Welcome to Week Two of Election Month at Patheos! At Patheos, the world's most compelling writers confront life's most important questions. One important question right now is standing in front of American voters. While we count down to the 2012 election, we've asked our extraordinary stable of writers and experts to offer their perspectives on the relationship between religion, politics and citizenship.
The question for Week Two is this: Does a candidate's faith really matter?
Please note that Patheos wants to model a conversation that is elevated, informed and charitable. Please focus your comments on the critical issues before us and be constructive.
Perhaps Romney and his team should take a few cues from JFK.
Faith-related public issues may well be decisive.
Faith, for all its tricky points, is still a tough one to completely fake.
We will know much more when we see actions taken that move us toward bringing in the reign of God, and that will heal all people.
I do care whether a candidate values secularism, social justice, equality and science.
Does a candidate's faith matter in an election? You'd think as a Presbyterian minister I'd answer in the affirmative -- but I don't.
Faith itself is a sort of value. And it's not the sort of value I appreciate in potential world leaders.
Ultimately our deepest beliefs become the launch pad for our behaviors.
I think this post is another case of where I break with most of my progressive colleagues and side with my evangelical friends.
To prohibit the government from imposing a "religious test" is not to require individual voters to ignore candidates' religious beliefs in the voting booth.
A guest column by Michael Wear, Director of Faith Outreach for Obama for America.
The Whiskey Preacher
If Obama wasn't a Christian, would you vote for him?
They want someone who understands their faith.
This is a radical claim in this heated election season, without a doubt, but is why I could care less what religion a candidate claims to adhere to.
We religious liberals often fail to appreciate the difference between liberal religion and either orthodoxy or orthopraxy.
Does a candidate's faith matter? It matters deeply when the candidate runs on their faith while ignoring its core tenents.
If you call yourself religious, it is your job not only to hold a core set of values that you understand to be at the heart of your religion, but also to go out and practice and advocate for those values in the world.
I would vote for a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, pagan or atheist if that person would work for income equality, universal health care and an end to poverty.
Only because reason matters.
Phil Fox Rose
We live in the immediate aftermath of one the most extreme examples in history of a president's worldview affecting the choices they made.
To make religion simply a private matter which should not influence the way we organize our communities is to rob the Christian faith of its social nature.
Karen Spears Zacharias
A way of saying there's me, then there is you.