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Faith and the Presidency
There’s no doubt that the way one’s spirituality is a very private matter. But when you’re running for president of the United States, your spirituality becomes a political talking point.
For example, take this weekend’s faith and values forum at Messiah College that Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton attended, though Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee, did not. It was an opportunity for the two candidates to really delve into their spiritual and religious beliefs and how they influence their opinions on certain issues.
Clinton did her best to describe her faith, but stopped short of delving too deep. "I don't think that I could have made my life's journey without being anchored in God's grace and without having that, you know, sense of forgiveness and unconditional love," she told the audience.
Obama, dodging more questions about the controversy over comments made by his former pastor Jeremiah Wright, did his best to prove his beliefs to the audience. "I am a devout Christian," he said. "I started my work working with churches in the shadow of steel plants that had closed on the south side of Chicago ... Nobody in a presidential campaign on the Democratic side in recent memory has done more to reach out to the church."
How heavily does a presidential candidate’s spirituality influence your vote? [washigntonpost.com]