John Edwards on Faith

Presidential candidate John Kerry's running mate, John Edwards, on his personal faith, faith and politics, prayer, and more.

 


Senator John Edwards, presidential candidate John Kerry's running mate, is a Methodist. During the Democratic primaries earlier in 2004, he was more reserved than other candidates in talking about religion and his personal faith, though he has acknowledged that his faith played a part in helping him recover from the death of his 16-year-old son Wade, in a 1996 car accident.



On Values


"...we cannot concede values to this president, because I think we win a values debate with this president. I don't think his values are the values that I grew up with in that small town in North Carolina. And they show in everything this administration does."


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Appearance on FOX News Sunday, Dec. 28, 2003



On His Faith Journey


"...My faith has been enormous to me in my personal life and of course my personal life is a big impact on my political life. I have had an interesting faith journey over the course of my life. I was born and raised in the Southern Baptist church, I was baptized in the Southern Baptist Church and then later in life joined the Methodist church and like a lot of people, when I was in my college years, and I went to law school and became a lawyer and was raising my young family I moved away somewhat from my faith. And then I lost a son in 1996 and my faith came roaring back and it played an enormous role in my ability to get through that period. It stayed with me and has been enormously important.



On Faith's Role in Politics


"...In terms of my political life I believe there's a lot of the things that are part of my faith belief is also part of my political belief. My responsibilities to others, to help others. My work for instance, with Urban Ministries. I have been on the board of Urban Ministries for years before I went to the Senate. To provide help to the homeless in the Raleigh-Durham area in North Carolina is an example of that. So I think it's just part of my entire life."


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Interview with the Interfaith Alliance, December 3, 2003



On Prayer


"I believe that God answers prayers."


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Washington Post profile, Aug. 7, 2001

"You know the Lord is in this place. You can feel his presence."


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Campaign stop at a Sidney Park, S.C. church, Dec. 28, 2003



On Faith and the Constitution


"...for any publicly elected official, you're responsibility is to abide by and enforce the Constitution, and meet your constitutional duties. My personal faith guides and affects my personal decisions in my personal life. But as President of the United States I have a constitutional responsibility to all of the American people, which means, to all people of all faiths. So I think you have to be very, very careful to not let your own personal faith beliefs, particularly where they may differ with other faith beliefs, to influence national policy."


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Interview with the Interfaith Alliance, December 3, 2003



On Faith-Based Initiatives


"Faith is enormously important to me personally and to tens of millions of Americans. In addition, religious institutions do wonderful work and make important contributions to our society.



"In a manner consistent with the First Amendment, faith-based charities should be able to participate in delivering services. But they should also meet the same anti-discrimination standards as other charities receiving government support."


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Statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, January 7, 2004

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