Theological Editions - Indepth daily religious news, views, reviews & key theological resources

In-depth religious news, views, reviews, features & resources for the thinking person



Liturgy & Prayer

News & Magazines


Texts & Resources


You've got to have faith to win the White House
by Graeme J. Davidson,
4 October, 2008

Americans want their politicians to trust in God too – as long as they don’t go over the top. Yet proving their religious convictions to voters isn’t as easy as it sounds.

....The United States is a secular nation with an official belief in God. Its citizens pledge allegiance to their flag as “one nation under God” and the US official motto is “In God we Trust”. You’ll find it stamped on US coins, and polls show that 90 percent of Americans like it that way.
They want their politicians to trust in God too – as long as they don’t go over the top. Yet proving their religious convictions to voters isn’t as easy as it sounds.
....According to a Pew Research Centre survey last week, nearly half of America’s voters still don’t know that Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama is a committed church-going Christian. He attracts black voters and non-churchgoing white voters. But hoped-for support from white churchgoers has been put at risk by an internet smear campaign suggesting he’s a covert Muslim terrorist, and by the provocative words of his now former pastor, Rev Jeremiah Wright, that “blacks should not sing ‘God Bless America’ but ‘God damn America’".
....Obama peppers his speeches with religious references and he has fulltime campaign staff reaching out to Christian voters. But his efforts take a hit whenever TV news anchors confuse his name with that of Osama bin Laden.
....One of Obama’s aims in choosing six-term Catholic Senator Joseph Biden as his vice-presidential running mate was to attract Roman Catholics, who represent a quarter of Americans.
....Although Biden attends Mass weekly so he can “be alone with God”, he can’t take communion because of his pro-choice stance on abortion. His opponents have used that to question his religious sincerity. At a political gathering three years ago, Biden famously fumed, “the next Republican that tells me I'm not religious, I'm going to shove my rosary down their throat".
....Republican presidential candidate John McCain also has problems convincing voters of his religious authenticity. Brought up Episcopalian (Anglican), he says that while a prisoner of war in Vietnam, “It was my faith that got me through, not the next day or the next hour but through the next minute”. For the last 15 years, he’s been attending North Phoenix Baptist Church in his home state of Arizona. However, he has never responded to an altar call to dedicate his life to Jesus Christ and he has postponed baptism by total immersion – which means he’s not a full member of the Baptist Church. McCain says his faith is a “personal thing”.
....His regular high stakes gambling and ties with the gambling industry have dented his credibility with the Christian right but he still enjoys the support of two-thirds of white voters who go to church once or more a week.
....No doubt, one of the reasons he chose Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate was to make his campaign more attractive to the quarter of American adults who are evangelical, believing in a personal faith in God and the authority of the Bible. She is anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage and open to teaching creationism in public schools. Unlike McCain though, Palin, who attends several evangelical churches, has no desire to keep her faith private. Three months ago, she returned to the church of her youth, Alaska’s Wasilla Assembly of God, and asked the congregation to pray for the US military in Iraq. They are “on a task that is from God” she said. ....McCain has been trying to distance himself from the unpopular Bush-led war in Iraq and comments like this make Palin sound like a President Bush with a skirt. To avoid alienating liberal evangelicals and undecided voters, McCain’s campaign has pulled the reins tight on Palin so that she sticks to its script, especially as recent polls show voter scepticism of Palin is increasing.
....The current unprecedented financial crisis favours the Democrats and the current polls show Obama taking a lead. But whoever makes it to The Whitehouse will need all the prayers he can get from religious supporters to turn the economy around and win a second term in office.




See also
Should we intervene to prevent suicide? >> more
Divorce risk indicator >> more
When you feel like you're sharing a bed with a stranger >> more
Surving the breakup >> more
Suicide terrorism as a desperate weapon of liberation >> more
Ned Flanders — popular face of Christianity >> more
Seven common myths about religion >> more
Moral divide between church leaders and laity >> more
Unholy silence over MPs hypocrisy and greed >> more
Anglican schism over gay clergy inevitable >> more
My agonising path to enlightenment >> more
More than ever, it's a time for generosity >> more
National's ethics smell of political expediency >> more
Pope's trip to Holy Land fraught with potholes >> more
The resurrection may have been superfluous >> more
Rasputin — from sinner and seducer to saint? >> more
Religious delusions and the Jerusalem syndrome >> more
Protest mild compared with Jesus' vandalism >> more
What Castro and Obama have in common >> more
Holidays can revive romance or widen cracks between couples >> more
Dubious scholarship reinterprets Jesus to fit secular creed >> more
Furore over gay marriage echoes the conflict over slavery >> more
If only politics were as certain as dear old granny >> more
You've got to have faith to win the White House >> more
The problem of evil >> more
TV Programmers let lose Roman circus >> more
Prostitutes welcome in the kingdom of God but not in Dannevirke >> more
Church too busy navel-gazing to take lead over crime >> more
Will the Anglican Church split over gay clergy and same-sex unions? >> more
Faith in secular western society >> more
The Vatican's pelvic theology >> more
Abuse and the Beijing Olympics >> more
Would the real Jesus stand up? >> more
Hypersensitivity perverts ethics >> more
God and presidential hopefuls >> more
A three-ghetto church based on politics >> more
Good and bad intentions >> more
Deliver us from exorcists who harm >> more
How effective is prayer? >> more
Masters of non-violence, resistance and kung fu >> more
Was Mother Teresa living a lie? >> more
Double standards over child sex abuse >> more
Soppy inspirational and pseudo-spiritual emails >> more
Caring organisations and pyschopathic bosses >> more
The new anti-religious evangelists >> more
Call for religious education could backfire >> more
Blessing creatures great & small — but what about blowflies? >> more
Does God exist only in the brain? >> more
The Prudes who crucify >> more
tomb raiders and the bones of Jesus and his family? >> more
Jesus loves Osama >> more
Is God more like a matchbox or a number? >> more
Confessions of a failed axe murderer >> more
Bacchanalian festivals and sentimentality >> more
Manners: insignificant social customs? >> more
The 109 fighting boys >> more
Trying to exhume the historical Jesus >> more
Is global violence really on the increase? >> more
Polygamy, circumcision, atheist journalists and religious diversity >> more
The Christian Right stands by Israel out of a misguided theology  >> more 
What a rat taught me >> more
The Church is becoming a retirement hobby for granny clergy >> more 
Is there an anti-Christian conspiracy in Hollywood? >> more
Have church schools sold out on Christianity? >> more
How good a Christian is President George W Bush? >> more

Hitler, Lawyers, Politicians SUV owners and life after death >> more

Were the Christian hostages really idiots for peace? >> more
Infidelity: in hot pursuit of a better organsm or better intimacy? >> more
Skulduggery and controversy over discovery of religious texts >> more
The cartoons aren't about secular freedoms versus intolerance >> more

Christian Zionists hinder justice and peace in the Middle East >> more

Should making more money be your New Year's resolution? >> more
My early life as a black sheep in a nativity scene >> more
Different types of suicide bomber: what makes them tick >> more
Cheating a short cut to sucess in winner-take-all society >> more
Life after death: Is it logically possible? >> more
Is it Anglican to practise apartheid? >> more
Da Vinci Code unlocks controversy>> more
Bishops' statement: pompous, pious, out of touch and verging on the heretical >> more 
Church leaders unconvincing over prostitution law reform >> more
Divorce risk factors >> more
How global are we?  A Christian's view of globalisation >> more
Victims of dirty tricks & friendly fire: Machiavellian tactics in the Church militant >> more
A redundant resurrection >> more
War, violence, ethics, religion and hypocrisy >> more
If St Peter was interviewed for ordination today >> more
13 ways to empty a church without really trying >> more
How tolerant is the Museum of Tolerance? >> more
A church comes out and reconciliation divides >> more
Micah's dream — too much to ask? >> more
Has the revised Anglican Church in New Zealand instigated a benign form of religious apartheid? >> more
The case for St Judas Iscariot >> more
Exorcism: the ministry of deliverance >> more