Why We Shouldn’t Care About a Politician’s Religion

Countless times I’ve been asked to speculate on Obama’s religion.  Do I think he’s a real Christian?  Or a devout Muslim?  I irritate people when I respond with, “That’s the President’s personal business and none of mine.”

Mind you, I didn’t vote for President Obama..  It’s nothing personal, but I’m a Libertarian and he was the furthest candidate from those ideals in the last election.  It had nothing to do with his religion, and I’ll never choose one candidate over another because of their faith because I don’t think that religious beliefs tell us how a person will act in office.

Let me give you an example.  I attend a very small Southern Baptist church in Texas.  You’re probably picturing a barn full of overweight rednecks driving dirty trucks, wearing overalls, and shooting guns up in the air.  And you probably think that these cavemen all line up to vote for the Republican party, but you’d be wrong.

Also, during the service, deacon Big Tex will light a candle for Saint Tom Landry.  With a branding iron.

In our tiny congregation there are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and some independent voters – and plenty of folks who just won’t tell you their affiliation.  If you randomly picked someone from my church to serve as the President of the United States, then you would have no idea which political agendas they would support – there’s just too much variety even in a group that small.  The fact that all of them are Southern Baptists who agree on almost every theological point does not ensure that they will have the same political outlook.

So, when a candidate promises me that they are a Christian – just like me! – I don’t get excited.  I want to know thing like, how will they govern our taxes?  Will they make new laws or seek to limit federal power? (I can dream, can’t I?)  What do they intend to do about our very serious unemployment issues?  None of these important questions have anything to do with the candidate’s faith.

 I prefer to allow our leaders to keep their faith to themselves – and I appreciate them extending that same courtesy to me and allowing me to practice my own faith away from their prying eyes.  And if they want my support then I don’t want them to put on a Christian face and tell me that we share the same faith.  I only want to know how they will run a public office.

(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)
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