Archive: February 17, 2008 - February 23, 2008
Therein lies the power of Obama's message. His attempt to reorient American politics is decidedly secular, a return to those springs of origin, or, to paraphrase Rabbi Akiva, the cleansing waters of hope.
By Andy Bachman | February 23, 2008; 9:09 AM ET | Comments (20)
Magically speaking, then, Obama is casting a good spell. Whether he wins or loses, he’s filling the psychic and emotional atmosphere with words like ‘healing’ and ‘hope’. The effect is like a clean breeze blowing through a morass of stinking, noxious fumes.
By Starhawk | February 23, 2008; 8:16 AM ET | Comments (257)
Billy Graham elicits fervor. So did Adolf Hitler. The issue is whether the fervor leads the candidate and the nation in the right direction.
By John Shelby Spong | February 23, 2008; 7:42 AM ET | Comments (14)
Among the surviving presidential candidates, Obama is the only orator. He will be our next president.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 23, 2008; 6:11 AM ET | Comments (56)
I find Obama’s electoral “faith clubs” as disturbing as his Sunday sermons in which he asks Christian congregations to pray for his ability to bring in “the kingdom.” I am appalled at McCain who declares that the Constitution established the United States as a “Christian nation.”
By Welton Gaddy | February 22, 2008; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (7)
I see precious little evidence that any of the candidate's declarations of faith - all of them claim to be Christians - have a direct impact on their policies.
By Randall Balmer | February 22, 2008; 10:28 AM ET | Comments (7)
If religious and political leaders are willing and able to heed the ground rules Obama proposes, the climate of public debate may become considerably more healthy and fruitful.
By James Anderson | February 22, 2008; 8:43 AM ET | Comments (1)
The slow move away from Clinton gives us another theory: perhaps Catholics are just slower to switch their loyalties than other Americans. After all, they stick with the church through thick and thin.
By Thomas J. Reese, S.J. | February 22, 2008; 8:05 AM ET | Comments (13)
When we invited Senator Obama to speak at our annual Pentecost conference in 2006, he used the opportunity to frame his views on the role of faith in politics. It was an extraordinary speech where he said: "[B]because I do not believe that religious people have a monopoly on morality, I would rather have someone who is grounded in morality and ethics, and who is also secular, affirm their morality and ethics and values without pretending that they're something they're not. They don't need to do that. None of us need to do that."
By Jim Wallis | February 21, 2008; 6:06 PM ET | Comments (0)
Yet people want more than a parsing of policy. They want to be inspired.
By Thomas G. Bohlin | February 21, 2008; 10:03 AM ET | Comments (0)
Faith in politics can be best seen in the ethical ways candidates conduct themselves when the cameras are off, and in the policies they propose to help society's most needy as well as they serve the public interests, not the special interest.
By Bob Edgar | February 21, 2008; 9:12 AM ET | Comments (12)
I’m not saying Barack Obama is a prophet! But he does represent a prophetic voice – uniting people across religion, gender, ethnicity, age, even ideology – calling us back to the American “religion” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for ALL Americans.
By Daisy Khan | February 21, 2008; 8:39 AM ET | Comments (34)
Obama may have changed the meaning of “faith and politics” into “spirituality and politics” for a long time to come.
By Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo | February 21, 2008; 7:47 AM ET | Comments (21)
The focus of presidential politics should remain political, economic and social issues. Those for whom religious values are paramount can still bring their beliefs or moral conscience to bear by privately judging a candidate's positions in light of their faith and beliefs.
By John Esposito | February 21, 2008; 6:39 AM ET | Comments (6)
The energy gathering at this intersection of youth, religiosity, changing socio-economic patterns and increased interaction can go multiple directions.
By Eboo Patel | February 20, 2008; 9:20 PM ET | Comments (18)
It seems that it's all right to talk about faith in political campaigns if you're talking about faith in some supreme being (who is not running for the presidency) but it's not all right to talk about faith in ourselves and in the future of our country, as Obama often does.
By Susan Jacoby | February 20, 2008; 10:15 AM ET | Comments (178)
I cannot judge Barack Obama's faith except by looking at his public positions. His stands on the poor and caring for the environment are clearly consistent with biblical commands. His public pronouncements about the sanctity of life are something else
By Charles "Chuck" Colson | February 20, 2008; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (13)
Obama is less likely to make a public display of his religion or to use it to garner support than are Governor Huckabee and some failed candidates, and if he did either, it would be a deviation from his versions of the Christian heritage(s).
By Martin Marty | February 20, 2008; 9:31 AM ET | Comments (30)
Hope is the profoundly religious cord that Obama has struck in the minds and hearts of Americans. Religion is the search for ultimate meaning and purpose in life.
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | February 20, 2008; 8:18 AM ET | Comments (342)
There is a dearth of religious leaders in Islam, and I know many Muslims who feel they have no religious leaders to turn to. As a result, others fill this vacuum, including the more ignominious figures that represent the worst of the Muslim community.
By Daisy Khan | February 18, 2008; 5:28 PM ET | Comments (9)
Why can’t the most positive aspects of Shar’iah law be applied to our contemporary contexts -- starting here in the West?
By Daisy Khan | February 18, 2008; 5:23 PM ET | Comments (143)
Making an accommodation to Sharia Law or Jewish Law or Church Law of any variety should not be the business of elected officials.
By Andy Bachman | February 18, 2008; 2:47 PM ET | Comments (18)
Muslims in the United States should be allowed to follow sharia provided that it does not transgress civil law.
By Chester Gillis | February 18, 2008; 1:43 PM ET | Comments (11)
The good Dr. Williams would have done much better for his Church, his people, and for British Muslims by demanding a completely secular government.
By Greg M. Epstein | February 18, 2008; 12:53 PM ET | Comments (20)
He did not favor having criminals judged and punished under Islamic law. He did not favor having two parallel judicial systems, one for Muslims and the other for everyone else. He did not favor denying rights to Muslim women that they enjoy under British law.
By Thomas J. Reese, S.J. | February 17, 2008; 11:51 PM ET | Comments (17)
In high school, the Jesuits taught me that to find a principled answer to any question, it had to be stood on its head. So, before responding about Islamic law, we ought to ask first if U.S. law should make room for Christian teachings?
By Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo | February 17, 2008; 10:17 PM ET | Comments (15)
If English law opens up to admit the sword-point of a radically different legal mentality, law itself will be reduced in its dignity and law enforcement will become more difficult.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 17, 2008; 8:08 PM ET | Comments (45)
We do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world's goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them.
By Michael Otterson | February 17, 2008; 7:31 PM ET | Comments (54)