Issue: November 2007

Volume 7 Number 11

Introduction to the JLE Symposium on an important aspect of the religion and politics debate

[1] In a recent issue of Time, Michael Kinsey, the well-know liberal pundit, made a rather startling claim. Contrary to much secular liberal opinion that the religion of a political candidate does not and should not influence his or her political life, Kinsey argues this: “If religion is central to their lives and moral systems, […]

What Should a Christian Consider?

[1] For the last couple decades, conservative political candidates have made overt appeals to Christian voters, pushing the political agenda of the Religious Right. They talked as if they represented all of Christianity. Most moderate and progressive political candidates did not make such appeals, frequently citing their opinion that religious beliefs are a personal matter, […]

A Few Remarks about Pious Politicians and What Christians Should Think about Them

[1] The editors of JLE asked me to think about what Christians should think about pious politicians who say they believe in God and talk about their prayer life on national television. The editors want us to ponder the question: how should Christians evaluate public displays of religiosity from political candidates seeking to win public […]

Christians in the Voting Booth

[1] As the 2008 presidential primary season fast approaches, the question of how the Christian citizen should evaluate candidates could turn out to be more interesting than it’s been in some time. [2] The religion-in-politics question usually is focused on Republicans. That has been the case since conservative Christians became a formidable, cohesive political force […]

Faith in the Left-Hand Kingdom

[1] There is a very good chance that the 2008 Republican nominee for President will, for the first time in party history, not be a Protestant but rather a Roman Catholic or a Mormon. Historically, the Republican Party has been the party of America’s Protestants, both Mainline and, more recently, evangelical. Not long ago, the […]

Lutherans on Religion and the 1960 Presidential Election

[1] Perhaps few times, if ever, in the history of the United States have questions about the religion of a candidate for President been more prominent than in the 1960 election. Citizens vigorously debated and many cast their votes on how they answered this question: Does the Roman Catholicism of John F. Kennedy disqualify him […]

The Religion of Candidates: Does it Matter?

[1] Should citizens consider the religious identity of candidates? The constitutional answer is no. The Constitution itself mentions religion only once; Article VI forbids religious litmus tests for public office. At a time when many state constitutions included religious litmus tests for holding public office, this was a bold move. Calling for an institutional separation […]

Thoughts on Evaluating a Candidate

[1] When evaluating a political candidate, a concerned citizen should rightfully examine several of that candidate’s traits. The most obvious trait perhaps is the candidate’s position on the issues most relevant to the attentive citizen. If the citizen is deeply concerned about the environment she will evaluate candidates based on their position regarding global warming, […]

What Should A Christian Citizen Consider?

[1] The question is posed: What should a Christian citizen consider when evaluating the religion of candidates for political office and their appeal to religion in their attempts to get elected and in their efforts to support their legislative initiatives? [2] The classic Lutheran answer to the first part of the question is that frequently […]