Voters are not asked to embrace a politician’s religious affiliation

March 2, 2012 in Question of the Week, Spotlight Answers, What is the role of clergy during presidential campaigns? by Nicholas Vieron

In a recent interview, Rev. Franklin Graham questioned the Christian credentials of President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He apologized Tuesday for questioning President Obama’s faith. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, members of the NAACP’s religious roundtable called on Graham and all Christian leaders to “refrain from using Christianity as a weapon of political division.” As we approach Super Tuesday, what do you make of this controversy? Who, if anyone, can define our faith for us? Politicians have always used faith as a weapon of political division, but should clergy be held to a higher standard? What is the role of clergy during presidential campaigns?

Many of us know political leaders and candidates who do not worship in The Shadow of His Cross. Their qualifications are their moral personal lives, their record in past service and their concerns about the issues that are currently important to our country.

I think we have all known “Christians” we would not trust with any responsibility, while I know a couple of agnostics I would trust with my life.

I am not referring to my spiritual life. My leader in that respect would have to be one who is “born from Above.” (For those who take Sacred Scripture literally, the quote is not “born again” but born from Above.” At least that is how my Greek New Testament reads.”)

However, having said that, there are good qualified men and women who would fit the bill from many varied religious traditions. As voters we are asked to embrace not their religious affiliation but their positions on issues.