I will vote for neither Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barak Hussein Obama…so as some say…I have no dog in this hunt, yet in crucial ways I do, for whomever is elected in November will become the President for all citizens of the United States. Thus my interest in both Democratic candidates continues. Of mounting interest is the question of Mr. Obama’s religious leanings, and in the most recent issue of Christianity Today, the issue is fully explored. Now I do understand there are those who say a President’s religious beliefs and practices have nothing to do with his qualifications for the highest office in the world. I disagree, and believe we should carefully consider every aspect of all viable candidates.
“I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Barak Obama
The article is an important one, I am printing much of it here, and am encouraging you to read the entire piece.
What do you think your biggest obstacle will be in reaching evangelicals?
You know, I think that there’s been a set of habits of thinking about the interaction between evangelicals and Democrats that we have to change. Democrats haven’t shown up. Evangelicals have come to believe often times that Democrats are anti-faith. Part of my job in this campaign, something that I started doing well before this campaign, was to make sure I was showing up and reaching out and sharing my faith experience with people who share that faith. Hopefully we can build some bridges that can allow us to move the country forward.
What would you do in office differently than Hillary Clinton or John Edwards that would appeal to evangelicals?
I have not focused on all of their policies so I don’t want to speak about what their positions will be. I know that as president, I want to celebrate the richness and diversity of our faith experience in this country. I think it is important for us to encourage churches and congregations all across the country to involve themselves in rebuilding communities. One of the things I have consistently argued is that we can structure faith-based programs that prove to be successful — like substance abuse or prison ministries — without violating church and state. We should make sure they are rebuilding the lives of people even if they’re not members of a particular congregation. That’s the kind of involvement that I think many churches are pursuing, including my own. It can make a real difference in the lives of people all across the country.
So would you keep the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives open or restructure it?
You know, what I’d like to do is I’d like to see how it’s been operating. One of the things that I think churches have to be mindful of is that if the federal government starts paying the piper, then they get to call the tune. It can, over the long term, be an encroachment on religious freedom. So, I want to see how moneys have been allocated through that office before I make a firm commitment in terms of sustaining practices that may not have worked as well as they should have.
Having read this (and I hope the entire article) I’m curious to know your thoughts concerning this area of Mr. Obama’s life. Are you convinced he is indeed a Christian, or do you contend that deep in his heart, he is Muslim? What if he were Muslim? Would that preclude your asking him to be President of the United States?
My devotional blog is here.