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The influence of faith on public policy; where do the candidates stand?

In this year with its presidential race, we continually seek information on the views of the candidates. We search for understanding of their positions.

The Iraq War, the environment, education, and taxes. It is also appropriate to look at their views on religion, especially at how it will affect their decisions is elected because religious views do influence political decisions. I still believe that a religious viewpoint is one reason behind America’s invasion of Iraq. A personal understanding of eschotology contributed to the quagmire and the deaths of thousands of our soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens.

Religion is an item discussed by the current crop of candidates on television, radio and in their speeches. We know where they go to church, how they interpret the Bible, what they pray for and other spiritual matters. It’s a major item to manipulate a portion of our religious society called the evangelicals (whom I think should be identified as fundamentalists).

Dr. Karen Armstrong in her scholarly writings differentiates between these two categories in her books, which are available at the library and at local bookstores.

To clearly understand our candidates’ religious posture, The First Freedom First Campaign (FFF) is building a formula for obtaining such information and understanding. This television ad program will feature legendary actors Jack Klugman and James Whitmore, two popular stars well over 50 years years of age.

It is our right and responsibility to be informed about such critical issues as religious liberty as enshrined in the First Amendment. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, concisely reinforces this pursuit. He states:

“All Americans whether religious or not have a right to know where a candidate stands on issues that have a real, direct impact on their lives, such as science, academic integrity and protection against religious discrimination.”

The following questions should asked as we analyze the faith views of our politicians and determine through reading and research the following:

  • Candidate comments that “America is a Christian Nation.”
  • Comments on the endorsement of candidates by churches
  • Comments on the position on prayer in public schools
  • Comments on whether creationism should be taught in public schools
  • Comments on “Thou Shalt Not Kill” and an “immoral” war
  • Comments on an organization that receives tax dollars to discriminate in hiring and firing based on religious beliefs
  • Comments on one’s “right to disbelieve in God is protected by the same laws that protect someone else’s right to believe.”
  • Comments on the torture of civilians and soldiers

Relies on these issues will illuminate, educate and enlighten us as voters and enable us to make our own decisions in the voting booth. Remember: political views of candidates does influence political policy.

Rev. Charles Moreland
Rev. Charles Moreland
Rev. Charles Moreland, retired, has lived in Clarksville for seven years and holds great pride in his adopted city and its people. His one objection in Tennessee is the Hall law of taxes on dividends and savings. Charles served in the U.S. Army Chaplaincy from 1966-1986, retiring to serve as a United Methodist pastor near Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He serves on the Boards of Directors for the ARP, Roxy Theater and MCDP. Though retired, he is a regular speaker at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. His five grandchildren, ages two to thirteen years, live in Evansville, Indiana. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War and served in Germany and Korea while on active duty.

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