Last week, TheBlaze and Patheos, the interactive faith portal, brought you an exploration covering what's right -- and wrong -- about the role of religion in politics today. This week, the same diverse faith panel explores whether a political candidate's religious adherence really matters.
While some will suggest that candidate's personal beliefs aren't important, others hold on to the notion that a politician's personal convictions are essential to understanding his or her character (and, thus, whether he or she is worthy of electoral support). Regardless of where one stands, the role of religion in contemporary politics is undeniable.
Consider the furor and debate that unfolded after the Democratic Party removed references to "God" and pro-Israel sentiment from its official platform. And who could ignore the constant chatter about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormon faith (or Obama's past allegiance to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his unconventional faith views)?
Clearly, faith still plays an important -- and an often divisive -- role in politics. Here are some perspectives surrounding this important subject:
Reasons Why Faith & Religion Do Matter
Patheos' Timothy Dalrymple's Take: Most people, when pressed, will acknowledge that there comes a point where a candidate’s religious beliefs will cause them to sour on his candidacy. We might prefer a competent Elvis-worshiper to an incompetent Christian, but we might still prefer a competent Christian to a competent Elvis-worshiper. And an atheist might well prefer a competent atheist to a competent Christian.
This is neither unconstitutional nor unreasonable. To prohibit the government from imposing a “religious test” is obviously not to require individual voters to ignore candidates’ religious beliefs in the voting booth. I find four reasons why religious beliefs are “fair game.” Read the rest of Dalrymple's post...
Oklahoma State Rep. Rebecca Hamilton's Opinion: How does anyone judge which lies are total lies and which are partial truths when they’re trying to discern the facts about someone they’ve never met and who is being branded, packaged and sold to them like a can of corn?
That makes the question of faith even more important than it would normally be. Faith, for all its tricky points, is still a tough one to completely fake. Oh it can be done, but the doing of it almost requires a willing compliance on the part of those who are getting faked out. [...]
Does faith matter in this election? Absolutely. But the only faith that really matters is the one that empowers you and me to walk our talk of Christian faith in all aspects of our lives, including the political. Read the rest here...
What do you think? Does a candidate's faith matter? Take the poll, below:
And read the rest of the responses from conservative and liberal bloggers, alike, as they answer the question, "Does a candidate's faith really matter?"