Monday, August 15, 2011

Newest issue in 2012 race: Religion

With the rapid rise of Michele Bachmann and the splashy entry of Rick Perry, faith has suddenly taken center stage in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Both have advertised their own evangelical credentials. And in the coming months, the Minnesota congresswoman and the Texas governor are expected to battle each other for the hearts -- and votes -- of conservative Christian churchgoers in Iowa. The Christian Broadcasting Network is already calling it a "holy war." 

If they both survive that Midwestern caucus, look for Bachmann and Perry to show up in white evangelical churches all over South Carolina -- the site of the first Southern primary.

On the Sunday morning talk shows, Bachmann -- winner of Saturday's straw poll in Ames, Iowa -- was asked about several of her faith-based comments: her condemnation of homosexual behavior, her belief that God told her to enter politics, and her decision to "submit" to her husband by agreeing to becoming a tax lawyer.

The most intense back-and-forth happened between her and "Meet the Press" anchor David Gregory.

Perry, meanwhile, sent a clear signal to evanglicals that he was one of them when he headlined a recent prayer rally in Houston.

In TV interviews that reach a broader national audience, Bachmann and Perry will prefer to talk about jobs, the federal debt and President Obama's record.

But as they compete to become the more conservative alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- still the nominal front-runner in the GOP contest -- Bachmann and Perry will also find ways to communicate to evangelicals that the best way to promote conservative moral and social issues is to back them.


Anonymous said...

"Mitt Romney -- still the nominal front-runner". Tim, I'm not at all sure that's true anymore. Michelle Bachman got 28.6% of the vote; Mitt Romney got 3.4%, and came in 7th, trailing Perry (a write-in), Cain and Santorum, as well as Pawlenty, who has already dropped out. He's done, he just doesn't know it yet.

Anonymous said...

Faith, religion, a candidate's belief in whatever "God" he or she believes in...all of those things have no place in politics. But candidates use it to prey on the fears of the American people. It isn't like this is some sort of "new" thing, either. What's even worse, or even more stupid, is that American voters use religion to either approve of or disqualify a candidate.

You want religion? Go to church. But leave your God or religion out of it when you go to the polls.

Anonymous said...

Remember the last time we elected a religious conservative Texas governor? 100,000 innocent lives slaughtered, secret kidnappings and torture chambers, and a nose dive into a recession. Yeah... great idea.

Anonymous said...

Rocket scientists all! Gather round!! The Iowa Straw Poll has absolutely nothing to tell us about Bachmann's strength as a candidate in 2012. That she was able to bus 3000 idiots to a State Fair in Iowa is about is impressive as my picking 3000 maggots off a rotting cow carcass. My apologies, however, to the Jesus-shaped pork rind that finished ninth in Straw Poll voting this year.

Really? said...

Let's hope these candidates leave their faith and their God out of the 2012 race for the white house. These bible toten candidates would be wise to adhere to the constitution of separation of church and state. But naw, they wouldn't do that because they want to continue to divide us and they will do whatever it takes including playing on the fears of so many Americans...and that's religion. Jesus, protect me from your followers...OMG

Anonymous said...

Place your bets on how long it takes either Bachmann or Perry to attack Romney for being part of a "cult."

This GOP Primary is going to be as much fun as watching a shark feeding frenzy. They may not have anyone left standing come next year's general election.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul's Statement of Faith:

Excerpt from the above:

My faith is a deeply private issue to me, and I don’t speak on it in great detail during my speeches because I want to avoid any appearance of exploiting it for political gain. Let me be very clear here: I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and I endeavor every day to follow Him in all I do and in every position I advocate.

It is God Who gave us life. As He is free, so are those He created in His image. Our rights to life and liberty are inalienable.

Anonymous said...

"Let's hope these candidates leave their faith and their God out of the 2012 race for the white house"

Really??!! That would be counter oxymoronic statement. It's called discernment through prayer as to what candidate to vote for. People can talk about religion and faith all they want, but it is in the actions that you'll be able to choose. I have a hard time with people telling others to keep God in a box during work and polls...not a chance. He created us, who are we to tell Him to butt ashamed and hide it if you want, but don't "OMG" because what God are you Oh My'ing to? Jesus said if we deny him before man, he'll deny us before His Father...shows character for someone to make mention of their faith as long as they aren't using it and riding it for personal gain...them mentioning it helps keep them accountable...I'm listening to what's going on. God Bless the USA