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What do you think about church leaders running for public office?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on February 5, 2007

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Photo of Mark Hurla

“I believe strongly in the separation of church and state, but I also believe that every citizen has a right to participate.”

Photo of Jean Reitz

“I think personally that you should do one or the other. I think it’s OK for church leaders to have an opinion about political matters, but they should stay away from the power of public office.”

Photo of Teresa Wright

“I think it all depends on the person and what their opinions are. I wouldn’t necessarily be for or against voting for someone who is a church leader.”

Photo of Roger Lee

“I think it’s a good idea. It’s a complicated issue, but I think it’s fine as long as they’re a good, open-minded leader who looks out for a broad range of people and their interests.”


sgtwolverine 11 years, 2 months ago

Same thing I think about lawyers running for public office. And doctors. And accountants. And gas station owners.

Everyone does something prior to running for public office.

geekin_topekan 11 years, 2 months ago

Anyone can run for office.this is America.Which means I also have the right to vote for the other guy.

oldgranny 11 years, 2 months ago

Well of course they should have the right to run for office. Just as we have the right to vote against them if we don't agree with them.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 2 months ago

Locally City Commission can be a 40-50 hour a week job. So one may need to give up the church people or not be home much.

Sigmund 11 years, 2 months ago

I doubt that anything will come before the Kommission that will even remotely resemble imposing Christian, Jewish, or Islamic morality on the Lawrence community. Like it or not people of all faiths have as much of a right to run for and hold office.

Jeff Barclay 11 years, 2 months ago

I am offended by the motive of the question. Only in San Francisco, Madison, or Lawrence would such an anti-democratic question be asked.

trinity 11 years, 2 months ago

it makes me feel kinda oogey. but then again, i vote for whomever i feel will do the best job. i don't think i'd hold someone's profession against them, but i dunno...

jonas 11 years, 2 months ago

Some should note that the question read "What do you think about it?" and not "Should it not be allowed?"

By the way, Roger Lee, good answer if you read this. From an old Tuesday 601 driver.

monkeyhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

If the position requires 40-50 hours/week, are the Ks. taxpayers getting the short end considering two of our commissioners work as lawyers for the state?

Reminds me of the questions back in the day regarding Kennedy being a catholic.

jonas 11 years, 2 months ago

Hey, here's a nice article saying that the founding fathers would have endorsed Newt Gingrich for president. . .

. . . written by CHUCK NORRIS!

ahhh. . . World Net Daily.

jonas 11 years, 2 months ago

Oh yeah, and Merrill, you should admit that you're obvious hatred of the religious right is coloring your judgement, as your comment and the attempted tarnishing of a preacher's ability to run for office are prejudiced and unfair.

And if you don't think so, then why didn't it occur to you for the jobs that virtually everyone else does before THEY go into public office?

There, think I've covered all the bases now.

Bone777 11 years, 2 months ago

People run for office to further 'their own' agenda.

Who has a bigger, stronger agenda than a church leader.

It is amazing that church leaders ever quit running for office.

Rights, rites, rights, rites

ohjayhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

I am also of the ilk of voting for the best person for the job. I think there are many church leaders or ex-church leaders who are more than capable of doing a good job in public office. Not all church leaders are part of the "religious right" movement. In fact, the new democratic governor of Ohio is an ordained Methodist minister, even though he hasn't had a church since the late 1960's.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 2 months ago

How full do they need their plates to be? Won't the work that a person does for their church suffer if they are spending their time on decidedly more secular issues? The pope doesn't want Catholic leaders to hold public office. Maybe there's something to that. Maybe not.

Here's one for you- "What do you think about Socialists running for public office?" If you don't have a problem with that, let's get rid of the stupid "at-large" elections we have here in Lawrence for city commission. Read a little history--That is why we have our current system--to keep those damn Socialists out of office.

RonBurgandy 11 years, 2 months ago

I think the concensus is pretty much that everyone has a right to run, if they meet the minimum qualifications stated by the community, state, or federal standards.

I don't really see saying "church leader" as disrespectful or bias. It is what a minister or pastor is, a leader of the church.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 2 months ago

I'm with Ron on the church leader thing. Different churches call their pastors different things; church leader is a fine neutral term.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

If they will be a good choice, I'm all for it.

So, what kind of "dip" did everyone have yesterday and how many pounds of fatty tissue did you gain? Me: Buffalo hot wing dip and a couple.

Or: what was your favorite commercial and has the superbowl ever had had good half time show? Me: Probably the guy with the axe and the budlight and no.

imastinker 11 years, 2 months ago

I agree - the question is TERRIBLE!

We don't like them and we vote against them. End of story. At least you know where that person stands.

Ryan Shelton 11 years, 2 months ago

There's a huge segment of Christians that need their views represented. To say that a church leader can't run for a political office is to deny millions of people their right to have their views represented.

RonBurgandy 11 years, 2 months ago

sue - overall, the commercials this year seemed somewhat disappointing. However, I did enjoy the Garmin one, as well as, the "clicking" the mouse blockbuster ad.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 2 months ago

I enjoyed the Coke Grand Theft Auto ad. That was good.

mom_of_three 11 years, 2 months ago

Did Emmanuel Cleaver let his religious beliefs interfere with running Kansas City? Is he letting it interfere with his Congressional duties?
Jesse Jackson ran for President, and we all know how it went.
I think as long as the clergy have the best interests of the people in mind, and not their own agendas, it's a great thing. Vote for the best candidate. Then again, you have politicians pushing more agendas than some clergy.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

Momo3, Emmanuel Cleaver is a great example of a religious leader who would certainly get my vote.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 2 months ago

GoDaddy needs to GoAway. They've been running essentially the same ads for something like three years now, and they're dumb now, like they were when they started.

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 2 months ago

Makes no difference to me but I hope they are up front about what they are all about.

I think this person is trying to get in under the radar ESPECIALLY because he wishes us to ignore the fact that he is a Southern Baptist and likely because he has strong feelings about positions he fears the "liberals" disagee with him about: 1. Denying some groups rights that are enjoyed by many others; 2. He would wish to change existing laws that would outlaw certain "activites" for all when those who oppose them may simply choose to not engage in them; 3. Would oppose enacting laws that would enable all access to treatments not currently available that would benefit all just becuase some people oppose them.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain . . .

ohjayhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

I liked the Coke Grand Theft Auto one as well, but my favorite was the down on his luck doggy ad by Budweiser.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 2 months ago

The one with Prince dancing through the rain. It lasted longer than a minute though. Must have cost a fortune.

se1672 11 years, 2 months ago

(Hypothetically speaking) If you think about it, would voting a baptist minister into office be all that different from voting a baptist business owner into office? They are both leaders in their field, they are strong, more than likely they are both vocal and they both make decisions based on the same beliefs of right and wrong. The decisions made in office would essentially be the same. The major difference being that when job titles are posted, the minister's religious standing is right out there in the open for all the world to see. Would we assume that the business owner would be more flexible and liberal simply because his job title doesn't contain the word "baptist"? Who knows what he/she could be carrying in "under the radar"?

sgtwolverine 11 years, 2 months ago

The argument that (apparently) just concluded made me think of the Super Bowl ad from Snickers, which, depending on who's talking, was hilarious or controversial and shameful.

Quick! Do something manly!

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 2 months ago

Ergo the need to be up front about what they are about.

It seems that the minister is following the doctrine being promoted lately by the ultra religious right which is to dillute your religious position to the voting public. If they are going to legislate from their religious position once they are elected then they damn well better fly their colors during the campaign.

With such a duplicitous environment I don't even trust the non-minister Baptists to be straightforward. If you can't be honest about what you are doing then what you are doing is not on the up and up.

And don't give me the then-they-are-just-like-other-politicians crap.

mom_of_three 11 years, 2 months ago

I am sure Emanuel Cleaver isn't the only politician with a tax skeleton in his closet.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

Marion, you'll have to excuse me if I find your 11:41 post hillarious! Think real hard about why.

RonBurgandy 11 years, 2 months ago

sgt - Personally, I thought that ad was hilarious.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 2 months ago

It's good to know we can all respond in a calm, respectful tone here. Like Ron:

"I don't really see saying 'church leader' as disrespectful or bias. It is what a minister or pastor is, a leader of the church."

And Defender: "Church leader would imply a church leader from any faith, not all are called ministers, or preachers, or whatever. Sorry, but your post is the most idiotic post of the day. Typical RT, always screaming at the top of his lungs about nothing."

We are, I believe, the very definition of mature dialogue.

ohjayhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

R_I, can I still celebrate today, since I have the degree but haven't worked as a weatherman in almost 10 years (and never for pay)?

Although, no matter where I work, I get "used" whenever there's a big storm on the way, or someone is traveling somewhere anyway.

ohjayhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Cool! Hmmmm, what to do to celebrate... Too cold for any outdoor festivities... I'll have to think about it.

ohjayhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Marion, no you don't, but that wind sure does affect where the darts we use go! A nice stiff breeze could mean the difference between a forecast of 20" of snow or 80 degree weather.

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 2 months ago

Looks like were all on the pavement thinkin' 'bout the governemtn, but I'd rather be in the basement mixin' up the medicine.

beatrice 11 years, 2 months ago

"... you'll have to excuse me if I find your 11:41 post hillarious! Think real hard about why." Damn Sue! That was great! It totally went by me the first time I glanced at it.

I don't think too highly of church leaders running for political office, because we know they are set in their "beliefs," be it liberal or conservative.

The inside of a Coke machine ad was the best.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 2 months ago

Sue, Bea, what is the joke? I'm sleeping through it, I guess!

james bush 11 years, 2 months ago

Only those who renounce primary allegiance to the popes, immams, ayatollas, rabbis and others of that ilk(God's OK) should be in government.

james bush 11 years, 2 months ago

Of course an affiliation with the aclu and the far left are eminent qualifications for leading liberals down the primrose path! Being an atheist might be helpful.

beatrice 11 years, 2 months ago

Gootsie, as Sue observes it, some people who have an intimate relationship with the bankruptcy courts probably shouldn't be the first to point fingers at someone else for not paying his tax bill. pot, meet kettle ...

RI, not away at some liberal encampment or anything, just been too busy with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 2 months ago

bea, welcome back! And thanks for the "Damn, Sue!" (That was my first) blushes :)

oldgranny 11 years, 2 months ago

I have an idea. Lets discourage democrats and republicans from running for public office. Then maybe at long last we would see some positive progress in this country.

KS 11 years, 2 months ago

ohjayhawk - Can a "democratic" leader also be a Republican? I think you mean Democrat. Big difference!

drewdun 11 years, 2 months ago

from_beautiful_downtown_topeka: You need help - seriously.

jimincountry: you're a moron. Your 4.14 comment is possibly the most idiotic thing I've ever read.

ohjayhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

KS - you are correct. Sorry for the confusion. He is a Democrat (big D). Also, I don't know that he is actually ordained. He graduated seminary and spent a little time as an associate pastor, but never had his own church.

james bush 11 years, 2 months ago

Actually, Hurla had the correct response.

budwhysir 11 years, 2 months ago

Politicaly speaking, anyone can run but its the platform that you run on that will get you elected or not get you elected.

Yes there is a seperation of religion somewhere down the line but not sure it keeps anyone from running, just makes sure they dont abuse the powers when in office.

I say let anyone run, its an election, all in all the people get to decide. Politicaly speaking on this political matter as myself and not representing any angle or side or wing

Linda Aikins 11 years, 2 months ago

Nice, conceptual! Well done!

Thanks for the 'splanation Bea! Of course I get it now!

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