Politicians and faith

Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot of God-talk from the political candidates.

It seems to be going far beyond the customary, “And may God bless America.”In the past, whenever a politician would speak out about their faith, the press would cry ‘foul’ and accuse them of wanting to establish a theocracy or some other nonsense.

Any elected official who would indicate that their belief system actually guided their votes was subject to mockery and derision. But something is happening — there are millions of people of faith who want their politicians to share not just their values, but their principles of faith.

It seems suddenly in vogue to align yourself with the One So Many Are Ashamed Of. Is this good for America? Here in Red Letter Believer-land, we just want that faith to be real and genuine. Are the politicians living out their belief in God in their public work life or are they exploiting Him to achieve their earthly ambitions?

Here’s a round-up of the God-talk.
Hillary Clinton said that it was her faith that got her through her husband’s infidelity. “At those moments in time when you are tested, it is absolutely essential that you be grounded in your faith,” she said.

John Edwards revealed that he “sins every day.” He didn’t stop there, saying, “”I have a deep and abiding love for my Lord, Jesus Christ.” Edwards claims to have found his faith after his son’s death and his wife’s cancer. I hope so.

Barack Obama is interesting as he talks about his epiphany. He talks about ‘walking the aisle’ and his choice to follow Christ. “I submitted myself to His will.” He has a “People of Faith” arm of his presidential campaign.

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is a practicing Mormon – Of all the candidates he’s the most devout, yet because of his church’s teachings, he’s the only one that has actually deemphasized his faith.

Tommy Thompson, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kichinich, Joe Biden and Christopher Dodd are practicing Roman Catholics.

Ron Paul, John McCain and Duncan Hunter are Baptists.

Rudy Giuliani is the only candidate who really doesn’t claim much faith. He’s a nominal Catholic – and he’s leaving it at that.

Tom Tancredo is an evangelical Presbyterian.

Of course, around here we aren’t all that impressed with titles or mere membership. Rather, we are concerned about how do they live and does their faith affect their politics?

For example, Sam Brownback is a Catholic convert who also attends an evangelical church. He claims his votes have been motivated by faith, rather than politics. He says this. “Faith doesn’t make all your decisions, but you can’t segregate it out – it’s part of the values basis you bring.”

Our call is for all candidates to quit talking about faith if they don’t mean it. We don’t want to see someone gripping a Bible just appease us. We aren’t impressed and neither is God.

This blog is dedicated to those who don’t just proclaim a faith, but who live out their faith. That’s the definition of a Red Letter Believer, a Christian who follows Jesus.

Talk about your faith, yes. But first, live your faith.

Please comment below —

Check out The presidential candidates’ faiths – Yahoo! News

About David Rupert

Newsletter Editor for the High Calling Find me over at http://www.RedLetterBelievers.com
This entry was posted in Authentic Living, Politics, Public faith, Red Letter Christians, Red letter meaning. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Politicians and faith

  1. PFaustin says:

    I want to see a politician get on God’s side and not just talk about faith, “personal” or otherwise.

    There are two things I will judge them on: abortion and homosexuality.

    On abortion, I may disagree with subtleties or tactics and that is okay but they can’t be in favor of abortion or hide behind “choice.”

    I see opposition to the practice of homosexuality as clear Biblical teaching.

    So, that is how I will look at candidates.


  2. Owen Meany says:

    I agree with the blog post entirely. It’s almost as if the Democrats suddenly realized that religious voters are up for grabs as far as eletoral politics goes and they’ve decided to start talking about “faith.” But if the CNN discussion the other night is any indication, they’re not quite comfortable with it.

  3. Christian Democrat says:

    I’m a first time visitor, but totally get the concept of Red Letter Christians, it’s a phrase I’ve used a good bit in conversation of late and it is wonderfully valid. Keeping the Word(s) of Christ at the forefront, every moment, does bring a clarity to all aspects of life.

    I’ve also worked with a youth minister over that past few years that was into “Authentic” faith and I treasure our conversations as much as her ability to lead worship in a variety of unique and inspiring ways. The question with “Authentic” is “Authentic to whom?” The sincerity expressed in authenticity can be beautiful and opening up one’s heart to the Lord, then sharing it with others, is a compelling witness.

    I look at the candidates and see a wide range of faith, from what I would call immature to zealous, from under-studied to overly certain. Look around any church and you will see the same range. From Sunday worshippers that get to the parking lot quickly after service, to the folks that are involved in several different ministries to the prayer warriors, on fire for the Lord and a little scary sometimes to the newcomers that have yet to realize that such dedication can be a wonderful thing. The question remains, “Authentic to whom?”

    Faith grows in fits and starts with not all people going far enough to have that first “Wow” moment of realizing just how amazing Jesus was. Many Christians call out to Jesus only in times of trouble and rationalize a faith they can call on when needed. Is that an understudied faith? Perhaps, but it is an understanding of the Lord that works for them.

    The increase in the candidates need to express their faith is interesting to watch. Many denominations preach a more humble expression of faith than the Evangelical movement thinks worthy but I accept that for each of them their faith is probably what they think correct. What is authentic for a traditional Roman Catholic worshipper is quite different from a Lutheran, is different from a Baptist, is different from a Cornerstone, is different from the Crystal Cathedral and for each worshipper in every church, their sense of God is a bit different. We can’t judge one anothers’ faith as we all wear it differently. Consider the Amish – very humble, probably wouldn’t want to TALK too much about their faith, especially with strangers, but would gladly show it in their actions.

    I’m just glad to hear that these candidates do have a sense of the Creator and are being asked to think about their relationship with Him more. That’s progress!

    Seeking a politician with faith similar to one’s own makes sense on the moral issues and as all issues are moral, all the more so. To limit the selection to that one trait might be a bit shortsighted though.

  4. D. Gudger says:

    I find it particularly offensive when these politicians wave the Jesus flag to grab the attention of frustrated voters. The proof is in the fruit (or lack of it).

    Pro-abortion stances from people who wave that Jesus flag make me livid! Abortion is MURDER. Anyone who claims any identity with God, Jesus or the Bible should be vehemently opposed to this heinous crime!

    I don’t care what party the politician is from. I will NOT vote for someone who thinks it’s okay to MURDER babies.

    This spoken from a woman who is infertile, cannot bear her own kids and adopted a baby from a young woman who was raped.

  5. Jonesy says:

    I understand that we need to have moral stands, and to ask our leaders to make them.

    But sometimes I feel like I’m pandered to. I dont want a message crafted just to fit my faith. Just live it. Walk it. Be it. Or sit on it.

  6. Carl says:

    I agree 75% with this blog post.

    I strongly feel that Politians (and other Christians) need to walk the walk showing the Fruit of the Spirit (which will also mean admitting to failures), not just making public statements like the Priest’s of Jesus’ day.

    Where I have to part ways is the label ‘zany’ placed on Romney’s beliefs. Although I am not a LDS and do disagree with many teachings, this does not mean that all LDS hold to them all and that through many strange teachings, the lord can still lift many up.
    My own life has been one of abandonment by Evangelicals (especially Baptists), my daughter’ molestation and my son’s autism made ALL our Baptist friends run for the hills and place severe judgments on our family without even seeking the truth. Mean while, many LDS were ready to help. So who really showed the love of Christ?

    Carl Strohmeyer

  7. jkboldt says:

    Um, didn’t see the word “zany” anywhere in the blog. And yeah, maybe your “baptist friends” weren’t really friends in the first place if they “ran for the hills”. But you can’t blame all Baptists for acting that way. Unfortunately some short sighted people do label a whole group based on acts of a few. I’m so sorry that your Christian “friends” weren’t there to pray for your children and walk along side you to help and pray for your family. However, as for the actual blog, after being stationed at Hanscom AFB, MA, for 3 years, I at least knew who Mitt Romney was, but after learning he is a mormon, definitely would not vote for him now. Though it is hard to determine who believes their faith talk or who just notices it as the latest fad. Nice blog.

  8. Carl says:

    Wow, this last post says a lot.
    First the word zany has been used (I believe here to in the paragraph in question, it was just edited). However that is not my point.
    No I cannot blame all Baptists (or Evangelicals), however this was a whole Church (that and inside friend even admitted to the willing abandonment of our family).
    And even more important after leaving to protect my family (in particular my daughter and wife), persons within the Evangelical community here with ties from where we came have perpetuated these false rumors to the detriment of me and my family (both mentally and financially)
    The statement to not vote for Romney after learning of his religious faith smacks of the type of judgments the Evangelical community struggles with and seems to forget Jesus’ statement to “Love the Lord God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself”

    Carl Strohmeyer- My Thoughts

  9. Whit T says:

    I think the issue with Romney is not that his views are off base, but rather his judgement. As the blogger states, Mormon views are ‘zany’ indeed, but not necessarily Mormons. Jesus and Satan were brothers, preexistence, holy underwear, eternal birthing by LDS women and baptism for the dead are zany.

    But, as this blog pursues, people should be more concerned about the actions of people — LDS, Baptist, etc. And they should never act like people have toward you Carl.

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