Iâ€™m a spiritual, faith-based and church going individual.Â I was raised Lutheran, while in Washington I attended series of different Christian faiths to find a Minister that had consistently uplifting message and it turned out to be a Methodist.Â Iâ€™ve been to Temple on numerous occasions with Jewish friends and have found good messages from Rabbiâ€™s as well as Ministers.Â Now that I am based in Chicago I attend the Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue because the Reverend finds a way to be relevant to current events and it is a positive place of reflection and motivation for me.Â But thatâ€™s just me.Â Just me.Â My faith, how I practice it and what I believe â€“ yup, itâ€™s just me.Â Do you care?Â Should you care?Â Iâ€™m just a commentator and writer â€“ would you care if I ran for office?
There are all these questions on faith that are being raised in this diverse presidential campaign but why?Â Perhaps itâ€™s the same reason why so much was made out of President John F. Kennedyâ€™s Catholicism.Â But not nearly as much was made of President Nixon being a Quaker â€“ but then again they are the â€œSociety of Friends.â€ What - Mormonâ€™s arenâ€™t friendly?
I am really perplexed on the whole role of faith in politics and Iâ€™m no expert on faith beyond how I was raised and what it means to me.Â Iâ€™m accepting of all religions and appreciate each for a sense of purpose they bring into oneâ€™s life.Â I have always thought of religionâ€™s role in politics was actually quite simple.Â I assumed most voters just want their candidate to have faith â€“ to believe in something bigger then himself or herself.Â Perhaps thatâ€™s too pedestrian of me because polls are actually showing quite the opposite.Â
Looks like a lot is stacked against Governor Mitt Romney.Â Now, Iâ€™m not voting for Romney, not because of his religion but because of his record as Governor and his stance social issues.Â But thatâ€™s just me â€“ for others his religion is proving to be the problem.Â
According to Newsweek, 25% of registered voters could not vote for a Mormon even if they were qualified for the job and nominated by their own party.Â NBC News Wall Street Journal found that 53% of voters overall were very uncomfortable or have reservation voting for a candidate who is Mormon.Â Wow, are we that closed minded as Americans about the Mormons?Â Or are we skeptical of this particular candidate Governor Mitt Romney who happens to be Mormon.
Well, in general here is how Mormonism stacked up to the rest of the religions polled by Fox News Channel.
Registered voters who said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate for president who is:
53% less likely to vote for a Scientologist
24% â€¦Member of the Christian Coalition
10% â€¦Roman Catholic
6%Â Â â€¦Protestant
So I guess the above poll would tell us that some voters can find fault with almost any religion but Iâ€™m surprised that Mormonism rounds out the bottom 4 among the Atheists.Â I mean aside from the Polygamy and the whole Jesus Christ returning somewhere in Kansas, Iâ€™ve never heard of a radical Mormon and I have great friends and former colleagues that were Mormons â€“ and guess what they still worked really hard!
I donâ€™t want to infringe on anyone here by making light of any one religion because thatâ€™s not my point today.Â The point Iâ€™d like to make is that weâ€™re not as closed-minded as these various polls make us look.Â That we can judge people based on merits but not just on religion.Â I donâ€™t think Al Gore lost as many votes on his ticket for Joe Lieberman being Jewish as he did for Joe Lieberman being â€“ well Joe Lieberman.
So, Iâ€™m looking to the Gather community instead of the media and their polls to tell me what role YOU think Faith has in the 2008 Presidential Election.
Iâ€™m curious and excited to hear what you think.
Thank you for joining in this hot conversation!