Faith and the presidency

Come Election Day, it appears that faith may be a large factor in voter’s decisions of who will take over the oval office.

When I was a child, I attended church because of my parents.

I remember getting up early to attend Sunday morning services to hear the Biblical stories and being delighted when it was time to praise and sing. However, the memories of church I have from childhood are long gone.

With the current presidential election going on, it appears that some churches and places of worship have been forgoing the usual Sunday morning sermon for something more politically aware.

From posting statements online, speaking on behalf of a candidate instead of doing a sermon, to asking your religion’s followers to vote or not vote for someone because some of their ideals go against what you believe, it is clear religion is playing too much into politics.

While many people allow their religious beliefs to play a part in their time during their time at the polls, it is clear people have forgotten about the idea of the separation of church and state.

Amid the debates, name calling and complete political discord, one would believe many people of faith would try to distance themselves from the mess we call politics. However, with many different religious groups calling and rallying behind or against the candidates, arguing it is their duty to pull our nation from the depths of hell as many of them believe, it is clear many people are doing quite the opposite and placing their religious beliefs first in the race.

People of faith tend to review a candidate’s religious views and take them into consideration over their political platforms, arguing that while some candidates may act pompous and like they have big egos, but if they have faith then it will ground them in the end and therefore their faith makes them a better person and a better choice for president.

Before his withdrawal from the race, Ben Carson was liked among religious groups because he vowed his actions would be guided by his faith in God.

Others, like former Hewlett- Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, have been known to make comments that implore people of faith are better candidates and their faith will make them better leaders. Others tend to link a candidate’s faith to the state of our nation.

With the always present turmoil in our nation, some religious people believe that it is due to the fact religion is not always present or present at the forefront.

According to writer Georgann Ryan, we are doomed without a biblical foundation.

Preaching politics? Irony at its finest. In a land where religion needs to be the furthest thing from politics, we have people attempting to “preach politics,” and argue for its place in the presidential race.

I am not anti-religion by all means, but even I can set my faith aside when it comes to the ballot box.

I am, however, anti-religion in politics. Living in such a large, multi-faithed society that we do today, how can you base your vote for the head of state on one religion? Exactly, you shouldn’t.

Politics should not be based off of “the Bible tells me this and that.” Instead, political decisions should be able to stand on their own merit without a religious backing.

Instead of using faith to steer you to the candidate whose faith and ideals regarding faith best reflect your own, let an issue or an argument be judged objectively based off the evidence either for or against it rather than simply referring to someone’s faith.

Taking faith out of the equation would cause people to think about issues more critically, without faith telling you which is wrong or bad, debates would have to be held to discuss every angle of an issue. People need to be more open to actually examining an issue rather than judging it according to biblical standards.

It’s almost as if people believe politics without faith will lead our nation into some crazy dystopian society. I would argue it would in turn prevent this from happening. If we were to remove religion from politics we would be forced to analyze a situation rather than judge.

Although the notion of the separation of church and state has been in place throughout our history, many religious groups and people of faith tend to throw that out the window when voting.

We claim to live in the “land of the free,” yet we still try to impose our own personal religious beliefs on others by voting for a candidate simply based off of their own religion. In a nation so diverse in religious groups and beliefs, we must keep religion, the presidency, and politics separate.

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