Religion in a campaign year

Anyone who is sensitive to how religion gets manipulated in politics can’t help but be disgusted by the way that the candidates are exhibiting the worst of name-calling and dismissing the faith of other Americans. From Rick Perry’s claiming that Obama has been making “war on religion” to various leaders’ suspicion of Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith to the incessant fear-mongering regarding Muslims, this campaign has not been America’s brightest hour.

One group is trying, at least among Christians, to tone down the rhetoric of the debate. Sojourners, the is sponsoring a Faith and Election Pledge, and inviting pastors and Christian leaders to sign up. In part, the pledge declares:

During the 2012 election, I commit to combining my Christian faith with my civic responsibilities in the following ways:

  • To not attack the personal faith or religious beliefs of any candidate for office.
  • To not engage in uncivil or ad hominem attacks against candidates, current politicians, or other religious leaders.
  • To reject all forms of religious pandering and hold candidates for office and political leaders accountable when they abuse the beliefs of their rivals.

If you are a Christian leader, I invite you to sign the pledge. And I encourage all of us to recognize that the President needs to be President of all Americans, regardless of religious tradition or lack of it.


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