Politics and Religion

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian.

Neither is former Presidential candidate Rick Perry.

I’m sure most of you saw his “Strong” ad, as it’s more than a month and a half old at this point.  Earlier this week, Perry withdrew his candidacy, which I don’t think was surprising to anyone given the fact that much of his campaign was a train wreck.

To be perfectly honest, the first time I saw this video, I glazed over his comment about “gays serving openly in the military.”  I guess I just misunderstood him or wasn’t really listening. To me, at first, it seemed like he was excited about servicemen and women being allowed to be openly homosexual, but I realize now that’s not where he was going with the statement.

I’m not writing today to debate that argument however, I’m moreso interested in discussing the reason I glossed over much of the video when I first watched it.

You see, with those opening lines of “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian,” my thoughts were immediately transported to a time when I wanted to be a politician.  I’m still not opposed to public office, in fact I’ve held leadership positions in just about every organization I’ve ever belonged to, but that wasn’t what I was thinking about when I watched Rick Perry’s ad.

I started wondering how I would approach a political campaign, even for something as small as city council member, etc.  Would I talk about my religion as part of my campaign?  What about 5-10 years down the road, I will presumably be a Pastor at that point in time if I continue on the path I’m going now, would that have an effect on a campaign?  Would I ever be seen on television proclaiming to my neighbors, or even the entire country that “I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a Christian… Vote for me!”

And it was in thinking through all of this that I came to a realization about what seems to be a problem in political campaigns of late.

I have no problem with a politician openly stating their religious beliefs.  Nor do I have a problem with that politician’s decisions being affected by their religion.  But there’s a fine line between being a politician whose comfortable speaking about one’s faith, and one who’s pandering to people of faith.

While in the strictest sense of the word, Christians ARE in fact a demographic, we shouldn’t be treated as one in the American political system.  No politician should ever be discussing with their campaign manager “how can I win over the church-goers vote?”

I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a Christian, but I sure am ashamed of Christian politicians who try to flaunt their religion to win votes.

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Posted on January 20, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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