Super Tuesday is a'comin'! Here's a little something I wrote in response to comments on my election blog on the Today's Christian Woman website:
I'd prefer our country’s leader believe in God. But if faith is all we're demanding in a president, we're demanding too little.
Whether or not a presidential candidate is likely to turn to God for wisdom is hugely important to me. I do want to know the candidate's faith, but that's all the information I need. I believe the American people do not benefit from a prove-your-faith contest—it is a waste of time that could be better utilized to discuss the issues affecting our country.
And I believe it does not edify the church for political candidates to rattle off a few Bible verses come election time. Consider the perception these candidates are creating when, having not been vocal about their beliefs in the past, they suddenly start discussing Scripture and hymns during an election. I have a feeling they won't be talking about these things in a year. Will this make faith look like something to be put on when it is useful? Will this make faith appear to be shallow or surface? Will it make Christianity look like a mere social affiliation? The overuse of faith as a political buzzword dilutes its real meaning.
We shouldn't be analyzing the perceived depth of faith of a candidate, then choosing based on whoever seems like the "best Christian." If my church were interviewing for a pastor, the candidate's depth of faith would be my primary concern. Conversely, in considering my vote for president, faith may be a must-have quality, but that quality still plays a tiny role in my decision.
Here's a simple illustration of what I mean. If I go out for lunch one day and see I have many choices, I might think to myself, "I want to eat something hot, not cold." I've decided my food must be hot. But beyond that, I have a lot more decision-making to do. I've really only ruled out a few choices.
In the current presidential race, almost all of the candidates profess Christian faith. So we've got a whole lot of choices to make.
Is faith the most important issue in the 2008 presidential race?