Faith and the candidates, in their own words

From the Democrats, we have:

” Sen. Clinton: Faith got me through marital strife”

… which also contains segments on Barack Obama and John Edwards, including video clips of all three. Clinton provides a rare glimpse into her marriage and how faith helped give her strength when it was strained; Obama talks about the problems in seeing the world through a dichotomous, good vs. evil lens; and Edwards points out that we—including he—are all sinners, and talked at length about his mission to end poverty. The forum, which aired on CNN, was sponsored by Sojourner’s/Call to Renewal and moderated by Jim Wallis.

On the other hand, “Debate evolves into religious discussion,” also from CNN (and clever puns on creationism aside), takes a look at some faith-related highlights in last night’s Republican debate. Among them, Mike Huckabee “offered a spirited defense of the biblical creation narrative”; John McCain, having previously indicated that he “believed in” evolution, also agreed with Huckabee’s view; and Sam Brownback made a case for uniting faith and reason.

Additional coverage:

New York Times: “Mrs. Clinton said she took her faith ‘very seriously and very personally’ but went on to say she came from a faith tradition, Methodism, that is ‘perhaps a little too suspicious of people who wear their faiths on their sleeves.’ She admitted that talking about her faith in public ‘doesn’t come naturally to me,’ saying she often flashed back to ‘the Pharisees and all of the Sunday school lessons and readings I had as a child.'”

AP: “Edwards, wearing a purple tie to match Sojourners’ signature color, promoted himself as the candidate most committed to the group’s mission of fighting poverty. He said he doesn’t feel his belief in evolution is inconsistent with his belief in Christ and he doesn’t personally feel gays should be married, although as president he wouldn’t impose his belief system on the rest of the country.”

Thomas J. Reese, writing on the Washington Post/Newsweek blog “On Faith,” writes: “At the presidential candidates forum on religion, values and poverty, Democrats decided that it was time to show America that Democrats can be good Christians, inspired by Christian values, but not willing to impose their faith on others. The candidates showed themselves to be tempered, moderate and ecumenical. … Many of the questions from the moderator were personal and obnoxiously intrusive. ‘What was the greatest sin you ever committed?’ ‘Did your faith help you deal with your husband’s infidelity?’ This has nothing to do with the intersection of faith and politics.”

“On Faith” also continues the conversation with additional columns and comments here.

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