The Politics of Prayer

In light of the recent scandals that has questioned the ethics of leaders, many Americans have taken a serious interest in the moral merits of politicians.Politicians have responded with campaigns that exhibit morality and family values.Recently, President George W. Bush teamed up with Sen. Joe Lieberman to offer community and faith-based programs to the public.”Im sending to Congress a set of ideas and proposals that mark a hopeful new direction for our government,” Bush told reporters at an after-school mentoring program in Washington, D.C. Many members of Sam Houston State University religious organizations also said they believe spirituality and morals play an important role in the campaign trail.Joelle Olmstead, from the Baptist Student Ministry, said religion is important because it built a strong foundation for the campaign.Not every politician is going to include religion in his or her platform. “Its worth a try,” said Kelly Tyler from the Catholic Student Center. “Everyone needs some religion in his or her life,” she said.The consensus among SHSU students is a sincere need for religion, but it should not be the basis of a campaign.AbdAllah Muhammad-Bey, president of the Muslim Student Association, said he believes if you are living your religion there is not a need to actively announce it. Muhammad points out, that insincerity and corruption are one of the reasons that Muslims do not get involved in politics.Muhammad was invited to serve on the city council, but has not accepted the position.”I believe that they (politicians) should take a sincere format on religion and exercise their moral beliefs.”Whether the goal is to bring in a new set of ideas or to create a certain image, mixing religion with politics remains a controversial issue.”The two should be kept separate,” said senior Virginia Cerritos. Although Cerritos said she believes religion may be unfavorable to a campaign, she said it is a personal decision.”If I was running for office I would leave it out. They just dont mix,” she said.Nathan Liles said in terms of Christianity the morals and practices are good to base a campaign on.”The danger of using religion is that it may be used as an excuse instead of decision,” Liles said. He also said people often hide behind religion to justify things that they may do. According to Bush, “Faith helps me in my service to people,” he told news services.

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