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Archive for Saturday, October 20, 2012

Faith Forum: Should you vote for a candidate even if he or she does not share your religion?

October 20, 2012

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Yes, values are not just faith-based

The Rev. Kent Winters-Hazelton, pastor, First Presbyterian Church, 2415 Clinton Parkway:

Yes. Within any religious tradition, there is a range of views about how that faith is lived out in the public square. Christians hold different views on many critical issues facing our community and nation. You will find Christians who are pro-choice and pro-life; who oppose increasing military budgets and who support a strong national defense; who hold that governments have a responsibility to those who are poor and those who support the freedom of the economic markets; and who speak out in support of the rights of lesbians and gays and those who speak out against those same rights. Given the diversity within and among religious traditions it is not possible for a religion to speak with one voice.

As a citizen, I take my privilege to vote seriously. It is my expectation that those I choose to vote for share my perspective on issues regardless of their religious orientation, that they share these values not because they are religious but because these values are part of human life and community. These values are shared by people who have faith as well as those who struggle with faith or may have no religious faith.

While my values are shaped by the scriptures of my faith, similar values are shaped by other influences and experiences. As a Christian, I take my right to vote seriously. In these texts of my religion I hear essential questions about our common humanity and our lust for power, control and retaliation; I believe they compel us to consider the common good. I take these values into the voting booth to select those people who best reflect my concerns, whether they are of my faith or not.

— Send email to Kent Winters-Hazelton at fpcpastor@sunflower.com.

Yes, politics not same as religion

Charles Gruber, member, Oread Friends Meeting, 1146 Oregon:

Should I vote for a candidate if he or she has the same hairstyle as me? Depends.

Should I vote for a candidate if he or she is the same gender as me? Depends.

Should I vote for a candidate if he or she lives in my neighborhood? Depends.

Should I vote for a candidate if she or he has the same skin coloration as me? Depends.

Should I vote for a candidate if his or her kids go to my kids’ school? Depends.

Should I vote for a candidate if he or she digs the Beatles? Depends.

Should I vote for a candidate if he or she drives a 2003 PT Cruiser? Depends.

Should I vote for a candidate if he or she is a Chiefs fan? Depends.

Should I vote for a candidate if he or she is a Jayhawks fan? That one is self-evident.

Should I vote for a candidate if he or she beat me for the election to the high school council 50 years ago? Depends.

Should I vote for a candidate who is the same religion as me? Depends.

It depends on things like commitment, dedication, authenticity, sincerity and ability. Does it depend on how or where she or he worships? Not for me. On how he or she chooses to socialize? Nope. On whether he or she even believes in God? No. On the depth of Spirit residing in the candidate? How would I know that? (This is an internal trait, not an external one.)

So, politics and religion: Are they the same or different? If you don’t instantly know the answer to that one, go re-read the Constitution. I think the answer is in there.

— Send email to Charles Gruber at cgruber@cgruber.com.

Comments

Peter Macfarlane 1 year, 6 months ago

What a silly article. If you need an answer to the question posed, you do not deserve to vote!

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beatrice 1 year, 6 months ago

If your religion is nothing more than a cult, and someone from your cult gets nominated, then you should vote for that person to help give legitimacy to your cultish religion.

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tange 1 year, 6 months ago

Religion was a way of life for Jesus; it's a dashboard mount for American voters.

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 6 months ago

No person of my religion has ever been nominated for President by the two political parties. The same is true for governor. So I am left with the option of not voting, or voting for someone who has a different religion.

Would you like to reframe that question.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

"Should you vote for a candidate even if he or she does not share your religion?"

Far too many people confuse religious piety with ethics and morals. (But finding a candidate with outstanding ethics and morals might be a difficult task.)

Someone's religion is usually just a small facet of that person, just as any religion can never describe any more than a tiny facet of the total reality. (And, you never know what a person actually believes, the only thing you can ever know is what a person claims he believes.)

Religions are not really truths, instead they are methods to achieve goals that we cannot understand. (My personal belief, first stated on May 13, 2012 on this forum.)

So, I would say that a candidate's religion should be only a very small part of a decision about who to vote for.

Of course, there are exceptions to everything. If a candidate loudly voices a religious viewpoint with an apocalyptic world view, I would certainly hope that he not be elected. It's unfortunate that has already happened in at least one foreign country.

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