A spiritual Jill Stein tells CNN she’s not actively practicing any religion.
At one point Stein was asked:
Do you currently believe in God?
Stein did not deliver a direct answer to the question. Instead, she gave a meandering response. Stein, who was raised in a reform Jewish family, began her answer by saying that she had been very religious while growing up, explaining that her view of the word “grew out of the tales and morality of the Old Testament.”
The closest Stein came to answering the question about her belief or disbelief in a god came towards the end of her rambling response. Stein said she believes in something “spiritual and beyond our grasp,” before concluding her response by saying:
I don’t fit in any box or conventional view.
To be clear, Stein did not answer the question. After listening to her answer several times it is impossible to determine if she believes in a god or not. On one hand, this is disappointing, because at some point in her rambling response she should have simply answered the straightforward question in a straightforward manner.
Yet on the other hand, a strong argument can be made that political candidates should not be asked, nor obligated to reveal their religious beliefs, or lack of religious beliefs, at all.
However, the CNN Town Hall was not a rigorous affair, and Stein was not pressed to clarify or directly respond to any of the questions. In the interview Stein was also asked about some controversial remarks the retired medical doctor made about vaccines.
Stein said she had been “taken out of context” on the issue of vaccines, saying:
I think there’s kind of an effort to divert the conversation from our actual agenda. The idea that I oppose vaccines is completely ridiculous.
However, again there was no follow up. Stein was not questioned or challenged about her fear-mongering and repeated pandering to the anti-vaccine crowd, something which has been reported on by the Washington Post and other media outlets.Instead of directly addressing vaccines, homeopathy, wi-fi, and other controversial elements in her campaign, Stein simply waved at her scientific credentials, and talked about her medical and research experience, before happily declaring:
I too am a science geek.
As for Stein’s stated views on the separation of church and state, they are actually pretty good.
Earlier this year, when asked: How should religion affect public policy choices? Stein said:
We don’t live in a religious country–in the sense of having no national religion, and instead the separation of church & state–so faith should not be a public issue. But, yes, it tends to be something that people are interested in. I’m not comfortable with any narrow religious or secular view of the world. Religious societies where religion is enshrined in government are extremely problematic. I respect every faith and look for a moral and ethical foundation of how society works–but that is independent of faith or whether one has a religion at all. And that needs to be reflected in our government. Failing to separate church and state is a bad prescription.
The fact that Stein openly states she supports the separation of church and state is a good thing, and should be applauded. Yet that is not enough, and ultimately Stein is not an acceptable choice for president.
Bottom line: Pragmatic concerns make Stein an unacceptable choice. Stein cannot win, and a vote for Stein is ultimately a vote for Trump. Indeed, when one contemplates the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency, it is remarkable that any reasonable person is willing to throw their vote away on Stein, and risk the devastating consequences.
Watch the full Green Party Presidential Town Hall below, relevant remarks about God begin at the 34:00 minute mark: