

“Suggesting that we have to fill spots based on checking off boxes of various ethnic groups is really a very inappropriate way to think about we staff positions,” he said.

But the truth is, this isn’t about INCLUDING people, it’s about EXCLUDING people. The idea that he would discount a person based on their Muslim faith is pretty much a dead give away to how he feels about other Muslim Americans. And if he feels that way about Muslim Americans, how does he feel about other minorities?

faithwatch

Fred Thompson Doesn’t Go to Church

PFW:21:October 3, 2007

From Kim Chipman at Yahoo News:

Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) — Republican presidential contender Fred Thompson, who has based his campaign on appealing to conservative voters, said he isn’t a regular churchgoer and doesn’t plan to speak about his religion on the stump.

Thompson, in his first campaign stop in South Carolina, told a crowd of about 500 Republicans yesterday that he gained his values from “sitting around the kitchen table” with his parents and “the good Church of Christ.”

Talking to reporters later, Thompson, a former Tennessee senator, said his church attendance “varies.”

“I attend church when I’m in Tennessee. I’m in McLean right now,” he said referring to the Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., where he lives. “I don’t attend regularly when I’m up there.”

Thompson said he usually attends church when visiting his mother in Tennessee and isn’t a member of any church in the Washington area.

Thompson’s remarks may not play well with religious voters who represent a sizable segment of the Republican Party and whose support he has been courting, portraying himself as a “common sense conservative.” President George W. Bush received 78 percent of the evangelical Christian vote in 2004 while Democrat John Kerry got 21 percent of that vote, according to the Pew Research Center.

Talking About God

Thompson’s comment about not speaking out about his personal religious beliefs prompted a question from the crowd on whether he would commit to talking about God nationwide, not just in a southern state such as South Carolina, where many people identify themselves as evangelical Christians.

“I know that I’m right with God and the people I love,” he said in Greenville. It’s “just the way I am not to talk about some of these things.”

Thompson’s churchgoing habits weren’t a problem for at least one onlooker.

“As long as he was acclimated in some kind of church, involved in the church, that’s very important,” said Jamie Darnell, 27, of Greenville.

Asked by reporters later to clarify his stance on religion, Thompson said: “Me getting up and talking about what a wonderful person I am and that sort of thing, I’m not comfortable with that, and I don’t think it does me any good. People will make up their own mind about that, and that’s the way I like it.”

Campaign Swing

Thompson, 65, who officially joined the race for the Republican presidential nomination last week has been campaigning the last five days in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, where the crowds were among the largest and most enthusiastic of the trip.

He spoke at length about the need for a “stronger and more unified” country to withstand a global battle against radical Islamic terrorists who want to bring “western civilization, primarily the U.S., to its knees.”

Thompson said Iraq is just part of a broader war and that without the 2003 U.S. invasion, “there’s no question” that Saddam Hussein would have “nuclearized the Middle East.”

So far, Thompson hasn’t talked in detail about what U.S. foreign policy would look like should he be elected.

“I’d like him to get a little deeper into specifics,” said Pam Wolff, 61, of Greer, South Carolina. She said she hasn’t committed to any one candidate though is leaning toward Thompson.

`Draw People In’

Thompson “has the magnetism to draw people in, and I’m very impressed with that,” the self-described retired homemaker said after Thompson spoke in Greenville.

Two days ago — standing on the same City Hall steps in Nashua, New Hampshire, where John F. Kennedy declared his presidency 47 years ago — Thomson was asked how he would make funding of the Iraq war more transparent while also ensuring adequate money in the federal budget for maintaining the U.S. infrastructure.

The Aug. 1 collapse of a Minneapolis bridge that killed 13 people — the worst U.S. bridge failure in 25 years –“went down because things aren’t being paid attention to at home,” said Cindy Holden, 57, a nurse who asked the question.

In response, Thompson launched into an almost 10-minute answer focused on why it was necessary to overthrow Saddam Hussein. He didn’t mention infrastructure.

“I think he lost track of it because he wanted us to understand why he thought what we had done wasn’t so bad,” Wolff said, referring to Iraq.

faithwatch

John McCain Calls for Christian President

PFW:20:October 1, 2007

Republican Presidential candidate John McCain recently attempted to pander to beliefnet.com visitors with the following statements about the U.S. Presidency:

“I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles … personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith.”

“I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the president of the United States is, ‘Will this person carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?'”

The Christian website, who has since been headlining their site with “John McCain: We’re a Christian Nation,” couldn’t be happier about McCain’s mistaken statements about the founding of this country.

Of course, once the non-crazies that exist outside of beliefnet got a hold of the story, they asked him about it. At this point, McCain realized that his pandering sounded like crazy-talk once it got outside the ears of the intended audience and weakened his statements.

“I admire the Islam. There’s a lot of good principles in it. I think one of the great tragedies of the 21st century is that these forces of evil have perverted what’s basically an honorable religion.”

McCain said his view did not mean that he thought a Muslim would not make a good leader, saying his preference for a Christian leader “doesn’t mean that I’m sure that someone who is a Muslim would not make a good president.”

“I just feel that my faith is probably a better spiritual guide … I don’t say that we would rule out under any circumstances someone of a different faith,”

His spokesperson added:

“The senator did not intend to assert that members of one religious faith or another have a greater claim to American citizenship over another,” his spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said in a statement.

“Read in context, his interview with Beliefnet makes clear that people of all faiths are entitled to all the rights protected by the constitution, including the right to practice their religion freely,” she added.

“America is a Christian nation, and it is hardly a controversial claim.”

Wait. What? It is? It’s not? How about we speak up and let McCain and his handlers hear whether or not this claim is controversial?!

faithwatch

Romney to Radio Host: I’m Not Running As a Mormon

PFW:19:August 6, 2007

Republican Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney got into a heated exchange with a radio host about his Mormonism.

Romney took offense to the fact that the host wanted Romney to talk about his Mormon beliefs. “I’m not running as a Mormon,” said Romney, visibly angry about having to answer to the same issue constantly. This is a page out of John F. Kennedy’s famous playbook when he was made to answer questions about his Catholicism. I applaud Romney’s wish to separate his personal faith from the office he’s running for.

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Rep. Tancredo Wants To Threaten Muslim Holy Sites

PFW:18:August 2, 2007

NewsMax reports that Rep. Tom Tancredo, Republican candidate running for President, would threaten to bomb Mecca and other Muslim holy sites.

tancredo

“If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina,” the GOP presidential candidate said, according to IowaPolitics.com. “That is the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they would otherwise do.

“If I am wrong fine, tell me, and I would be happy to do something else. But you had better find a deterrent or you will find an attack. There is no other way around it. There have to be negative consequences for the actions they take. That’s the most negative I can think of.”

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Right-Wing Site Questions Hillary’s Devotion to Religion

PFW:17:August 2, 2007

At conservative blog, Right Wing News, bloggers are questioning Hillary Clinton’s claim to be a “lifelong methodist.”

hillary

If you look into Hillary Clinton’s religion, you will find article after article after article describing her as a “lifelong Methodist.”

For example, from CBNnews,

“Senator Clinton is a lifelong Methodist who has always said she takes her faith very seriously.”

From ABPnews,

“Clinton, a lifelong Methodist, has become more open in recent years about her faith. She is part of an exclusive women’s prayer group — many of whose members are the wives of prominent conservatives — that she joined while she was First Lady.”

So, has Hillary Clinton been a “lifelong Methodist?” Apparently not. Yesterday, the New York Times posted some excerpts from Hillary Clinton’s letters to a friend in college, and this line was included,

Ms. Rodham skates earnestly on the surface of life, raising more questions than answers. “Last week I decided that even if life is absurd why couldn’t I spend it absurdly happy?” she wrote in November of her junior year. She then challenges herself to “define ‘happiness’ Hillary Rodham, acknowledged agnostic intellectual liberal, emotional conservative.”

So, back in college, Hillary Clinton considered herself to be an agnostic — but that raises a very interesting question. We know Hillary is lying about being a “lifelong Methodist,” but does that mean she is lying about being a “lifelong Methodist” or does it mean she lied when she said she believed in God?

Certainly, she would have a lot of motive to lie. After all, it’s almost impossible for an admitted agnostic or atheist to be elected to higher office in the United States. The only member of Congress who is an atheist is Pete Stark, who represents an incredibly liberal California district that’s on the shore of San Francisco Bay.

So, when did Hillary convert to Christianity — if she ever did?

This isn’t the first accusation of Hillary’s agnosticism. We pointed out that many people think this in our very first Presidential Faith Watch article. It’s been made abundantly clear that America will not vote for a President who lacks faith in God. So even if Hillary was agnostic, we would never know.

faithwatch

What Does Ron Paul Think About Religion?

PFW:16:July 30, 2007

What does (Libertarian) Republican candidate Ron Paul think about Religion? Here’s an essay written by Ron Paul in 2003 about the “War On Religion.”

As we celebrate another Yuletide season, it’s hard not to notice that Christmas in America simply doesn’t feel the same anymore. Although an overwhelming majority of Americans celebrate Christmas, and those who don’t celebrate it ron pauloverwhelmingly accept and respect our nation’s Christmas traditions, a certain shared public sentiment slowly has disappeared. The Christmas spirit, marked by a wonderful feeling of goodwill among men, is in danger of being lost in the ongoing war against religion.

Through perverse court decisions and years of cultural indoctrination, the elitist, secular Left has managed to convince many in our nation that religion must be driven from public view. The justification is always that someone, somewhere, might possibly be offended or feel uncomfortable living in the midst of a largely Christian society, so all must yield to the fragile sensibilities of the few. The ultimate goal of the anti-religious elites is to transform America into a completely secular nation, a nation that is legally and culturally biased against Christianity.

This growing bias explains why many of our wonderful Christmas traditions have been lost. Christmas pageants and plays, including Handel’s Messiah, have been banned from schools and community halls. Nativity scenes have been ordered removed from town squares, and even criticized as offensive when placed on private church lawns. Office Christmas parties have become taboo, replaced by colorless seasonal parties to ensure no employees feel threatened by a “hostile environment.” Even wholly non-religious decorations featuring Santa Claus, snowmen, and the like have been called into question as Christmas symbols that might cause discomfort. Earlier this month, firemen near Chicago reluctantly removed Christmas decorations from their firehouse after a complaint by some embittered busybody. Most noticeably, however, the once commonplace refrain of “Merry Christmas” has been replaced by the vague, ubiquitous “Happy Holidays.” But what holiday? Is Christmas some kind of secret, a word that cannot be uttered in public? Why have we allowed the secularists to intimidate us into downplaying our most cherished and meaningful Christian celebration?

The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion. The establishment clause of the First Amendment was simply intended to forbid the creation of an official state church like the Church of England, not to drive religion out of public life.

The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. Throughout our nation’s history, churches have done what no government can ever do, namely teach morality and civility. Moral and civil individuals are largely governed by their own sense of right and wrong, and hence have little need for external government. This is the real reason the collectivist Left hates religion: Churches as institutions compete with the state for the people’s allegiance, and many devout people put their faith in God before their faith in the state. Knowing this, the secularists wage an ongoing war against religion, chipping away bit by bit at our nation’s Christian heritage. Christmas itself may soon be a casualty of that war.

faithwatch

New Gallup Poll: Religion Will Be Important for 2008 Election

PFW:15:July 30, 2007

A newly released Gallup Poll report suggests “religion will play a part in both the primary elections of both the Republicans and Democrats but in the general election as well.” America responded to the results with a collective, “No Shit, Sherlock.”

poll results

AP reports:

When it comes to the Republican primaries, the voter choice for a candidate is heavily influenced by the frequency with which they attend religious services. The results come from polling both Republicans and those leaning toward Republicans. It also includes potential candidates as well as some who have backed out.

First of all, they asked who the voters would support in general: Rudy Giuliani 29%, Fred Thompson 19%, John McCain 17%, Mitt Romney 8%, Newt Gingrich 7%, Mike Huckabee 2%, Ron Paul 2%, Duncan Hunter 2%, Sam Brownback 2%, Tommy Thompson 1%, Chuck Hagel 1%, Tom Tancredo 1%, Jim Gilmore less that half a percent, Other/none/no opinion 10% Total polled, 1,204

Of those who attend church regularly, every week: Rudy Giuliani 24%, Fred Thompson 20%, John McCain 16%, Mitt Romney 8%, Newt Gingrich 7%, Mike Huckabee 3%, Ron Paul 1%, Duncan Hunter 1%, Sam Brownback, 3%, Tommy Thompson 2%, Chuck Hagel 1%, Tom Tancredo 1%, Jim Gilmore less that half a percent, Other/none/no opinion 13%. Total respondents 480

Of those who attend almost regularly or monthly, Rudy Giuliani 32%, Fred Thompson 21%, John McCain 15%, Mitt Romney, 8%, Newt Gingrich 8%, Mike Huckabee 2%, Ron Paul, less that a half of a percent, Duncan Hunter 1%, Sam Brownback 2%, Tommy Thompson 1%, Chuck Hagel 2%, Tom Tancredo 1%, Jim Gilmore 1%, Other/none/no opinion 6%. Total respondents 294

Of those who attend services seldom or never Rudy Giuliani 33%, Fred Thompson 18%, John McCain 18%, Mitt Romney 8%, Newt Gingrich 6%, Mike Huckabee 2%, Ron Paul 3%, Duncan Hunter 2%, Sam Brownback less than half a percent, Tommy Thompson 1% Chuck Hagel less than half a percent, Tom Tancredo 1%, Jim Gilmore less than half a percent.

The percentage is pretty much the same across the board with the exception of the overall leader, Rudy Giuliani who gets most of his support from those who go to church less frequently.

On the Democratic primary side, the results are very different.

The results from the total polled are Hillary Clinton 35%, Barack Obama 22%, Al Gore 17%, John Edwards 11%, Bill Richardson 4%, Joe Biden 3%, Dennis Kucinich 2%, Mike Gravel 1%, Christopher Dodd 1%, Other/none/no opinion 6% Total polled 1,515

Of those who attend services weekly, Hillary Clinton 39%, Barack Obama 24%, Al Gore 13%, John Edwards 10%, Bill Richardson 2%, Joe Biden 2%, Dennis Kucinich 1%, Mike Gravel less than half a percent, Christopher Dodd less than half a percent, Other/none/no opinion 8%. Total polled, 364.

Of those who attend rarely or monthly, Hillary Clinton 34%, Barack Obama 26%, Al Gore 13%, John Edwards 14%, Bill Richardson 3%, Joe Biden 4%, Dennis Kucinich 1%, Mike Gravel less than half a percent, Christopher Dodd 1%, Other/none/no opinion 5%, Total polled 325.

Of those who attend seldom or never, Hillary Clinton 32%, Barack Obama 20%, Al Gore 20%, John Edwards 11%, Bill Richardson 5%, Joe Biden 2%, Dennis Kucinich 2%, Mike Gravel 1%, Christopher Dodd 1%, Other/none/no opinion 6%. Total polled, 794.

In related news, Fred Thompson is said to be courting religious leaders in an effort to secure their support before announcing his fredrun for the 08 Republican nomination. Thompson is a mildly moderate religious man at best. He barely goes to church. Yet, because he does not publicly support abortion like Giuliani and is not a Mormon like Romney, the religious leaders will probably entertain his interests before the other republican front-runners. Is it interesting that Thompson is a front runner before even having announced an official run?

My claim is that if Romney weren’t a Mormon, Thompson would have declared his run by now. The only reason Thompson hasn’t officially entered the race by now is because there’s a weak point with every other Republican candidate that’s keeping them from being a clear front-runner. If Romney weren’t a Mormon, he’d have the support of the majority of Republicans and Thompson would view him as more serious competition. That’s my opinion, of course.

Back to the gallup poll, the AP story concludes:

Next they take a look at how this equates in a Presidential race between the two leaders, Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. Giuliani wins with the ones who attends weekly, 61-34%, in the weekly or monthly group he also wins with 64-31%. In the seldom or never group, Senator Clinton wins 49 to 46%.

Very interesting!

faithwatch

Would The Candidates Treat Atheists Differently?

PFW:14:June 25, 2007

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?

faithwatch

John Edwards Confused About Role of Religion in Policy Making

PFW:13:June 24, 2007

In the CNN/YouTube Debate last night, Rev. Reggie Longcrier confronted John Edwards about his opposition to Gay Marriage and how it was influenced by his religion. Watch:

First of all – great question! John Edwards answered by saying his religious beliefs would be independent from the policy he makes. But by opposing gay marriage and citing his religious beliefs as the reason, he’s already proven that to be a lie.

faithwatch

Dem Candidates Become More Religious As Race Tightens

PFW:12:June 23, 2007

CNN’s Election Center reports that the Democratic candidates are trying to appeal to religious voters as the 2008 presidential race is about to narrow.

“It has to be authentic. This is not about Jesus-ing up the party, so to speak … It just won’t work if it’s seen as a cynical ploy,” said Mara Vanderslice, a Democratic strategist and evangelical Christian.

In 2004, Vanderslice was hired to coordinate John Kerry’s religious outreach. She found herself working without a staff or much of a budget. She says the Kerry campaign failed to engage the faith community before it was too late to make a difference.

In the past, “there was almost a joke that you couldn’t be a Christian and be a Democrat,” she said.

Many voters wouldn’t disagree with the joke, according to recent polling. In the 2006 midterm elections, 53 percent of weekly churchgoers voted Republican, as did 60 percent of people who attend church more than once a week, according to exit poll data. What’s more, a Pew Forum poll taken just before the election showed only 26 percent of voters considered Democrats friendly to religion.

The leading Democratic presidential candidates are trying to overcome this so-called “God Gap.”

{sarcasm}Oh, no it’s not “jesus-ing up” the party at all to work with a staff to make a candidate look more religious.{/sarcasm} There’s no way to make it sound not dirty. You’re deliberately trying to make the person seem more religious than they are to pander to religious voters.

This type of pandering for votes is why we have some of the most screwed up scientific policies ever supported by the administration. One group of voters says that they heard condoms give you heartburn and all of a sudden, there’s a presidential appointee presenting a report on the dangers of condoms and why they should be pulled out of high school sexual education classes. It’s for the kids. Heartburn folks, heartburn! Remember 9/11?

Let’s listen to some more “jesus-ing up” (I love this phrase — only someone named Mara Vanderslice could have given us such a sweet gift).

Senator Hillary Clinton has talked about how faith saw her through the turmoil of Bill Clinton’s infidelity and political difficulties. Senator John Edwards openly speaks of his “deep and abiding love for [his] Savior, Jesus Christ.” Senator Barack Obama has long woven the language of religion into his call for shared responsibility and social justice.

Even bigger changes have taken place behind the scenes.

Clinton and Obama have both hired strategists to coordinate faith outreach. Obama also has a faith point person in each of the three early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. His campaign held a series of “Faith, Action, Change” forums with New Hampshire voters and hosts weekly conference calls for religious leaders.

Team Clinton has assembled a Faith Steering Committee, with working groups targeting individual denominations. Edwards’ campaign says it is leaning on his Campaign Manager David Bonior to help rally Catholics, considered a key swing constituency.

Personally, I’m waiting for the day that one of these democratic candidates is asked about whether or not America was founded as a Christian nation. What will they say?

faithwatch

Was Mitt Romney Always This Religious?

PFW:11:June 7, 2007

Mitt Romney has made it painfully clear that he’s willing to cater to the extremely conservative religious right’s social values of opposing abortion. They call it the “culture of life.” Was Romney always this religious?

This video from a 1994 Debate against Ted Kennedy will help us figure that out!

faithwatch

GOP Candidates Defend Anti-Scientific Stance, Bigotry

PFW:10:June 6, 2007

After watching the GOP debate last night, it’s painfully clear that this year’s general election will be one with plenty of deviciveness on the issues. This won’t be a repeat of the 2000 election debates in which Gore and Bush were almost in agreeance on many of the issues. The GOP candidates were asked to revisit the famous question from the previous debate in which they were asked to raise their hand if they did not believe in evolution. As you know, three of them did.

On Faith

One of them, Mitt Romney, responded about his faith with the following:

Romney said, quite assertively:

There are some pundits out there that are hoping that I will distance myself from my church so that will help me politically — and that’s not gonna happen.

Gov. Mike Huckabee from Arkansas, explained:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. A person either believes that God created the process or believes that it was an accident and that it just happened all on its own.

If Americans want a president who doesn’t believe in God, there’s probably plenty of choices. But if I’m selected as president of this country, they’ll have one who believes in those words that God did create.

If anybody wants to believe that they are the descendants of a primate, they are certainly welcome to do it.

When asked if he subscribed to “Young Earth Theory,” he said “I don’t know,” and continued:

Whether God did it in six days or whether he did it in six days that represented periods of time, he did it. And that’s what’s important.

In other words, he doesn’t remember what is generally accepted to be true by 95% of the scientific community and what we all learn in order to graduate high school.

Kansas Sen. Brownback, also one of the three, explained that:

I believe we are created in the image of God for a particular purpose, and I believe that with all my heart. I am fully convinced there’s a God of the universe that loves us very much and was involved in the process. How he did it, I don’t know.

One of the problems we have with our society today is that we’ve put faith and science at odds with each other. They aren’t at odds with each other. If they are, check your faith, or check your science.

First of all, we shouldn’t be looking to Kansas for the authority on the school/religion relationship. Secondly, let me address Brownback’s statement by simply saying that the Bible, as he interprets it, is not consistent with what we know about our world.

On Bigotry

Another devicive issue last night was gays in the military. While not a devicive issue between the GOP candidates themselves, they unanimously differ from all the Democratic candidates. Every GOP candidate believes that a gay person should be able to be kicked out of the army if they are openly gay.

One of the more interesting moments came from a lightning strike on the building in Manchester, New Hampshire. It occured while Rudy Giuliani began to speak about his stance on abortion. Note that the media, appealing to religious folk, are playing this up as more than a coincidence!

faithwatch

Ministry Warns a Vote for Romney is a “Vote for Satan”

PFW:9:June 5, 2007

Americans United is calling for the IRS to investigate a ministry that has warned its constituents that a vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for Satan.

Here’s some text from the letter that the St. Petersburg Florida ministry sent out in May via a prayer web site:

If you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for satan! This message today is not about Mitt Romney. Romney is an unashamed and proud member of the Mormon cult founded by a murdering polygamist pedophile named Joseph Smith nearly 200 years ago. The teachings of the Mormon cult are doctrinally and theologically in complete opposition to the Absolute Truth of God’s Word….This message is about the top Christian leaders in our nation who are supporting this cult members [sic] quest to become the next President of the United States.

Having Romney as President is no different than having a Muslim or Scientologist as President. Please, don’t tell me that Mitt Romney is the best option. I’ll stay home and not vote before I will vote for satan, since if you vote for Romney you are voting for satan!

The writer, representing the ministry, wrote a separate column several days later that I’m sure you’ll take issue with:

As you know I am a huge advocate of Christians taking their stand in all areas of the marketplace, including politics. Most likely our only real option will be choosing a third party candidate who will take a stand to uphold Biblical values. I already know that in this two party system we have, a third party candidate has virtually ZERO chance of ever being elected. However, this election is going to be a test of conscience for Christians.

Americans United argues that the ministry wants to involve themselves in politics, they should give up their tax exemption.

faithwatch

Philly.com Article About Presidential Religion

PFW:8: June 4, 2007

Source: Suddenly, all the presidential hopefuls have religion From Philly.com

WASHINGTON – Seven years after George W. Bush won the presidency in part with a direct appeal to conservative religious voters, it seems all the leading 2008 presidential candidates are discussing their religious and moral beliefs, even when they’d rather not.

Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have hired strategists to focus on reaching religious voters. Democrats in general are targeting moderate Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants and even evangelicals, hoping to put together a winning coalition.

Some top-tier Republican candidates, the natural heirs to conservative religious support, are finding the issue awkward to handle.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been questioned so much about his Mormon faith – 46 percent of those polled by Gallup in March had a negative opinion of the religion – that he has taken to emphasizing that he is running for a secular office.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Catholic who says he gave serious consideration as a young man to becoming a priest, is fending off critics because he supports abortion rights.

In past campaigns, Republicans nearly cornered the conservative religious vote. Now, Democrats are speaking plainly about their beliefs.

“I think the majority of Americans, the people who largely decide elections, what they are looking for – particularly in these times – is a really good and decent human being to be president,” Sen. John Edwards said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, a Catholic, told an April forum at Boston College that Democrats have made “a huge mistake over the years” by not talking more openly about how their personal faith informs their public-policy positions.

But Obama’s close relationship with his own pastor at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ has become a campaign issue. The cleric’s theology emphasizes “black values” and strengthening the black community.

Seven of the 18 candidates for president – four Democrats and three Republicans – are Catholic. Besides Giuliani, the four Democrats also support abortion rights.

But support for abortion rights doesn’t necessarily hurt candidates with Catholic voters, who support legalized abortion in all or most circumstances by 53 percent to 43 percent, according to 2004 exit polling. *

faithwatch

Brownback Supporters Denounce Heliocentrism

PFW:7:May 22, 2007

Republican Presidential Candidate, Sam Brownback is a hardcore fundamentalist Christian. In being so, his base is extremely wacky. The Phayngula blog reports that there’s a lot of buzz regarding Brownback supporters’ blogs denouncing Heliocentrism, the idea that the Earth revolves around the sun.
brownback
From http://blogs4brownback.wordpress.com:

I support the Bible, and I don’t want my children learning about Heliocentrism in school. I think this doctrine encourages atheism, Darwinism, and anti-Americanism. I don’t want my tax dollars going to finance this kind of false science. It’s complete rot, and I hope that those of us who come to realize this can ultimately prevail against its propogation amongst OUR children with the money from OUR salaries.

I can’t wait to hear from the moonbats and the Darwinists and the other rubes on this one, though. Go on, witch doctors. Preach to me how the planet hurtles through the ether, Scriptural and physical evidence to the contrary! Your false doctrines will be cast down on the day when America rediscovers its Christian roots. That is a promise.

Do you think this is a blog dedicated to cleverly smearing Brownback through subtle satire, a la whitehouse.org and Landover Baptist Church? Could be. But taking a moment to read through blogs promoted on Brownback’s own campaign site, one can see that he readily will promote the throwing of scientific theories out the window in lieu of God:

Science only requires “Reasonable Belief” to put something in our textbooks as theory. Patterns within our observable universe point to design beyond chance. It would take a miracle from God himself to convince non-believers that patterns statistically beyond random chance that prove an “Intelligent Designer” to be behind the creation of gravity. Maybe this miracle, or series of miracles has already happened. Belief in a Higher Power taught to our school children will increase discipline in our public schools, thus increase our economy. Reasonable belief that gravity had to have come from an “Intelligent Designer” is just the kind of miracle that America needs.

Blogs supported on his site also reveal an ambition to promote an official religion of the state.

Also, don’t forget, Brownback was one of the three Republican Presidential Candidates who confessed they do not believe in evolution.

Here’s an interesting video about that.

faithwatch

Focus on the Family’s Dobson Won’t Vote for Giuliani

PFW:6:May 18, 2007

Focus on the Family Chariman, James Dobson, says he won’t vote for Rudy Giuliani for President in the 2008 Presidential Elections due to Giuliani’s Pro-Choice stance. He also cited issues with Giuliani’s support for homosexual couples, personal marital past and showed concern for his lack of remorse regarding having cheated on his wife.

There are other moral concerns about Giuliani’s candidacy that conservatives should find troubling. He has beenGiuliani married three times, and his second wife was forced to go to court to keep his mistress out of the mayoral mansion while the Giuliani family still lived there. Talk about tap dancing. Also during that time, the mayor used public funds to provide security services for his girlfriend. The second Mrs. Giuliani finally had enough of his philandering and, as the story goes, forced him to move out. He lived with friends for a while and then married his mistress. Unlike some other Republican presidential candidates, Giuliani appears not to have remorse for cheating on his wife.

Harry Truman asked, “How can I trust a man if his wife can’t?” It is a very good question. Here’s another one: Is Rudy Giuliani presidential timber? I think not. Can we really trust a chief executive who waffles and feigns support for policies that run contrary to his alleged beliefs? Of greater concern is how he would function in office. Will we learn after it is too late just what the former mayor really thinks? What we know about him already is troubling enough.

One more question: Shouldn’t the American people be able to expect a certain decorum and dignity from the man who occupies the White House? On this measure, as well, Giuliani fails miserably. Much has been written in the blogosphere about his three public appearances in drag. In each instance, he tried to be funny by dressing like a woman. Can you imagine Ronald Reagan, who loved a good joke, doing something so ignoble in pursuit of a cheap guffaw? Not on your life.

Read Dobson’s article here.

As Dobson is looked upon for leadership in the Religious Right Community, this will surely strike a blow to Giuliani’s campaign. However, one could argue that many of the far-right members of the Republican party were already swaying away from the candidate for the very same reasons.

An interesting critical article about Dobson.
Is it scary that our President regularly consults with this guy? Giuliani needs the support of the religious right, including these powerful idiots who run it. Otherwise he wouldn’t have hailed Jerry Falwell this week, saying “we all have great respect for him.”

faithwatch

Sharpton Defends Bigotry Accusation By Attacking Atheism

PFW:5:May 9, 2007

Al Sharpton, recently said “those who really believe in God will defeat” Republican Mitt Romney for the White House. Obviously a lot of people took offense to that, as it seems Sharpton is claiming Mormons (Romney’s Faith) don’t really believe in God.

Sharpton defended himself by claiming that it was okay, because he was referring to Atheists. Sharpton made the remark while in a debate with Atheist Author Christopher Hitchens.

Read the story on CNN.com.

sharpton

It’s interesting in this country how quickly people will step up to support someone when their religious beliefs are being attacked, but when someone is attacked for having no religious beliefs, it’s okay.

faithwatch

Republican Debate Exposes Evolution Views

PFW:4:May 4, 2007

Last night during the Republican Presidential Debate, John McCain and then the rest of the panel was asked about their belief in evolution.

Ben Mankiewicz, co-host of the The Young Turks radio program on Air America, blogged about the question:

From Evolution is Not Up for Debate – May 4, 2007

It’s hard to imagine a lower point for an American political party. At last night’s Republican presidential debate, one of the moderators asked John McCain if he believed in evolution.

“Yes,” said McCain.

Then came the follow up – a jaw-dropping moment that should make all thinking Americans flee from the Republican party like Dirk Nowitzki from a big shot. “I’m curious,” said the moderator, “is there anybody on this stage who does not believe in evolution?”

Three – THREE – of the ten Republicans running for President of the United States of America raised their hands. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas don’t believe in evolution. Just like that. As if they’d been asked if the earth were round.

And it’s not just those three, it’s the entire party – because at a Republican presidential debate, the question isn’t considered ridiculous. It’s actually a matter of some debate. Remember, the leader of the party, the “commander guy”, President George W. Bush, believes the jury is still out on evolution.

No, Mr. President, the jury has reached a verdict and it is unanimous. Evolution is – what’s the word here – fact. It’s not an issue where thoughtful people can disagree. You either believe in scientific certainty or you don’t.

This certainly does not mean there is no God, or even that God didn’t create the universe. That is all possible, all believable. But if you want to be president of the greatest country in the world, of the most powerful nation in history, accepting evolution as scientific fact is a must. But among the Republicans now leading their party off a cliff, this remains an open question.

With that in mind, here are some other suggested questions for upcoming Republican debates:

● “Do you believe in the Tooth Fairy?
● “Do you think professional wrestling is real?
● “Do you doubt the theory of gravity?
● “Do you watch Fox News?”

If you answered “yes,” to any of these questions, you’re either a member of Bill O’Reilly’s family, a sixth grader, or a Republican presidential candidate.

The Young Turks

faithwatch

Americans United Urges Voters to Look Beyond Religion

PFW:3:Feb. 28, 2007

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has posted an article on their blog regarding the Presidential hopefuls and how their religions come into play in voter decision-making.

Source: http://blog.au.org/2007/02/27/religious-test-how-important-is-a-candidates-family-faith/

Americans United says:

If you want to know where a candidate stands on an issue, ask him or her. Don’t assume the candidate’s religious affiliation will give you the answer. The Roman Catholic Church opposes abortion in all instances, including cases of rape and incest. Few Catholic office-holders take such a hard line; many are pro-choice.

Thanks to Americans United for promoting the notion that religion is over-emphasized as a decision making factor.

faithwatch

Conservative Web Site Takes Issue with Romney Family History Being Exposed

PFW:2:Feb. 26, 2007

polygamy
Newsbusters, a conservative site that aims to “expose liberal media bias” has taken issue with a recent story that brings to light Mitt Romney’s views on Polygamy.

First of all, here’s the article in question: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070224/ap_on_el_pr/romney_polygamy

While Mitt Romney condemns polygamy and its prior practice by his Mormon church, the Republican presidential candidate’s great-grandfather had five wives and at least one of his great-great grandfathers had 12.

Polygamy was not just a historical footnote, but a prominent element in the family tree of the former Massachusetts governor now seeking to become the first Mormon president.

While the article makes it clear that Mitt Romney, a 2008 Presidential hopeful, endorses or condones polygamy, a tradition largely associated with those of his Mormon religion, it goes on to expose his family history in polygamy. That’s where NewsBusters is taking offense to the AP article.

NewBusters states:

Since Romney isn’t a polygamist himself, and he’s disavowed the practice, this information doesn’t seem like it would warrant an article. The article doesn’t explore the significance that Romney’s faith would have on the way he would handle Mormon-related issues or how his family history could influence his interaction with American polygamists, many of whom are self-proclaimed “Mormons”; it just gossips and raises doubt, tabloid-style, about his qualifications. That last paragraph is also a bit tricky. Notice that it says polygamy “became less a part” of the Romney family life, not that Romney’s grandfather abruptly stopped the tradition, by marrying one woman, who distanced the Romneys even further from polygamy by not having plural marriage in her background.

While I may agree that this story about Romney’s family might not have anything to do with him running for President, it’s certainly not outside of the realm of the type of things that are interesting for people to read as news. When a candidate runs for office, its expected that any questionable family history issues will be brought into the spotlight.

faithwatch

Some of The 2008 Hopefuls and Where They Stand on Religion

PFW:1:Feb. 22, 2007

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.

Democrats

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.


Republicans

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.

Newt Gingrich – Newt is a Baptist who has appeared as a dangerously extreme right wing religious figure. He has made some interesting statements regarding atheists.

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.

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28 Responses to Presidential Faith Watch

  1. Paul Bartron says:

    You have not metioned Ron Paul the leader in the straw poll of New Hampshire.
    The elites do not want Ron Paul.
    The ACLU HMMM. Probably a Zionist front. Communism is a front for Zionism
    The One World Government is the work of the Zionist elite. Zeitgeist the movie looks more and more like the work of a Psy-Op. Trying to disconnect the Massod from 911 are we?

  2. raymond says:

    Rep. Tom Tancredo, Republican candidate running for President, would threaten to bomb Mecca and other Muslim holy sites.
    What is he going to do when they stop sending there oil?

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