Saturday, June 30, 2007

Would God Be Your Vice-President?

All the presidential candidates seem happy to talk about their religion and faith. While I think such matters are personal and private, they feel it is politically advantageous to make their religious beliefs public.

If a candidate's life and actions are as dependant on their religious beliefs as most profess and many seem happy (and some eager) to tell us about, shouldn't we be asking them tough questions? If a candidate's daily life and decisions are guided and affected by their religious beliefs, aren't these principles and beliefs just as important as their stands on health care or Iraq? If a candidate, for example, says they don't believe in evolution, we need to find out why. If their belief is based on religion, what other strange beliefs might they have? Do they believe in the Rapture?

Personally, I would rather have a president who deep down believes "God helps those who help themselves." more than they believe in the power of prayer. I want a president who believes the fate of the country is in our hands and not a god whose actions are often beyond our understanding.

I would have no problem with a candidate who says something like - "I have strong religious beliefs that have helped shape who I am. Those beliefs can be seen in the decisions I've made and the actions I've taken in my life. My religion and faith continue to be a source of comfort and strength in my daily life, but they are personal and not open to public discussion. While I will always be a person of faith, as president of a secular country I will make presidential decisions based on reason, logic and the interests of all the citizens of the United States."

For those candidates not willing to make such a statement, I have a few questions.

How much would your faith and religious beliefs influence your decisions as President?

As President, which would be more the more important guide when making decisions, the Bible or the Constitution?

Do you believe that non-Christians are as moral as Christians?

Is your God the only true God?

Does your God treat non-believers the same as believers?

Would you treat non-believers the same as believers?

Is your God active in the world? That is, does your God, on a daily or regular basis, change the course of events?

Does your God change the world in response to prayer?

If so, does your God change the world in positive response to prayers from people of other faiths or religions?

How often do you pray?

What do you pray for?

Have you ever asked God for guidance with a problem?

When confronted with a large problem, have you ever "turned it over to" God?

Has God ever given you guidance?

Have your prayers ever been answered?

Has God ever spoken to you directly?

If so, how do you know it was God that spoke?

Have you ever prayed for God to change or influence events?

What is a miracle?

Can you describe a recent miracle you believe God made happen?

This list may sound like a lot of gotcha questions, but so many candidates are treating religion like just another focus group issue. If they really believe religion is another tool to attract voters, then we need the details.

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