Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Church and State?

The other night found me watching a couple of political speeches on late night TV. Barak Obama and Hilary Clinton were both in Alabama for the commemoration of a Civil Rights march in the ‘60s. Both were speaking in churches there. That sparked some thoughts.

First of all, it was interesting to see Democrats speaking in, and embracing church. Much of the last election was perceived as hanging on “moral issues”, like gay marriage and abortion. In that day, the Democrats were trying so hard to appear to separate church and state that they alienated a big chunk of their voter base. And now, here are the two front-runners, speaking in churches.

And quoting scriptures! Both of them referred to biblical verses in their speeches.

Of course, Obama was much more in his element. He came across like a skilled southern preacher. He spoke of the work of Moses and Joshua leading the children of Israel to the Promised Land like he knew the stories from childhood.

Clinton, on the other hand, spoke like a politician, and quoted a more general verse about “Fighting the good fight”. She seemed a little more out of place.

They both, however, were obviously “preaching to the choir”, as the congregations in the various churches were cheering them each on. They were before audiences that were sympathetic, to be sure. These weren’t right-wing fundie churches, but socially active denominations, which tend to be more Democratic.

It will be very interesting to follow and see. How will religion play into this upcoming election? Will the Democrats be able to allow themselves to show their faith? Will a Mormon have a chance? How will the “Christian Conservatives” impact the voting? On both sides, it will be an issue to be addressed. I have no idea how it will have the final impact, though…

But that’s why it’s such a fun sport to watch!

Mark Hansen

1 comment:

  1. You know Mark, those are good questions. I hadn't thought of that.

    Good point.

    It will indeed be an interesting battle.

    Lets hope, it ... unfolds in a way that a majority of the people will benefit from.

    Giving love to Jake- Hope you are all hanging in there.



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