In an earlier post, I commented on an article entitled “Keep My God Out of Your Politics” by Andrew Greeley, published in the Chicago Sun-Times on 1-2-08.
In that article, where he condemned the “Religious Right” for taking into consideration a candidate’s religious beliefs, he did say something I want to comment on. He wrote: “Having lived for seven disastrous years with a president who assumes that he has immediate access to the deity, many of us would be uneasy about politics reinforced by religious self-righteousness.”
I admit that Bush has been a disappointment. His going to war against Iraq flies in the face of every “just war” rationalization I have ever read. To me he has brought disgrace to the God he claims to serve, the Nation he swore to protect, and on the Republican Party, which lost both houses of Congress on his watch (although the do-nothing Republicans have a lot to do with the loss as well).
I would never vote for a candidate solely because of his or her religious beliefs. To me, religious beliefs are just one part of the equation, and I believe that is true for most rational voters. The Bush experience has reinforced my belief that we must always look beyond religion and beyond even those one or two issues that are very important to us. I believe a voter must be informed, and then look at the complete picture: the candidates’ relevant experience, voting record, leadership ability, morals, ethics, and positions on a wide range of issues.
When I say we must look beyond those key issues that are important to us, I am referring to some voters who are single-issue voters. For example, the war, abortion, gay rights, the environment. There is a wide array of issues beyond those that if they aren’t addressed soon, this country will cease to exist as we have known it, and will be reduced to Third World status. So who becomes president is critical, and it transcends religious beliefs, race, ethnicity, gender, and ability to make a good speech.
Please pray for this country – that the right leader will emerge, and he or she can effectively address the critical issues facing us in the 21st century.